A beautiful links style course
Wimereaux GC is a links style course on the Cote d'Opale (Opal Coast), a few miles south of Calais, northern France!
The Club History
The course opened in 1901, initially as a 9 holer, extended to 18 holes in 1907, in the style of a Scottish links!
Between WWI and WWII, an English industrialist, MFN Pickett, purchased all of the shares in the club association!
The course was extensively damaged during WWII after which it was abandoned for about 15 years!
A new club association was founded in 1957! The course was reconstructed with a seaward 9 and an inward 9! The architect for the course reconstruction was the Mr Levrier!
The course is a par 72, comprising 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s!
There are 5 competition tees in use, ie the mens tees are black, white and yellow and blue and red for the ladies!
The hole indexes are the same for the mens and ladies tees!
Each of the tees is separately given a Slope and SSS bed rated!
I played off the yellow tees with a SSS of 69.7 and a Slope of 119! The yellow tees are 5,510 metres (6,028 yards)!
The 4 Par 3s are an exciting mix of beautiful and challenging holes!
*The 2nd, my favourite, is a scenic 176 metres downhill 'dive bomb' style hole, carrying 2 unseen bunkers to a green with a wide left pot bunker and fronted by an undulating series of grassy mounds. My double bogey here was mainly due to a mishit lob over the mound which didn't find the green!
*The 6th is a 150 metres shot to a long peanut shaped green flanked by a front right pot bunker and a bank on the left of the green! My tee shot here was skied lost way left into rough that wasn't even in my line of sight! Although the tee shot was into a very strong headwind, I didn't give it a chance for a proper assessment!
*The 10th is a 143 metres offset uphill tee shot to a large slopey green, guarded by a deep pot bunker front right corner and 2 smaller bunkers short left and greenside left! I couldn't find the green with a 3 wood because of the headwind and was left of the left hand bunker! However what should have been a simple lob shot over the bunker turned into a triple bogey as I thinned my 'lob shot' over and through the green! I should have been more circumspect with the line of my chip!
*The 12th is a 146 metres tee shot from a high tee across a valley to a raised green, protected by 3 bunkers centre, front right and front left! My tee shot low into the wind found the back of the green and a 2 putts par!
The Par 4s range from 319 yards (4th) up to 383 yards (15th)! I categorise 7 of the 10 holes as short but the shortness is countered by doglegs, bunkers and elevation changes!
The 2 longest par 4s, ie the 14th and 15th are indexes 1&,3 respectively!
My personal favourites were the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th on the front 9 and the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th on the back 9!
Inexplicably, I managed to put my wedge approach shot into the long bunker in front and below the easiest par 4 16th, after a good drive, resulting in a putt double bogey! A 9 iron shot would have been the better option given that there was more depth to the green than perceived from the fairway!
My outturn scoring for the par 4s was 2 pars, 5 bogeys (OK) and 3 double bogeys (not OK). I think less windy conditions would have resulted in a better outcome!
The 4 Par 5s are an enjoyable collection of holes!
The 1st hole is a long 492 yards, semi-blind uphill teeshot with two pot bunkers to avoid! The approach to a slightly raised green is guarded by a right hand side pot bunker! I couldn't reach in regulation but got a 2 putt bogey! An acceptable start!
The 7th is a long 507 yards index 4 hole, which is cut to give the impression of a double left right dogleg but which in reality is a straight line tee to green!
The 17th is 462 yards, index 15, so no-shot for me. This is a gentle dogleg to the right, with a number of pot bunkers down the left side of the fairway and one on the right! I played down the right line and came away with a regulation par! Good!
The 18th is 476 yards, index 7, another gentle dogleg right approach to the green!
Dangerous bunkers await the drive down the left hand side of the fairway, and a cross ditch and a pond to the right of the fairway await wayward approach shots. A central or left of central approach to the green probably is the better line to the green! I couldn't reach the green in regulation so a 2 putt bogey is an excellent result! This is a very challenging finishing hole to a round!
My gross score of 95 was +23 over par! I anticipated a gross of about 89 allowing an extra +5 shots due to unfamiliarity with the course layout and the windy conditions; so my outturn score was +4 shots too many on that basis!
Broken down by hole category, I was +8 for the par 3s, +11 for the par 4s and +4 for the par 5s! Making allowance for my handicap, I was +6 shots too many on the par 3s, +4 on the par 4s and only +1 too many for the par 5s!
My main scoring disaster was on 3 of the par 3s. A lost ball off the tee on the 6th and managing to chip onto and off the 10th green accounting for most of the excess! Avoidable ball striking errors!
Secondly my scoring on the par 4s was +4 above handicap! Double bogeys on 2 no-shot holes account for the excess! Coincidentally I triple putted these 2 holes!
Overall this is a very good links course and as with all links courses the playability of the course is dependent on the weather conditions! We played it on a very windy day! Scoring was difficult!
The fairways were very patchy in places due to the seaside and the fact that they are not watered except for rainfall, but they were nevertheless playable!
While not up to the playing standard of the two Hardelot parkland courses, it was a great venue at which to make my mainland Europe debut!
Customer Service and Catering
The clubhouse is a modern style; with a lovely bar/restaurant! This seems to be populated by golfers and non-golfers alike!
A pre-game meal (omelette & fries) was enjoyed; very good quality but a little pricey in comparison to the UK, at €12.
The pro shop is moderate size, operated by very welcoming reception staff who spoke good English! The club is very much geared up for the English / British golf tourist market!
True links course, loved it despite weather elements
A true links course that will test you specially so when the wind is @ 50 mph and the rain is coming down.
Eight friendly TSGers & friends of very varied nationalities played this challenging links course a short drive from Calais.
Great atmosphere, lovely Proshop with quality clothing, very friendly Clubhouse recently refurbished since I last played a very long time ago (well before I joined the TSG). A new large outside terrace with nice furniture/sun umbrella.
Great practice facilities with colourful balls not the usual ordinary white ones. A large car park to accommodate members & visitors . A lot of GB number plates.
Smart changing rooms with lockers for visitors.
A course dating back beginning of 20th century build on natural sea landscape by the famous seaside resort of Wimereux who has plenty to offer: restaurants, hotels & B&B. Ask me, I know the best places to go.
Every hole is challenging and need careful plotting, as there are some blind spots and the wind can play havoc as we found out, but one of our party managed a very decent score.
The fairways were were fairly dry, rough very punishing, one can encounter heathers/gorse and many types of pine trees, Very beautiful views of the surrounding countryside on one side and of course the "wild" sea (well today the kites were flying high !!!) on the other.
We started with a warm & sunny weather but then the rain came down and made the conditions proper links like ones.
The greens were fast and very interesting, sand bunkers numerous and always where you don't want them or where you don't want your ball to go, but it does anyway as one cannot control the bounce or run of the ball on these burn fairways. Would be good to play the course a 2nd day running to see if any improvements can be made to one's score.
I did not get a course planner as not available so I did not make any notes, my photos are on FB.
The course is highly recommended for all the reason listed above, a calm day would be easier on the scorecard but the variety of holes will certainly appeal to any golfers. Some downhill Par 3s are very manageable.
IF in France via Calais, it only 40 minutes from the Eurotunnel and easy to find.
A nice combination with AA Saint Omer GC, another 30 minutes away and both courses are of excellent quality and highly recommended.
That is all can remember for now.