Review's of Golf d'Hardelot
Hardelot_Les Pins: a stunning woodland course; one of the best I've played
Golf d'Hardelot is a two course golf resort on the Cote d'Opale (Opal Coast), Northern France! Near Boulogne & Le Touqet!
The Les Pins course at Hardelot golf resort is the older, ie original, of the two courses! Opened in 1931, it was designed by Tom Simpson!
A renovation was undertaken in 2016 by architects Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonas, to restore the Les Pins to the original Simpson design concept!
The course is a par 71, comprising of 5 par 3s, 9 par 4s and 4 par 5s.
There are two mens tees, white and yellow, and two ladies tees, blue and red!
Both men and ladies play off the same handicap indexes!
Each of the tees have their own SSS and Slope indexes, ie 71.5/129 white, 69.4/121 yellow, 72.7/125 blue and 70.1/118 red respectively!
I played off the yellow tees at 5,462 metres (5,975 yards)! This is pro-rata similar to the yellow tees yards at Cherry Lodge!
The course meanders among a highly mature forest of pine trees, and is bounded by an array of stunning modern and older classic houses! Heaven!
The course fairways, tee boxes and greens are fully watered and are in lush green condition! The fairways are as perfect as can be!
The greens are generally large, raised, undulating multi layered, firm, well guarded by bunkers, moderately paced and very tricky to read!
I had 38 total putts for my round, including 3 x 3 putts and only one single putt! I had 3 birdie putt opportunities but couldn't convert them! This was +6 putts too many!
The Par 3s: the par 3s are a beautiful mix of short and medium range challenges! The windy conditions made club selection difficult! I managed to get a nearest the pin on the 106 metre 7th!
A combined +6 for the 5 par 3s was a very disappointing outcome as it includes only 2 pars, a double bogey (14th) and triple bogey (17th)!
Given that I only have one shot on the par 3s (17th), this was +5 too many shots!
The Par 4s: the par 4s are a good mix of short and longer range holes, well bunkered, elevation changes and doglegs.
The 2nd, 16th and 18th holes, are significantly longer than 400 yards and are indexes 3, 2 and 4 accordingly!
The front 9 includes 3 of the toughest par 4s, the index 2 2nd, index 7 4th and index 1 9th.
The 9th hole is visually the most intimidating off the tee, with a carry required over a range of high faced bunkers to a blind left dogleg and an uncertain landing fairway width; followed by a tight uphill approach up to an unbunkered green!
A well struck tee shot should comfortably make the carry but unfortunately, and unexpectedly for me, this was my first ball striking error and I managed to hit under the ball and sky it into the bunker! While I subsequently made an excellent exit from the bunker I failed to make the carry up to the green! The dilemma on this hole is that the safer wider line to the right of the bunkers leaves a very long and blocked path to the green! A true index 1 hole!
The back 9 also includes 3 of the toughest par 4s, the index 8 15th is a severe dogleg right with two line options around a clump of trees, the index 2 16th is a 420 metre hole with an uphill approach to the green, and the 406 metre down hill 18th to a beautiful green just in front of the clubhouse verandah!
Collectively my outturn score for the par 4s was +10! Given that I receive shots on 8 of the 9 par 4s, this seems to be a reasonable outcome. However, I parred 3 of the holes, and countered the good scores with 2 double bogeys and 1 triple bogeys, so is about +4 too many against par! An unlucky lost ball penalty situation accounted for +2 of the excess!
The Par 5s: the 4 par 5s are a good mix of challenges! The opening 1st is a tight looking hole, the 6th and 13th are the more difficult at indexes 5 and 6 respectively, while the 10th, which runs parallel to the 1st, is a fairly straight index 14.
Collectively I scored +6 on the par 5s, which was +3 too many given my shots situation! Finding the first fairway bunker with a mishit tee shot on the 13th followed by a 3 putt accounted for +2 of the excess!
This was only my 2nd game on the continent of Europe, after Wimereux the previous day!
What a joy to get to play Les Pins, a course rated in the top 10 courses in France, and in the top 100 on continental Europe! The revision was rated on the Top 100 Golf Courses of the World website as one of the most successful programmes ever seen on Continental Europe!
Les Pins is a regular host of the European Tour Qualifying School!
Given the expected difficulty of Les Pins, and it being a new course, I was thinking beforehand that a total score of about +17, ie +5 above my handicap, would have been an acceptable outcome! In the event my +22 outcome was disappointing. Unusually for me two double bogeys resulted from two drives into fairway bunkers, and a lost ball penalty (15th), contributed to the additional shots!
I've played less than 20 of the top 100 courses in England! Les Pins would be in my top 5 courses played! A stunner!
Normally I use an electric trolley to carry my bag of clubs but I hired a pull trolley! Big mistake! The impact of the undulating course together with the very windy conditions made my round more physically arduous than was good for achieving best results! I should have hired a buggy! Next time eh!
There is a moderately sized proshop! Prices are expensive in comparison to the UK!
The club is very much geared up to the British golf tourist and most of the proshop and bar staff spoke good English!
The clubhouse bar has a wall covered by scorecards from courses played by visitors; mostly English! Many of the scorecards were from courses I have played! Whilst I didn't have a spare Cherry Lodge scorecard with me I left a Surrey Downs scorecard as my contribution to the decor!
Hardelot_Les Dunes : an absolutely beautiful woodland course
The Les Dunes course at Hardelot golf resort is the newer of the two courses! It opened in 1991 and was designed by Jean-Claude Cornillot! Yes that Jean-Claude! Or possibly Paul Rolin, or both, depending on which literature to believe!!
