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Frank Pont

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Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« on: May 19, 2014, 01:03:41 PM »
New pictures of the course, now that Patrice Boissonnas and I have finished the bulk of the works restoring Tom Simpson's course on the Pas de Calais coast in North West France. (I am sure Patrice will chime in)

I will post the front nine and the back nine, but focus is on the holes we did this winter, which were the back nine holes.

Also will later post some before and after comparissons.

But first the layout of the course:





Only changes to the layout are that holes 1 and 10 were swapped and the main tees for 11 shifted to the right of the green of 10.


Hole 1 (old 10th hole)  A medium to longish par 5 hole

from the tees.



from the fairway where an average second shot would be



from the fairway where a top second shot would be



Hole 2. A very long par 4

view from the tees



zoomed in view from tee



view from landing zone average tee shot



view in front of green





Hole 3  Short par 4 hole

view from the tee



long views on green





detail of the green




Hole 4.  Medium length par 4

view from the tee




Hole 5.  Short par 3

views from the tee






Hole 6.  Medium length par 5

view from the tees



zoomed in view from tees



view from right of the landingszone



view on green



view back over green




Hole 7.  Medium length par 3

views from the tee






Hole 8.  Short par 4

view from the tee



zoomed in view



view from landing zone



view of the green




Hole 9.  Long par 4

view from the tee



zoomed in view from tee



fairway bunkers defending the aggressive tee shot



view of the green






Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 01:09:54 PM »
Hole 10 (the old 1st hole)  A medium length par 5 hole

from the tees



from the second shot area on the fairway



view on the green



the hole in the back is hole 11, the sandy area is where we cut a zillion trees to open up the hole....

Hole 11   A short, driveable par 4 hole

view from the yellow tee



zoomed view of the bunkering and green



look back over the green towards the tees




Hole 12  A medium length par 3

from the tees



closer look




Hole 13 A long par 5 hole

view from the tees



zoomed view



view of the green



looking back over the green




Hole 14  Medium length par 3 hole

view from the tee



close up




Hole 15.  Fairly short par 4

view from the tees with split fairway reinstated





close up of the right part of the split fairway



view in front of fairway cross bunker



view of left split fairway



view close to the green



looking back over the green to the hole




Hole 16.  A very long par 4 hole

view from the tee



view from landings zone super drive



close up of the green



looking back over the green to the hole




Hole 17.
 Long par 3

view from the tee



zoomed in view of the tee




Hole 18. A long par 4 hole

view from the tee



zoomed in tee view





view of the green




Will also post some before and after comparisons of the holes later today
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 07:24:27 AM by Frank Pont »

Jud_T

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 01:22:33 PM »
Frank,

Thanks for posting these.  As usual the work looks very good.  The bunkers in particular stand out.  Interested to see the before and after pix and your take on some of the specifics.  This has got to be on everyone's short list, particularly given the relative lack of competition in the area.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 01:36:20 PM by Jud_T »
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 01:29:00 PM »
The before and after pictures of the holes:

Hole 1 before



Hole 1 after






Hole 2 before



Hole 2 after






Hole 3 before



Hole 3 after





Hole 4 before



Hole 4 after





Hole 5 before



Hole 5 after





Hole 6 before



Hole 6 after





Hole 7 before



Hole 7 after





Hole 8 before



Hole 8 after





Hole 9 before



Hole 9 after






Hole 10 before



Hole 10 after





Hole 11 before



Hole 11 after





Hole 12 before



Hole 12 after





Hole 13 before



Hole 13 after





Hole 14 before



Hole 14 after





Hole 15 before



Hole 15 after





Hole 16 before



Hole 16 after





Hole 17 before



Hole 17 after





Hole 18 before



Hole 18 after



Greg Tallman

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 02:11:20 PM »
Hole 14 looks like a painting by Kincade or Sergon

Cristian

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 03:09:38 PM »
Fantastic. The tree removal on some of the holes is amazing, and it already looks like it was done many years ago!

The bunkering is visually more attractive but also much more daunting. The par 3's were already gems, but they look so much more impressive now, like the whole course, including perhaps my favourite hole on the property, hole 9. I have to get back there soon....

Could you share some of the thoughts behind swapping 1 and 10? What is the length of the current 1st (former tenth hole)? The stick routing has it at 410 meters, has it been lengthened since?

I remember an old photo of the par 3 17th (?) which you posted before the renovation. Do you still have it? What other data were you able to use in the renovation?

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 03:20:15 PM »
Cristian,

In thinning the trees we focussed mostly on taking poplars out and thinning the forests, but left the nicer pines (paying tribute to the name of the course, Les Pins). 

We brought the routing of holes 1 and 10 back to how it was in the past, (look at the stick diagram).
This way there is no crossing between 10-11 and 1-2. The new first hole is 505 meters from the back tees.

