Golf d’Hardelot, the iconic 36-hole golf destination set amid the pine forests and sand dunes of Northern France, has been selected as a European Tour First Stage Qualifying venue for the seventh successive season.
European Tour hopefuls teeing it up on the historic Les Pins course will face the 60 rebuilt and reshaped bunkers – work that has been part of a major renovation project to return the exquisite pine forest layout (6,480 yards, par-71) to Tom Simpson’s original 1931 routing and design.
Golf architects Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonnas used old photographs and aerial views to recreate the shaping and contours of greens, surrounds, fairways and bunker edges. Trees were also pruned to improve growth and help develop finer grasses such as bents and fescues.
The upgrade has helped Les Pins climb 71 places to be ranked #27 in Golf World magazine’s Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe 2015.
European Tour Qualifying School Director Mike Stewart said: “At under 6,500 yards Les Pins would be considered short by modern standards. But the players never shoot the lights out here, and that’s testimony to the cleverness of Tom Simpson’s design. The course is all about strategy, managing your game, controlling your ball. It rewards the golfer who thinks smartly and plays sensibly, and at Q School we’ve observed this more and more as the renovation of Simpson’s original design has taken shape.”
Golf d’Hardelot, which is owned by Open Golf Club (also proprietors of neighbouring Le Touquet Golf Resort), is situated a short distance from the A16 autoroute, just 40 minutes’ drive south of the Eurotunnel Terminus, making it easily accessible for golfers in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and northern France.
Ken Strachan, General Manager of Golf d’Hardelot, said: “To be repeatedly selected by The European Tour as a First Stage Qualifying School venue is a powerful endorsement of Les Pins’ quality. With the recently completed renovations, the course is looking better than ever, and we look forward to welcoming competitors later this month.”
Last year’s event was won by French amateur Nicolas Maheut and Canadian Austin Connelly, with a total of 10 under par. Connelly went on to finish 31st at final qualifying, one shot shy of a full card, but found Major fame after playing his way into contention at The Open at Royal Birkdale, eventually fading to finish tied 14th.
European Tour First Stage Qualifying (PQ1) takes place at Golf d’Hardelot, September 26-29, 2017. For more information visit: www.europeantour.com
Golf d’Hardelot www.hardelotgolfclub.com