Play the golf courses of the Basque Coast and Silver Coast, by the sea, must be part of your Golf Experience in France. This region is famous for being the “French Home of golf” .
With easy access , only 2 hours from Bordeaux or close to Biarritz Airport, 7 remarkable seaside courses await you!
Let's go back to past...
A division of Wellington’s army garrisoned in Pau for a long time had already contributed to the birth of the Pau golf course in 1856. (1st golf course out of Great Britain)
But playing golf, with the ocean as a backdrop, in the middle of beautiful landscapes and a very mild climate, convinced english golf players (from Pau) to develop a golf course along seaside.
Thus was born the Biarritz Le Phare golf club in March 13th, 1888. Now, this third golf course in continental Europe, after Pau (1856) and Dinard (1887), is a “must play”. The course includes an 18-hole and a 9-hole for ladies. As in other regions of the French coast, golf courses were mainly frequented by British aristocrats.
A second course of the Basque Country was completed in Saint-Jean-de-Luz on the hill of Sainte-Barbe in 1893. These 8 holes disappeared because of the 2nd World War.
In 1907, a course was inaugurated in Ciboure, the current Golf de la Nivelle. Four years later, in 1911, the city of Hendaye did the same with an 18-holes course around Abbadia Castle. Unfortunately, the crisis of 1929 will cause the bankruptcy of the company Foncière d’Hendaye and the golf-club disappeared in 1934.
In the 20s, the course of Chiberta in Anglet, in 1927, and a year later, Chantaco golf course in Saint-Jean-de-Luz are completed. They are frequented by the French aristocracy and the high class. Customers use the caddy service to carry their golf bags. Some caddies will become talented players and make the reputation of golf in the Basque country. The best known are Jean Gassiat, Eugene Laffite, Pierre Hirigoyen and Arnaud Massy, one of the best players in the world, always the only French winner of a Major tournament.
Development on the Silver Coast
A little further north, 40 km from Biarritz, at the beginning of the 20th century, the new seaside resort of Hossegor was born. It attracted an affluent clientele, Parisian and personalities of the literary. The existence of a golf course became essential for the standing of the resort. From 1927, the project was launched and the inauguration took place in 1930. It is today the 6th oldest golf course of this southwest coastline.
Finally, with the rise of golf in France, under the instigation of the French Golf Federation in the years 1985/1995, two very great renowned golf courses appeared. The Golf Moliets with a 9 holes in 1986, then in 1989 an 18 holes.
That same year 1989 will be completedted the magnificent course of Seignosse
Architects are references .
The oldest are English architects. Tom and Willy Dunn designed the golf of Biarritz Le Phare. Their father had drawn the Pau golf course Pau 1856. The famous course of Biarritz Le Phare also knew a remodeling by Harry Colt.
Then, the five-time winner of the British Open, and Royal Porthcawl architect, John Henry Taylor designed La Nivelle golf course in Ciboure.
In Anglet, the international golf course of Chiberta was designed by Tom Simpson in 1927. It is one of his 8 courses in France. He was appointed to design the “most beautiful golf course in the world”. The result was at the level of the sponsors expectations with a mix of “links” at the edge of the ocean and “inland” in the forest of Chiberta.
The 4th main course of the coast is Chantaco. It was designed by the famous Harry Shapland Colt. This course is one of his 11 French courses (with Cannes, Cabourg, Le Touquet, Granville, Saint-Cloud or Saint-Germain en Laye). These golf courses are, all, references in France and beyond the borders.
Golfing on Silver Coast
Further north, the golf course of Hossegor, the oldest course in the Landes, was designed by Arnaud Massy and John Morrison in 1927. Cabell Robinson remodeled the course in 2003.
Robert Trent Jones Sr and Robert Van Hagge and 2 “must play” since 1989.
Robert Trent Jones Senior designed the public and renown golf course of Moliets, a very nice seaside resort of the modern era, built around a real estate project. Finally, with the tourist craze in the “home of golf region” in France the Golf de Seignosse had to do as well by appealing to Robert Van Hagge. There, he will complete in 1989, one of his 7 prestigious golf courses in France (Course of Les Bordes, Le Golf National, or Le Royal Mougins)
So, do not hesitate. You will be delighted with these Basque and Silver Coasts experiences !
Top Golf Courses along Basque Coast