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Rediscover Le Touquet

Rediscover Le Touquet

Nearly 100 years after Le Touquet became a favoured destination for the sophisticated British traveller, it remains as popular as ever, especially for golfers.
From the young Princess Elizabeth to witty author and dedicated golfer, PG Wodehouse, Le Touquet was the place to be seen in the roaring Twenties and Thirties. Away from the beach or the casino, the model for Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, golfers enjoyed a round on the Le Touquet La Foret course, which has been open since 1904.

During this glamorous period in the resort’s history, the time had come to add another golf course to the seaside town. Who better to design it, than the golf course architect of the moment, Harry Shapland Colt who lived up to his reputation, creating the outstanding Le Touquet La Mer links.

The links had an early VIP visitor, with the then Prince of Wales secretly playing the course for a few days before it opened in 1931.
Over the ensuing decades the course layout gradually altered. Now, after the discovery of aerial photography from the 1930s, golf architects and leading course restorers, Patrice Boissonnas and Frank Pont have returned the course to what closely resembles Colt’s original design and it’s as brilliant as ever.

Their research led them to uncovering four lost holes, the 13th to the 16th . Boissonnas said: “It is like finding treasure in a treasure hunt. 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 16th to its original setting has also allowed us to reinstate a spectacular downhill par 3.”
The course has deservedly won a place in France’s Top 10 and is now listed in continental Europe’s Top 40.
A new contemporary clubhouse is at the heart of the golf resort and the welcoming Le Manoir hotel has been given a new look while retaining its famous welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

Whether you have played Le Touquet before, or you want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself, you’ll appreciate the endeavour and passion that have taken this resort to a whole new level.

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Nigel's back nine...

Nigel's back nine...

After a career on the professional golf circuit, Nigel Burch is enjoying what he lovingly calls the back nine of his working life, organising golf holidays for our clients.
Nigel’s addiction to golf started early, caddying alongside Bill Longmuir, now playing on the European Senior Tour. Aged 17 and 18 Nigel played as an amateur in the Open at Royal Troon and Royal Lytham and was one of the first British golfers to be awarded a scholarship to go to University in the States, heading to Iowa, where he studied journalism.
After turning pro, Nigel joined the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, a nation that remains close to his heart. “South Africa is a second home to me. I did well playing in the heat and I made lots of good friends. I was Captain of the PGA in Natal for three years.”
He continued to travel the world playing top courses with clients and is now putting his extensive knowledge to excellent use. “I like putting itineraries together, it’s a fantastic feeling creating golf holidays that people enjoy.”
“The country I didn’t really know was France, having played so many courses there now, I am not surprised that four French courses are in the Top 10 in Europe (Morfontaine, Chantilly Vineuil, Fontainebleau and Les Bordes).
“I enjoy looking for new destinations. There is nothing like going to a place and seeing it for myself.
“I got a real buzz when I went to Lithuania, to the Vilnius Grand Resort. It is so good. It is no wonder it is hosting the European Amateur Team Championships next year.
“Marrakech and Bulgaria are two other emerging golf destinations, keeping the old favourites on their toes.”
“I love doing my job. It is the back nine of my career and I really enjoy meeting and talking to people, especially about golf! Our business is built on personal recommendations and there is always an added pleasure when clients come back for another holiday.

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Keep your golf game warm this winter

Keep your golf game warm this winter

Here are our top tips for enjoyable winter golf.
1. Take advantage of local rules in winter
• Preferred lies. Keep an eye out for when it starts. Each club decides how far the player is allowed to prefer the lie. Make sure you check it out before beginning your round.
• Embedded ball. Check if relief extends to the rough.
• Cleaning your ball. All balls have to be marked before being lifted and replaced in the exact same spot.
• Casual water. You get free relief if water is visible under your feet or the ball when you make your normal stance. If it is, then you are allowed to drop the ball within one club length of your nearest point of relief.
2. Head to the range It’s no fun standing on a chilly practice ground in the winter, so head to a covered range instead. Motivate yourself by paying in advance, which can often mean you benefit from a discount every time you go. If you prefer, find your nearest indoor simulator, where you can ‘play’ some of the best courses in the world and keep warm.
3. Play with a coloured ball No one wants to waste time in the winter hunting for balls either under leaves or covered in frost. A softer ball is often easier too.
4. Use alternate balls When it gets very cold change balls on alternate holes, keeping the other ball in your pocket to keep it as warm as possible.
5. Wear multi-layers and a good winter hat You can lose more than half your body heat through your head. Don’t wear too much though as it will impact on your swing and you will soon warm up walking round the course.
6. Keep an eye on your ball. Follow your ball from the moment you hit it until just before it reaches the heart of the sun. Then turn your attention to the spot where you think it will land; you’ll soon see it.
7. Remain positive Remember how lucky you are to be outside with your friends on a crisp winter day.
8. Book yourself a winter golf holiday You don’t have to travel too far to find good weather and higher temperatures in the winter months, or enjoy a long haul golf trip and watch those winter golf blues magically disappear.

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Rediscover Le Touquet

Rediscover Le Touquet

Nigel's back nine...

Nigel's back nine...

Keep your golf game warm this winter

Keep your golf game warm this winter