American architect Kyle Phillips has been announced as the designer of a new championship standard links course to be built on land close to the French end of the Channel Tunnel.
More than ten years in the planning, the project, sponsored by the local council of Sangatte, has been awarded to Groupe Eurotunnel, which operates the tunnel and shuttle rail service, and will include Phillips's golf course, a spa resort, 40 hectares of residential accommodation and other associated services.
The site, at the foot of Cap Blanc Nez, is next to the departure point used by Louis Bleriot when he made the first aerial crossing of the Channel in 1909. The course and resort will occupy land between the French coast and the Calais-Fréthun railway station, though the tunnel is 80m below the surface at this point.
The sloping site does not extend right to the shore, but has views across the Channel, on a clear day as far as the White Cliffs of Dover. Construction is expected to start next year, with a planned opening in 2016.
Consultant Richard Wax of Golf Surveys has been advising Eurotunnel on the project for a decade. “I'm excited that Kyle, with his global reputation for creating great links courses like Yas, Dundonald and, of course, Kingsbarns, will be able to create France's first authentic links course on the Eurotunnel site,” he told GCA. “With the Ryder Cup coming to France in 2018, this will be a fantastic addition to the country's already strong golfing attractions.”