Le Club Golf

June 24, 2021

  • Golf d'Etretat

  • Golf de Dieppe-Pourville

  • Golf de Moliets

Golf and waves, the best recipe Land – Sea

golf-etretat_leclub-golf

Ah, golf courses with a sea view! A must for all aficionados of the little white ball.

This week, LeClub Golf and Golf Planète are pleased to present a selection of French golf courses whose courses are bathed by the sea and offer fantastic views in blue and green.

For this first selection, we have chosen the golf courses of Wimereux, Dieppe, Omaha Beach, Étretat and Moliets.

Enjoy your trip to our shores, clubs in hand.

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Wimereux: a real links with views over the Channel and England

GP met Nicolas Bouzin, director of the Wimereux golf course (cover photo): he tells us about his golf course.

What is your golf’s relationship with the sea?

The Wimereux golf course is a real links course, opened in 1901. The seaside holes offer a breathtaking view of the Channel and England. The 18-hole course is a par 72 of 6,160 metres, which changes every day according to the weather conditions.

The Wimereux golf course is a Scottish-style links course located in the Hauts-de-France region, close to the English Channel, in the seaside resort of Wimereux, on the Opal Coast, at a place called La Pointe aux Oies. The white cliffs of England are 40 kilometres away. Its undulating course, with wide fairways and excellent quality greens, will satisfy the most demanding golfers.

The golf course benefits from the beautiful protected natural environment of the Grand Site des 2 Caps covering some 23km of wild coastline, with dunes, limestone cliffs and marine estuaries on the sea side, and the green countryside and gentle hills of the Boulonnais country on the land side.

The golf course is located 6km from Boulogne-sur-Mer and 25km from Calais. To get there by car, take the Avenue François Mitterrand along the coast to the north of the town of Wimereux; from the A16 motorway, take exit n° 33 towards Wimereux; the golf course is located approximately 20km from the Channel Tunnel.

Until now independent, the Wimereux golf course has been part of the Le Club Golf network since January 2020. The golf course attracts nearly 11,000 visitors per year, and nearly 500 members pay dues to the club each year.

What are the nearest beaches?

The beach of Wimereux is the ideal place to share good moments with family or friends. It is composed of fine sand and partly of pebbles. Cliffs begin in the north of the town, towards Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez. A popular kite and windsurfing base, Wimereux also offers the possibility of dinghy and catamaran sailing.

Wimereux, a charming seaside resort on the Opal Coast with 8000 inhabitants, located 7km north of Boulogne-sur-mer in the direction of Cap Gris-Nez by taking the corniche road.

The seaside resort of Wimereux is ideal for holidays, but also for lovers of its architecture and its atmosphere, many holidaymakers come here all year round in search of rest, sport and relaxation, or to visit the painting galleries or to take part in one of the many activities that make this town so pleasant to live in. You can also enjoy beautiful walks in the regional nature park of Caps et Marais d’Opale.

The Audresselles beaches are close to the centre of the village. The village is also very pleasant, with the last of the typical small fishermen’s houses. The two beaches, which are separated by a rocky area called “La Côte de Fer”, have views of the English cliffs on a clear day.

Several accesses to the beach. From the village, several lanes lead directly to the beach (the northern area is very rocky). The wildest area is accessible via the Avenue des Flobarts (with free parking). There is also an access at the exit of the village in the direction of Ambleteuse with a large car park. At sunset, you can see flobarts (fishermen’s boats that can be used in shallow water) coming back from fishing towed by tractors.

Finally, the beach of Wissant reveals, as soon as the tide is low, an immense stretch of fine sand where the practice of sand yachting is common. Last ports of stranding with in background the Cap Blanc-Nez and the Cap Gris-Nez where the “flobarts” (small coastal fishing boat in the shape of walnut shell) can float. (small coastal fishing boat in the shape of a walnut shell) which can float in less than 30 cm of water are waiting for the tractors which come to pull them up

Family beach ideal for swimming with its shallow tarpaulins that children love: they can jump into the water safely without losing their footing.

At high tide the sea covers the whole of the beach of Wissant where the waves come to crash on the rocks bordering the new dike of the sea front where it is good to walk in summer and winter.

A few cafés, ice-cream shops, etc. allow you to refresh yourself on the terraces offering you a view of Cap Blanc-Nez on the right and a breathtaking view of the tip of Cap Gris-Nez on your left.

What is the nearest restaurant you would recommend to eat fish/seafood?

