Le Club Golf

October 4, 2021

  • Golf de Dieppe-Pourville

  • Golf de Valescure

  • Golf de Wimereux

Centenary golf courses in France – Chapter 2

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LeClub Golf is fortunate to have 6 century-old golf courses. Among them, the golf courses of Wimereux, Dieppe, Valescure, Cabourg le Home, Luchon and Etretat.

For this second chapter and thanks to Golf Planète, we will visit the golf courses of Etretat, Cabourg le Home and Luchon.

This foray into time and memory also shows that these wonderful courses have also been able to adapt to their time. Their success with golfers is due as much to the charm of their age as to their welcoming sporting relevance.

A stroll through the heart of golfing France!

For those looking for information on century-old golf courses in France, it is recommended to read the book by Kazmierczak and Jeanneau, published three years ago

More information and reservations on the golf courses

Golf d’Etretat
Golf de Cabourg le Home
Golf de Luchon

Golf de Etretat : the postcard of Normandy !

The golf course of Etretat today

The golf course of Étretat was created in 1908, mainly on the initiative, and like many marine golf courses (Wimereux, Hardelot, Dieppe, Dinard, Biarritz), of British people coming to stay the summer on the French coast.

In fact, the first president of the Étretat Golf Club was Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard, and there are other peers of the crown among the very first honorary members of the club: Lord Denman, future deputy governor of Australia, or Lord Wodehouse, Baron of Kimberley.

The course, which originally had only 13 holes (the first five had to be replayed in order to complete a real 18-hole course of about 4,300m), was designed by Julien Chantepie, architect of the La Boulie golf course, in collaboration with Arnaud Massy, the famous Biarritz pro who taught and died in Étretat

Iñigo Ceballos, who runs this magnificent golf course with sea views, recalls its early history: “During the first half of the 20th century, the Étretat course evolved within a restricted perimeter, which was not enlarged until 1925 with the addition of the wooded plots of a villa near the Le Havre road. With the efforts of the architects Chantepie and Freemantle, father of the English seasonal professional, this allowed the construction of a new clubhouse, the redistribution of the holes and the addition of numerous difficulties. But the length of the course stagnated under 4500 metres. After the war, the course was extended to 5,200 metres and finally par 72, reaching 5,870 metres. After the purchase of a handful of hectares, the 18 holes exceeded 6000 metres at the end of the 1980s. A new design by Didier Fruchet gave the course its current layout, with a right of way that is difficult to change but leaves open the options of distance and the pleasure of the holes…

Today, its main attraction is its spectacular site overlooking the cliffs of Etretat and the possibility for golfers to see the sea from each of the 18 holes. It retains a wild side with its high grass and unspoilt nature. The light, the play of clouds and colours on the sea… All the beauties that have attracted painters here are a delight to visiting golfers all year round…

The historical album of Etretat golf course

The Cabourg le Home golf course: the magic of a century-old golf course appreciated by Proust!

The Cabourg golf course and its view of the distant horizon

After Dieppe, Cabourg le Home is the oldest course in Normandy. Created in 1907 by Lane Jackson, the course was first extended in 1910. 1907 was a great year for the town of Cabourg: the town of romance inaugurated both its palace, the Grand Hotel on the seafront, and its golf course on the land of the neighbouring hamlet of Le Home.

That same year, Charles Bertrant, who ran the grand hotel, wanted to equip the resort with a golf course. The inauguration took place on 7 July 1907. In 1910, Bertrand sold the golf course to the Ruhl company who decided to enlarge the course and called on Harry Colt for the new design.

The golf course, with its new holes on the dune and the seashore, took on a configuration close to the current layout. Second golf course of the Côte fleurie after Deauville, the Cabourg le Home golf course has all the charm and magic of a century-old golf course. Proust would sometimes come and have his afternoon tea under the red and white parasols, proof that golf is a nice way to search for lost and found time…

The course was rebuilt in 1954 after being partly destroyed by the bombings, and then extended to 18 holes in 1987. It has eight holes in true links (11 to 18) and ten in the Divette marsh.

According to Nicolas, the communications manager:

“We have obviously redone work on the course and set up a pro shop: this is the only change since 1907! The restaurant and reception building shows the centenary aspect of this golf course…

Managed since 2017 by a new dynamic team, the golf club also offers a shop, a putting green and a covered driving range. The restaurant “Le 1907”, serves lunch on the terrace or in front of the fireplace depending on the season…

The historical album of the Cabourg golf course

Golf de Luchon, Englishmen in search of thermal waters

In 2018, the year of the Ryder Cup in France, the Golf de Luchon celebrated its 110th birthday!

The oldest course in the Occitanie region

Created in 1908, it is one of the first golf courses created in France after Pau (in 1856), Biarritz (in 1888), Cannes Mandelieu (in 1891), Saint-Jean-de-Luz (in 1907) and Vichy (in 1908) and several others.

Of course, its long history has meant that it has had many setbacks (flooding, manoeuvring fields during the Second World War, etc.) from which it has always recovered, thanks to the will and perseverance of local people.

The current golf reception building is the same as it was in the 1920’s, with a slight facelift to keep the original features and architecture. Photos of the time can be viewed at the reception and in the changing rooms of the golf course. The identity of the Luchon golf course stems from its history.

No major work was carried out to modify the course, only minor adjustments were made to maintain a technically attractive course (redesigned bunkers and tee boxes and a complete overhaul of the watering system).

Conceived at the beginning of the last century by Ludovic Dardenne, a local pharmacist and chocolate maker who wanted to attract a chic tourist clientele to Luchon, the golf course was created in the wake of this by Pierre Artigala, the Marquis de Méranvielle de Saint-Claire, Henry De Gorsse, and the Baron Charles Fabre de Roussac. On 25 July 1908 the course was inaugurated under the presidency of the Honourable Sir Reginald Lister, Minister Plenipotentiary of His Gracious Majesty Edward VII. The English, already present in the south-west of France, came to Luchon to take advantage of the benefits of the thermal waters and its climate.

After the 100 years celebrated with dignity in the presence of Jean Garaialde and members of the federation, the 110 years of the golf of Luchon were celebrated on July 19, 2018 during a warm day in the presence of Grégory HAVRET, Jean-Marc DE POLO, Carlos PIGEM and Emilio CUARTERO BLANCO who played an international exhibition match followed by a conquered public, with demonstrations and dedications

To continue to cultivate this unusual feature and anchor this strong image of centenary golf, why not consider marking each passing decade… or even every 5 years, this would be an opportunity to hold a festival, the golf festival in Luchon and the Midi Pyrenees!

The Luchon golf course is open all year round and is located 140 km from Toulouse, in the Pique valley in the heart of the central Pyrenees. Plunged into a green, 9-hole mountain course designed on a totally flat terrain, very technical with its small greens and numerous bunkers, the course offers a superb view of the chain of Luchon summits with an exceptional 360° panorama with the Port de Vénasque culminating at 2444 m. Tourists who love the little white ball are always amazed by this breathtaking landscape.

The historical album of the Luchon golf course

Article réalisé par © Jean Lagarde