Hardelot

British influence in the town of Hardelot on the north-east coast of France is easy to detect as you arrive in this pretty seaside outpost

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Sarah Pyett
Le Golf National (L'Albatros)

Of all the hundreds of Ryder Cup preparations made by Le Golf National, one of the most important happened only last winter. Created, owned and operated by the eco-friendly French Golf Federation (FFG), this 45-hole site includes 50 bee hives, some of which sit among the rough-grassed spectator mounds bordering the fairways of the Albatros course. 

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Nick Wright
Les Bordes International

Few courses possess the mystique of Les Bordes International. Only properties such as Vidauban and Queenwood retain as much reverence, with the common denominator the exclusive nature of these clubs and the thirst for knowledge such reclusive escapes inevitably engender. The morsels of information about these courses that do emerge serve only to enhance the fascination, exaggerated as they are by being passed on like Chinese whispers.

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Nick Wright
Golf du Medoc (Chateaux)

When the money men who were proposing to build a new golf course on the outskirts of Bordeaux in the late 1980s consulted well-known French professional Bernard Pascassio on the designer they should engage, they could have been forgiven for raising an eyebrow at his suggestion.

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Nick Wright
Terre Blanche (Château)

High-stakes card games. A French aristocrat imprisoned by Russians. The Cote d’Azur. A billionaire entrepreneur. And Sean Connery. It sounds very much like the necessary ingredients for a classic James Bond film but, as remarkable as it might seem, they are the glamorous characters, the unlikely plot and the breathtaking setting for the development of one of Continental Europe’s finest golf courses.

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Nick Wright
Le Touquet Golf Club (La Mer)

In 1928, when Harry Colt and Charles Alison stood atop one of the grand dunes at Le Touquet Paris-Plage in northern France and surveyed the canvas upon which they had been asked to create the resort’s new La Mer golf course, they would have looked out over a sprawling barren landscape alive with white sandy bluffs, thick bushes and large tracts of coarse sea grasses.

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FranceNick Wright