We recommend lunch at the restaurant “Le Loup de Mer” in Audresselles (1 place du détroit, 62164 Audresselles). You only have to read the reviews left by customers to realise that this restaurant is very popular with seafood and fish eaters. The staff are very welcoming and friendly. The restaurant’s menu is diverse. The products served are fresh and local. The price/quality ratio is excellent. In short, fresh and tasty food; a place where you can go with your eyes closed.

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Omaha Beach : Golf, Sea and History

Yoann Tanneau, director of the Omaha Beach golf course, likes to talk about his golf course, which combines sport, the sea, nature and history. Let’s let him speak:

What is your golf’s relationship with the sea?

The setting, on the green of hole 6, is grandiose. Set at the end of the cliff by Yves Bureau, the architect, it overlooks the town of Port-en-Bessin and its boats, and offers a panoramic view of the artificial port of Arromanches and the gun batteries of Longues-sur-Mer, still very present vestiges of the D-Day landings.

The sea can be seen on the green of n°1, a long par 5 facing the wind, on n°2, a superb par 3 aligned with the Vauban Tower, on n°6 of course, but also on the tee of n°7, a long par 4 which has its back to the sea, and on the green of n°9, the tee of which is situated just behind the water obstacle. The blue of the sea and the green of the bocage are the dominant colours of this course which allows golfers of all levels to live their passion.

What are the nearest beaches?

The nearest beaches are the landing beaches. Omaha Beach Colleville sur Mer large sandy beaches or Arromanches at Gold Beach and its artificial harbour

What is the nearest restaurant you would recommend to eat fish/seafood?

No need to run: we have a restaurant on the golf course where you can taste very good seafood, the Albatros restaurant.

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Dieppe: on the magnificent cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre

Ilona from Dieppe Golf Club answered our questions about her beautiful course by the sea.

How to present your golf course?

Our golf course is located on the cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre.

Created in 1897, under the impulse of the British colony in love with the city of four ports, the Dieppe golf course is the oldest of the Normandy golf courses and the seventh oldest course in France.

Designed by Willy Park junior, the precursor of professional golf, double winner of the British in 1887 and 1889 and famous course designer with more than 170 achievements in the world, the Dieppe golf course is a “Top of the Cliff” course of 18 holes very varied and demanding.

Located between the towns of Dieppe and Pourville-sur-mer, overlooking the majestic white cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre, so dear to famous painters such as Monnet, Braque and many others.

It offers an exceptional panorama with a magical play of light between the sky and the earth and, depending on the weather and the wind, you can feel the iodine as the tides come in.

It is in a completely renovated club house and an atmosphere recognised by all that the Dieppe Pourville Golf Association will welcome you to share an unforgettable moment.

What are the nearest beaches?

The golf course is located between the beaches of Dieppe and Pourville-sur-mer.

Dieppe: 1,500 metres long from the Bas Fort Blanc to the west pier, this long strip of pebbles just a stone’s throw from the town centre is steeped in history. Dominated by the old castle which houses the municipal museum and its extraordinary collection of ivories, Dieppe hosts on its lawns a large part of the activities which give rhythm to Dieppe’s life and is transformed in the summer into an immense space for swimming and seaside leisure activities.

Pourville-sur-mer: The mouth of the river Scie is at Pourville, on the sea side, with the white chalk cliffs looming on either side. Here you have a beautiful promenade, playground, mini-golf and good water sports facilities. There are a few fishing boats that sell directly here and even a restaurant that offers oysters to enjoy on the beach with a drink. Don’t forget to pass by the panorama, one of the most beautiful viewpoints of our territory to admire the sunsets.

What is the nearest restaurant you would recommend to eat fish/seafood?

We recommend La Marmite Dieppoise, located in Dieppe, this restaurant offers a very nice menu based on fish.

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Étretat: An exceptional site on the sea

Iñigo Ceballos runs one of the most sea-view golf courses in France: the Étretat golf course, a long par 72 of 6,014 metres with an exceptional location overlooking the sea and the bay of Étretat.

Here is his description of his golf course:

“The Étretat golf course is located in an exceptional site, overlooking the sea and the bay of Étretat. Its site makes it one of the 3 most remarkable marine golf courses in France.

If you come to play golf in Normandy, you will discover that the course at Étretat is a demanding one when the wind blows, but whatever your score, you will remember it as a magical moment.

