Harry Colt’s La Mer shines again in his old splendour

By: June 29, 2017

It always makes me happy to share the news of a renovated, famous golf course. Most recently, the Harry Colt designed La Mer Course at Le Touquet Golf Resort (Normandy, France) gained back almost completely its old splendor.

Harry Colt’s La Mer course in the town of Le Touquet was built originally in 1931. In the very same place, we can find another golf course the La Foret course which includes the famous casino, high-end shopping, and restaurants. Before the WWII, Le Mer hosted several events of the French Open. All this just 45 minutes from Calais!

Unfortunately, the La Mer course was in the wrong place during the Second World War. It was fortified by the German occupiers. Since then the holes have been moved. The other loss is the original clubhouse (see picture below). After the war, the course could not completely return to the original Harry Colt design.

The current owner, Open Golf Club, saw a business potential in the restoration. They appointed a couple of years ago with this task the Dutch architect Frank Pont and his French partner Patrice Boissonnas. Open Golf’s intention was to return as much as possible to the original Harry Colt design. This also meant to deal with the removal of the woodland.

2. Le Touquet Golf Resort - La Mer_Hole 12

Patrice Boissonnas said “Along with a great sense of responsibility, this renovation gave me a strong sense of the opportunity to put things right. As part of reviving the missing four holes – the 13th to the 16th – we were able to restore Colt’s original dogleg right par-5 15th, described by his design rival Tom Simpson as one of the best he’d ever seen. Returning the par-3 16th to its original setting has also allowed us to reinstate a spectacular downhill par 3.”

Other significant investments in the 45-hole Le Touquet Golf Resort are:

  • a new architect designed clubhouse;
  • a new look for Le Manoir, the resort’s hotel. There are plans to transform the resort’s hotel into a boutique style hotel.

What does not show up in the official communication of Le Touquet Golf Resort & La Mer golf course are:

  • What kind of customer experience would they like to come up with?
  • What kind of experiences can they offer beyond golf and the hotel?
  • I would love to see investment in communal areas and designing experiences that bring people together.
  • It is not enough to have a modern boutique style hotel. People must feel good in it (=cozy, friendly, welcoming). The style should fit future guests’ lifestyle (=right fit).
  • What kind of culinary options will be available? They should enable guests to taste local foods as well.
  • How will the new boutique style hotel become/be a “smart hotel“? (E.g. service personalization, digital concierge, mobile device as room keys, guest apps, location based services, predictive maintenance) Will they sufficient bandwidth to support customer needs?

1. Le Touquet Golf Resort - La Mer_Hole 16_wide