The name Les Dunes is a bit of a misnomer in that whilst the course may have been built on dune type land; it has been designed and laid out among pine forest and very much lush fairways due to the on-fairway watering system.
It is a par 70 comprising 6 par 3s, 8 par 4s, and 4 par 5s. The SSS is 67.1.
There are 2 mens tees (white and yellow) and 2 ladies tees (red and blue). The course is 4,892 metres (5,350 yards) off the yellow tees!
The course meanders through a pine tree forest, bounded by a wonderful array of stunning houses, all of individual design.
The course is watered throughout the fairways and greens and is in wonderful condition!
The par 3s are a mixture of short and medium length holes from the yellow tees! The signature par 3 is probably the 132m 11th with a bit of a carry over a 'big' lake with a large front right bunker to be cleared or act as the safety net!
I managed to score at +2 for the 6 par 3s, ie 4 pars and only 2 bogeys!
The par 4s and 5s are a wonderful combination of either straight or gentle doglegs with an occasionally more severe or blind dogleg! That said, the landing areas are reasonably generous even though the may not appear so from the tees!
The course opens with an uphill par 4 (index 11) and finishes with a dramatic looking downhill par 4 (index 8), with an approach over a wide lake to the 18th green which is overlooked by the clubhouse balcony! There is a bailout area to the right of the lake for those who don't think they can make the carry!
The weather conditions were very overcast with a couple of very light showers! Consequently a good score was possible! I managed to score a gross 79, ie 3 shots under handicap. One of my best ever scores on an unfamiliar course and one of such quality! However I have not been cut because of the effects of the SSS rating!
Apart from the milder weather conditions, the use of a buggy was a major contributor to my physical condition for play!
The greens are mostly raised requiring uphill approaches to large and undulating multilevel greens! They are moderately paced!
This is a seriously good course that I would very much like to play again though I'm not sure if I could play it any better! Along with it's nearby, and better regarded Les Pins course, the Hardelot golf is hard to beat as a golfing venue!
The main negative was that the toilets supposedly located adjacent to the 11th green (as per the course planner) were not open much to the chagrin of our lady player's!
The club is very much geared up for the British tourist golfer as the pro shop and bar staff spoke a good standard of English!
Whilst we didn't eat at the clubhouse, we had breakfast at the hotel and didn't have time for a postmatch meal as we had to leave to catch the euro tunnel shuttle train!
However the clubhouse restaurant appears to be a popular eating spot for non golfer's! A good sign!
What a course!!
Golf d'Hardelot Les Dunes was my find of the year, and it is situated just 45mins from Lè Tunnel!!
The course isn't the longest but what it lacks in length it makes up with character. Most drives off the whites are either a 3wd for the position or running the risk of hitting a driver and playing out the first cut.
Make sure you use the course guide as distances are key here. The course was in fantastic condition in late October, the practice facilities are lacking, a small covered driving range and quite expensive token €4 per 30balls Putting green is outside the clubhouse.
I found the cost of the buggy €40 was a bit pricey. I recommend this course and will be visiting again.
Score: 72. Handicap: 2
Great course layout
Always good to play the Hardelot courses, and the view of the first and 18th from the Dunes clubhouse is stunning.
An excellent driving range is a short par 3 away from the clubhouse and a small putting green is also available.
The pro dealt with us efficiently in his usual polite but blunt manner and off we set up the 1st..a bit of a climb.
Set in a forest, the course layout is excellent, but at this time of year - late October, it looked a bit scruffy in places, but still a joy to play.
The course has a bit of a Wentworth feel to it, with many beautiful, large houses set back from fairways, partly hidden by large pine trees.
Greens were not as good as they once were, and the impression was gained that not a lot of money has been invested in its' maintenance.
There are a lot of sandy areas bordering the fairways, ...hence the name - Les Dunes, and these can ruin a round if you are too wayward.
Clubhouse staff were very friendly and the food was excellent..very pleasant to sit on the balcony with a beer or Pimms, following your game..overlooking the 1st tee and the glorious view up the fairway.
Always worth a visit, but I hope maintenance improves as a great course could be ruined.
Great course, lovely area ...
What a lovely course. Great holes and layout. Big sand filled bunkers. An enjoyable test for all players.
Only thing letting it down is some parts looked a little tired, maybe due to lack of people playing the course, and therefore the amount of money being spent on it.
That said generally the holes and greens were in good condition, and even the greens that looked like they needed work ran true and proper.
All in all a great course in a great location, and very worth the effort to play.
Have played these two courses the past 15 years.
In previous reviews have said that they were probably my favourite places to play.
I still love playing there but the dunes had major changes over a couple years with 3 or 4 new holes which made it better and since playing the pines a year ago they have made some big changes there.
They have changed the 1st and 10th over with each other which is no big deal. Taken lots of trees away which was part of its charm. Lots of new bunkers, big and difficult.
A few tee changes and fives to fours etc. also found it a bit scruffy, with fairways a bit parched whereas the dunes were well manicured.
Perhaps they have had problems there and these changes were needed. When they first started to change the dunes I had my doubts so perhaps it will come good.
So I will stay loyal to my favourite courses and continue to recommend them
Go if you can
Never played a course like it,if you get the opportunity you must play it.The only down side were the greens.I believe they had been diseased and had not recovered.
Les Pins Course, beautiful
Played this course in September 08 and it is without a doubt one of the best kept and scenic courses I have ever played. These fairways are better than a lot of greens that I have played in the UK and these greens are like a billiard table, very fast and true.
The walk down the tree lined 18th with the clubhouse in the distance is a sight that I will remember for a very long time. Enjoyed every minute, even if the rain lashed down over the last 5 holes. Can’t wait to go back and I will. Play and enjoy