The Golf d’Étretat was created in 1908, mainly on the initiative, and like many seaside golf courses (Wimereux, Hardelot, Dieppe, Dinard, Biarritz), of the British who came to spend the summer on the French coast. In fact, the first president of the Golf d’Étretat was Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard, and other peers of the Crown are to be found 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 consisted of only 13 holes (the first five had to be replayed to make a true 18-hole course of about 4300m), was designed by Julien Chantepie, architect of the La Boulie golf course, in collaboration with Arnaud Massy, the famous Biarritz pro who taught at Étretat and remains to this day the only Frenchman to have won the British Open (1907).

On land leased from Mr. Dubosc, owner of the Château de Fréfossé, at Le Tilleul, an imposing pavilion was soon erected on the site of the present 11 green. If you had to walk to this first clubhouse, you could enjoy five o’clock tea and the same panorama that enchants visitors today. The mowing of the grounds was then largely carried out by sheep left in pasture for this purpose.

Many improvements were made after the 1914-1918 war, under the impulse of the Société Foncière du Casino which, in order to attract a larger clientele, took control of the Golf course but also of the Lawn Tennis (famous before the golf course and founded, more or less, by the same people). It is true that both rail and road transport were booming at the time, putting Étretat at barely 4 hours from Paris.

During this period, a new club-house was built overlooking the present Dormy House hotel (and the old one simply razed to the ground), the course was extended to 18 holes and car access was provided on the Route du Havre side. After the bankruptcy of the Foncière, and with the financial support of M. Dubosc, the Association sportive du golf d’Étretat took up the torch in 1937, under the leadership of Jacques Compère and a few old hands, Albert Mouchet or Maxime Lindon to name but a few.

The war of 1939-45 could have been the end of the golf course, as its facilities were ransacked and the land mined. But Mr. Compère was determined and managed to obtain war damages and even the labour of prisoners of war to clear the mines. When it reopened in 1949, the club-house also welcomed members from Le Havre, which did not have a course at the time… When Mr. Dubosc, the indefatigable moneyman of the golf course, left the region in 1958, the members contributed to finance the purchase of the land… which was done more cheaply by the town of Étretat, in exchange for a long-term lease. This agreement, as well as the efforts of the association to maintain and develop the club, have never been denied since.

Profoundly modified in 1992, the course now extends over more than 6 kilometres, offers a variety of play and landscapes to delight amateurs, as well as a gastronomic restaurant in a renovated club-house accessible to all… except our friends the dogs. Now twinned with an English club, the Hockley Golf Club (Winchester), the Étretat golf course perpetuates the tradition of alliance across the Channel that presided over its birth and is still a living witness to the golden age of Étretat.

To eat, you can go to L’Huitrière. You can also dream of Arsène Lupin and his creator, Maurice Leblanc, Guy de Maupassant, and the painters Corot, Boudin and Monet, all of whom loved and frequented Étretat.

The video of presentation of the hole 10 (video FR3) which will recall good memories to many players:

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Moliets: links and Landes forest reviewed by Mr Trent Jones Sr

This is what Isabelle Marquet of the Moliets golf course told us about her golf course’s relationship with the sea:

“The particularity of the Moliets golf course is its 4 holes directly bordering the ocean: 4 “links” holes designed by the great architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. These 4 holes built on sand require special attention to offer good playing conditions but also respect for the environment, under the protection of the ONF.

The French Golf Federation and its Environment Commission were honoured to award the Moliets golf course the Bronze label of the Golf for Biodiversity Programme, carried out with the technical and scientific expertise of the National Museum of Natural History.

In the heart of the Landes pine forest since 1986

Anchored since 1986 in the resort of Moliets, in the heart of the Landes pine forest, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, our golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. offer a natural setting to enable everyone, young and old, to enjoy or become familiar with golf.

The site of approximately 84 ha offers 27 holes which constitute as many challenges as different landscapes, but also practice areas as numerous as varied… Professional and amateur players rub shoulders every day on this course of Aquitaine.

Throughout the year, numerous competitions will allow everyone to obtain their first ranking or to improve it.

The Moliets golf course is open all year round to the public, season ticket holders and visiting players and offers the latter a whole range of services and additional facilities to enable everyone to play in the best conditions.

For beaches, the Atlantic coast is waiting for you, a few dozen metres from the golf course. For fish and seafood, there is the restaurant La Balise, the grill de l’océan and the inevitable “cave aux moules“.

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© PHOTOS DR
© Jean Lagarde