Restoring Colt's French links master piece
Le Touquet La Mer is a spectacular links course on the Northern French coast that was built by Harry Colt in the 1930's. The course has always been a stern test of golf, hosting the French Open on several occaisions in the past. Unfortunately large parts of the course, especially the back nine, were severely damaged during the Second World War. These were restored late in the last century, but much of the work did not match the original Colt style.
This was especially true for a number of the green complexes, which either were built in the wrong locations or had shapes that clearly were not in Colt's style. Open Golf gave IVGD and our French partner Patrice Boissonnas the mandate to start a restoration process for the course where we would return as much as possible to the layout and greens of the original Colt design.
We were fortunate enough to find an old aerial picture of the course from the 1930's which allowed us to establish in detail all the changes that had happened to the course over time. Through this analysis we found out that the routing had been aletered with the rebuild after the war and that some of the green positions and shapes had changed. It also gave us a clear indication of the bunker shapes and positions and the amount of trees and vegetation that had been present on the course.
During the winter of 2014 we will be focusing on building two new greens, on holes 11 and 13, on reshaping the green surrounds of hole 12, build new tees for hole 13, restore some of the lost bunkers on holes 11 and 13 and finally remove vegetation on certain key parts of the course.