The recently redesigned Golf D’Hardelot will host European Tour Qualifying School First Stage for the seventh time this season.
Here, we caught up with Patrice Boissonnas who helped redesign the French course which was chosen by Golf World as one of the top 100 golf courses in Continental Europe.
“Golf D’Hardelot les Pins was designed by the famous Tom Simpson,” he said. “Les Pins takes its name from the pine trees bordering the holes. It was opened in 1931 and it was the last course that was designed by Simpson in France.
“Les Pins is not a seaside course but is set in dune land, around one mile away from the sea. A forest was there before the course was built, so no trees had to be grown to make the golf course. It is supposed to play like a links course.
“The thing which makes Golf D’Hardelot special is its greens. They are in my opinion the best set of Simpson greens I have seen anywhere. They are all very different, subtle and are the key treasure which we have tried to protect and restore.
“It’s a very fun course. Every hole is a different challenge and no hole looks like another. It is a living proof of one of Simpson’s principles in that ‘a golf hole should never be the way it looks’, meaning that an easy looking hole should played harder than you think.
“The greatest example of that in D’Hardelot is hole number eight which is a short driveable par four with no bunkers around the greens. A lot of players therefore try to go for the green but they very rarely make a birdie on the scorecard.
“It is very fun to play and fun to watch because you see so many great players going for birdie but leaving the green with a bogey on their scorecard. It is a great example of the living genius of Simpson.
“What is also great about this course is its variety. Last time I saw the pros play they were basically playing our holes in totally different ways depending on their pin position and their feeling on the day. You can play it ten times and play it in ten different ways.”