Les Golfs d’Hardelot was created at the beginning of the 20th century when John Whitley, attracted by the site’s exceptional location between the sea and beautiful, undulating woodland and its historical significance as the signing place of the Entente Cordiale, decided to build the original 9-hole golf course in 1905.
With the 1st hole tee box originally situated at the top of one of Château d’Hardelot’s towers, this course at Les Golfs d’Hardelot was rebuilt by Sir John Hare in 1850. It wound its way through neighbouring lakes, offering a varied layout in a picturesque setting.
The 9-hole course was replaced by another golf course in 1921, which was actually just an evolution of the first, extending closer to the seaside resort of Hardelot and the sea. With few stand-out memories of this second course, the decision was taken to build a new 18-hole golf course at the end of the 20th century.
Given the importance of the project and the European renown of Hardelot at that time, Tom Simpson was the obvious choice to build it. By then, Simpson had built a reputation as a grand master of golf course design. His successes included: Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Chiberta and Morfontaine in France, the Berkshire and Spa.
The 1980s saw a big increase in British enthusiasm for the Opal Coast, and for Hardelot in particular. At the same time, golf was becoming a serious sport in France, which led to the construction of a second 18-hole course to accommodate the club’s members and visitors more comfortably. With the help of the French Golf Federation and Hubert Chesneau in particular, a competition was held and the team led by Paul Rolin and Jean-Claude Cornillot was selected to design the new course in 1988.
The new course was named Golf des Dunes and is set out on a particularly undulating and refreshingly different site. Its varied scenery and beautiful, natural setting have made it a very popular golf course among tourists. The original Les Pins course and the new Les Dunes course complement each other beautifully and their geographical location 1½ km from each other gives golfers the opportunity to enjoy two very different golfing experiences in close proximity.
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