Le Touquet (La Mer) - North East France - France

Golf du Touquet,
Avenue du Golf,
62520 Le Touquet,
France


  • +33 (0)3 2106 2800


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Le Touquet (La Mer)


Le Touquet is very French but it has strong British connections, not least because both contrasting courses at Le Touquet were laid out by British architects, but also because this was once the playground for the British gentry. Horace Hutchinson designed La Forêt and according to most modern records Harry S. Colt designed La Mer.

However, in 1936, J.S.F Morrison wrote a a column on Golf in Japan in The Bystander magazine: "Captain Alison designed the new course at Le Touquet, and was secretary of Stoke Poges shortly before the war, but he is chiefly famous for having, when representing Oxford v Cambridge, played off the roof of the clubhouse at Woking to halve the last hole in 5." Morrison was a senior partner of the design firm Colt, Alison and Morrison Ltd., so it seems La Mer could be the work of Charles Hugh Alison and Harry Colt.

In 1928 a decision was made to build a second course in the dunes and in 1930, the Daily Mail commented that this new terrain will comprise of eighteen of the most magnificent holes a scratch golfer could dream of. The new La Mer course finally opened for play in 1931 but the Prince of Wales – Edward VIII – discreetly “tried” it a few days before it officially opened. The devastation following WW2 necessitated restoration work and the course lay dormant until 1959. Harold Baker modified the layout in 1997.

The stunning seaside course, La Mer, is one of Alison's greatest achievements, and that is saying something as Alison completed many outstanding designs during his lifetime, including Hirono. Located in the Pas de Calais region, La Mer is a classic links course that winds its way between the coastal dunes and rough grasses. With wonderful sea views from elevated tees, formidable bunkering, huge dunes and fast but firm greens, La Mer is perhaps the best true links course in France and it can proudly hold its head high alongside some of its regal neighbours which lie on the opposite side of the English Channel.

Measuring 6,407 metres, La Mer is a challenging layout and has hosted six French Opens, (the most recent was in 1977 when Seve Ballesteros won the title), but it's still a seriously tough proposition, especially when the Atlantic winds funnel down the Channel and whip across this exposed links land. Sam Torrance holds the current course record with a truly remarkable 63.

Charles Debruyne from Le Touquet Golf Resort told us the following in relation to the club’s staging of the Open de France:

“The routing that is used nowadays is the original one that hosted the Open before the Second World War, designed by Colt & Alison. After the war they used a 14-hole loop (instead of 18) on La Mer, with four holes from La Forêt, allowing a start and finish at the nearby Manoir Hotel, which was being used as a clubhouse at that time.”

However, Le Touquet hasn't rested on its laurels. La Mer underwent an extensive redesign programme in 2015 which will make it a serious championship contender once more. A bridge now links the tee and green on the 10th – the par three signature hole. New tees have been added on 1st, 5th, 13th and 17th, bunkers have been added here and there and three greens have been replaced (5th, 6th and 12th). Two great hotels are attached to the golf club making Le Touquet a wonderful holiday venue.

For some reason La Mer was not listed in George Peper and Malcolm Campbell’s book, True Links, but Campbell did comment in his 1994 title European Golf Courses : “La Mer is a classic links golf course laid out among the sand dunes and might as easily be on the east coast of Scotland as on the north coast of France.”

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Reviews for Le Touquet (La Mer)

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Description: Le Touquet's stunning sea course, La Mer, is one of C.H. Alison's greatest achievements. It’s a classic links course that winds its way between the coastal dunes and rough grasses. Rating: 7.4 out of 10 Reviews: 24
TaylorMade
Smythp
Played this in Aug 07 on a windy day. This is a tough test of golf when the wind is blowing. I agree with another reviewer that this is not a real links course. It more often has the feel of a parkland course and the sea is only visible once. IMHO it is not a patch on the much better Belle Dune further down the coast. The clubhouse is a real let down for such a "prestigious" course. They didn't even supply towels in the shower room. The 1st tee is so far from the clubhouse that they recommend that you drive there. So overall I was underwhelmed by the place.
August 03, 2007
4 / 10
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Cedric
August 03, 2007
3 balls is maybe a bit harsh???
danthegolfer
October 22, 2008
Belle Dune is much better? Are you kidding me? Off the back tees La Mer is one of the hardest tests of golf I've played in the world. What u meant was, u prefer Belle Dune because its easier.
Cedric
December 22, 2009
I wrote in august 2007 that 3 ball was maybe a bit harsh. Then gave myself 3 ball in april of this year!! Played again in their Grand Prix in september and the greens were just crap!! They have had this problem for a while now and it's time they take care of it! Because the design is really top (5-6 ball), and indeed much tougher than Belle Dune (but maybe not as pretty?)
Cédric
I was back to La Mer 4 years after my last visit… I must say that most of the recent changes went quite unnoticed, as depending on the tee position of the day, you do or don’t use the new back platforms. But at now 6400 meters, this course is a real challenge, especially if the wind is blowing. The surroundings and the nature are, on the other hand, untouched but what can you change in such a wonderful natural terrain?? The 3 new greens (5th, 6th and 12th) were still a bit raw and need probably another year to be completely ready but were nonetheless very true. To have the best putting uniformity as possible, the speed of the other greens was deliberately reduced but that didn’t remove too much from the quality of a course in immaculate conditions. 10th, 11th and 12th are in my opinion the best holes and reminded me of the turn at Hillside! I don’t think this course is a real links, in the Scottish sense of the word, and the sea can only been seen far in the distance from the 18th tee. The only negative point – the clubhouse- always mentioned, is about to be destroyed and I am sure the new one will add to the class of this great place. A warm welcome also awaits you!!! French or English?? I wonder… Sometimes difficult to tell on which side of the Channel you are!!! Cédric
June 17, 2007
8 / 10
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Nigel Owen
A truly wonderful links course, up there with some of the best. This wouldn't look out of place in Scotland, and with the planned improvements I'm sure it will become a classic on the European Tour.We played it on a fine but windy day and it is a real tough test of golf, but very good value at €72. The only let down is the clubhouse itself is both poor and a 10 minute walk from the first tee for La Mer course.
October 02, 2006
10 / 10
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J
I have played this golf course on numerous occasions within the last few years and it is a very stern test of ones golfing ability. You will really need to be playing well to conquer this course as it is very long and the rough is extremely penal. The golf course is constantly in good condition throughout the year. If you want my advice hop on the eurotunnel, drive to le touquet and play la mer!
July 23, 2006
8 / 10
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