A restoration of the historic golf course at La Mer at Le Touquet in northern France has been completed.
Originally designed by Harry Colt, the links course opened in 1931. However, damage caused during World War II meant that four of the original holes were abandoned.
Golf course architects Patrice Boissonnas and Frank Pont have collaborated to restore these holes, and bring the entire course back in line with the original Colt design.
The pair have vast experience of restoring historic European golf courses, and used aerial photos of La Mer at Le Touquet from the 1930s the inform the recent work.
“This is the kind of commission a golf architect dreams about,” said Boissonnas. “Finding lost holes from a legendary course designer like Harry Colt – the mastermind behind the New Course at Sunningdale, the West Course at Wentworth and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, to name but a few – is like finding treasure in a treasure hunt. There are so few situations like this, and when they do come along, it is very exciting.”
Le Touquet is one of only a few genuine links courses in mainland Europe, and GCA’s Adam Lawrence has previously described ‘a top European course trying to get out’.
“Along with a great sense of responsibility, this renovation gave me a strong sense of the opportunity to put things right,” said Boissonnas. “As part of reviving the missing four holes – the thirteenth to the sixteenth – we were able to restore Colt’s original dogleg right par five fifteenth, described by his design rival Tom Simpson as one of the best he’d ever seen. Returning the par three sixteenth to its original setting has also allowed us to reinstate a spectacular downhill par three.”