Golf club history

A rich history, a single passion

In the 1900s, the Le Touquet-Paris-Plage seaside resort was growing fast and people were realising the full potential of its location, four hours from London and three hours from Paris. Pierre de Coubertin, director of sporting activities at the resort from 1903, wanted to transform it into a “sports paradise” as per the wishes of John Whitley and Allen Stoneham, founders of Le Touquet Syndicate Ltd. Creating a golf course became a necessity…

Golf du Touquet, an international sensation

24 May 1904

Opening of the La Forêt course designed by Horace Hutchinson and Nick Lane Jackson, two renowned architects.

Inauguration by Lord Balfour, British Prime Minister, during the presidency of the Duke of Argyll, the King’s son-in-law. Lord Balfour, an enthusiastic golfer, tests the course and the seaside resort’s destiny becomes inextricably linked to the golf club. Both are an instant success.


The British gentry and talented golfers like Harry Vardon and Arnaud Massy become regulars at the golf club. Creation of the Le Manoir 9-hole course in the middle of the La Forêt course.


Organisation of the French Professional Championship. John Douglas Edgar beats Harry Vardon to take the title. All major sporting events are cancelled during the Great War. The resort is made available to British soldiers by Stoneham and officers continue to practise on the golf course.

The interwar period: the rise of a legend


Creation of the “Lewin Gun School Cup” by the British officers, held every year until 1939. In 1919, the golf club is refurbished and the international press shine the media spotlight on the famous links at Le Touquet. We see pictures of Edward VIII, Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince Henry playing there, along with Lord and Lady Dudley who built the Chalet du Bois. In 1919, the prestigious “Club des Brigands” and “Bucks Club Tournament” are held at Le Touquet.


Aubrey Boomer (GB) takes the title


Poster competition by the tourist office, won by Courchinoux. The image becomes iconic and 12,000 copies are printed.

14 June 1928

Design work begins on the 18-hole La Mer course in the middle of the dunes by the famous architect Harry Shapland Colt (who also designed Royal Zoute, Muirfield, Sunningdale and Wentworth, among others).

August 1930

A big article by Morrison in the Daily Mail on the building of La Mer stated, “The new course has the most magnificent 18 holes a scratch golfer could ever find. Each of them is a masterpiece.”

Easter 1931

Opening of La Mer course and the clubhouse looking out onto the first hole. The Prince of Wales came every night to secretly test the course a few days before the opening! Golf Le Touquet becomes one of the largest golf clubs in the world (45 holes) under the same management.


French International Women’s Championship.


Sidney Brews (South Africa) wins the French Open.


Martin Pose (Argentina) wins the French Open.

September 1939

The Second World War puts a stop to golf’s ascent. The impact is all too clear: 2,000 bombs dropped on Le Touquet by the Allied forces before the Canadian liberation on 4 September 1944. The clubhouse is destroyed and the golf club becomes overgrown. The town of Le Touquet is partially destroyed.

The postwar period: the rebirth of a legend


Le Manoir is turned into a hotel and restaurant in 1950. One year later, work begins on the La Mer course. In 1958, Le Manoir reopens as a 9-hole course. The La Mer course is still on hold, with the reconstruction work proving to be expensive and complicated.


Poster competition by the tourist office, won by Courchinoux. The image becomes iconic and 12,000 copies are printed.


Vincent Tshabalala wins the French Open. Sam Torrance sets a new record on the La Mer course with 63. A year later, Severiano Ballesteros wins the 2nd French Open at Le Touquet.

January 1992

Le Touquet becomes French for the first time in its history following Mr Bell’s sale of Le Touquet Syndicate Ltd to the Brent Walker group, who then sells it to the Open Golf France group chaired by Nicolas Boissonnas.


The La Mer course is rebuilt by the architect Harold Baker, who restores it to its much admired original layout. Two new holes are created in the La Forêt course and the pitch and putt becomes a fully-fledged 9-hole course named Le Manoir. A new clubhouse is planned on the same site as the one destroyed during the war.


The new clubhouse is completed in August where the old one used to stand. It is located on the forest side, opposite Le Manoir Hôtel, and opens out onto the course and nature. It is designed by Pierre-Louis Carlier in a contemporary style.


The golf courses are back to their former glory. Now meticulously maintained as it should be, this historic resort demonstrates its passion for the sport once more, playing host to many prestigious national and international tournaments.

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