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'New' Course for Hardelot


One of the most popular French venues for British golfers is to undergo a major facelift.

Four new greens are to be built on the eight-year-old Dunes course at Hardelot, near Boulogne in Normandy, eliminating several blind shots and
costing more than 350,000.

Ken Strachan, the 35-year-old director of golf, has been working on the redesign for more than a year, since Nicolas Boissonnas bought the venue for his Open Golf Club group.

Strachan has been joined by Jean-Claude Cornillot, who was assistant to the
Belgian architect Paul Roland at the time The Dunes was built and opened in
1992 to complement the Pines course, which dates from 1911. 
The Dunes will close for three months this winter and again for five months
next winter, ensuring that the "new" course is ready for play by late Spring
2002.

"Since the day it opened, the Dunes has failed to match the popularity of the
much older Pines course, largely because there were too many unfair shots,
blind shots both off the tee and going into some of the greens. Yet it's a
lovely course and we need to take advantage of the undulations, not suffer
from them," Strachan explained.

The Open Golf Club owns the neighbouring venue of Le Touquet, which has a
total of 45 holes and the popular Le Manoir Hotel; Saint-Julien, near
Deauville; Les Yvelines, Paris; and five courses in the south, all close to
the Mediterranean - Saint-Cyprien, Nimes-Vacquerolles, Servanes, Marseilles
La Salette and La Sainte Baume.

Hardelot attracts more British golfers than any other venue in France, well
in excess of 40,000 green-fee players on the two courses each year.

"It would be fair to say nearly two thirds of all the golf played here at
Hardelot has been on the Pines course," Strachan continued. "But I am quite
sure when the new Dunes course settles down, it will attract even more
members and visitors to Hardelot."

 
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