The information we had was historical aerials of the war, an original master plan with Tom Simpsons signature (unfortunately not very detailed), some old pictures of the course, and some descriptions in old golf books.







The old photo we had was of the 7th hole



We also had some old aerials, but they were of limited use since they were in WWII, and they had stopped maintaining the bunkers and the course....

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 03:21:48 PM »
Hole 14 looks like a painting by Kincade or Sergon

Is that good or bad  ???

Ulrich Mayring

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 03:57:05 PM »
Top class work! Les Pins was one of my favorite courses before the restoration already, so it seems I have no place to elevate it to now :)

One or two more trees need to go on the right side of #17, so the contours can be used to run the ball onto the green. I absolutely love the sandy blowouts, it's a coastal pine forest after all.

Ulrich
Golf Course Exposť (300+ courses reviewed), Golf CV (how I keep track of 'em)

Greg Tallman

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 04:03:11 PM »
Hole 14 looks like a painting by Kincade or Sergon

Is that good or bad  ???

Frank, Depends on who you are I suppose but both have done very well painting "cottage in the woods" settings and with the golf in front it only adds to it.

Par threes are visually stunning.

Patrice Boissonnas

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 04:23:24 PM »
After spending so much time on site doing work during the last 2 winters, I almost forgot the way it looked before we took the trees down !
This season alone, we cut almost 1000 trees on the back 9.
The year before we were less agressive on the front 9 and guess what: we need to get back there and finish the job.
On top of that, annual thinning programs will be needed if we want to keep the width as we (and Simpson before us) intend them to be.
Over the past 10 years, Hardelot probably lost something like 3000 trees, a much needed clearing after so many decades of uninterrupted growth.
From what I have seen in other clubs, 3000 to 4000 trees seems an average toll for classic 18 hole courses waking up after 80 to 100 years of sleep.

The next challenge for Hardelot is agronomical. Progressively, we will try to convert the lush grass/heavy soils into faster and firmer playing conditions. For many years, the course was overwatered and over fertilized to keep the poa nice and green. Such a conversion is quite an agronomical challenge but the club is determined to move on step by step with this objective in mind.



Steve Okula

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2014, 04:26:55 PM »
Nice work, Frank.

Who did the shaping?
The small wheel turns by the fire and rod,
the big wheel turns by the grace of God.

Patrice Boissonnas

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2014, 04:33:18 PM »
Steve, shaping was done by a British contractor, John Greasley.
Jason Kelly is the shaper who was on site with us.

Jordan Caron

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 04:41:20 PM »
Outstanding work Frank. The course was on my must play before the restoration. It's jumped up the list big time now!

Obviously, the bunkers are visually stunning. The tree removal opens the course up and makes it feel more roomy. I bet this has helped dry the course out as well.

Was that big sand dune to the right of 11 tee always there or was that you adding it in?

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2014, 04:46:41 PM »
Outstanding work Frank. The course was on my must play before the restoration. It's jumped up the list big time now!

Obviously, the bunkers are visually stunning. The tree removal opens the course up and makes it feel more roomy. I bet this has helped dry the course out as well.

Was that big sand dune to the right of 11 tee always there or was that you adding it in?

Thx Jordan,

just to be clear, this really was a co-production between Patrice and myself. We spent virtually all working days on site together, and most of the decisions on shapes etc were taken together after often good natured and intense discussions.....

The big sand dune on the right of 11 was a big dune covered with poplars before we started, we must have taken more than 40 m of trees away there....

Patrice Boissonnas

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2014, 04:56:25 PM »
Jordan,
The sandy dune is part of a large dune which was always there and Simpson used it brillantly to route his back 9. But that particular area you mention was not in play in Simpson's original routing where 11th tees where positioned left of the 10th green and the hole was playing as a short dogleg left.
Frank and I identified the possibility of a new route with tees to the right of the 10th green. From our new tees, the green is visible and drivable, + we love this view with multiple plans. This is pretty much the only alteration we brought to Simpson's routing although the original tees are still open for those whishing to play the hole in its 1931 version.
The long sandy surface right of our new 11 was covered by trees and a thick vegetal layer. We simply got rid of everything and tried to give a nice shape to it.

Patrice Boissonnas

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 04:57:32 PM »
Seems like Frank and I both replied parallely...
Didn't Frank tell you we've worked in communion?

Paul Gray

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 05:49:01 PM »
Gents,

Aesthetically outstanding but in terms of further tree removal and fairway lines, would you not like to be able to open the course up still further?
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Ulrich Mayring

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2014, 06:15:39 PM »
I've played the course in 2007, in 2009 and in 2013 and it always played plenty firm and fast for me. Maybe I got lucky those days :)

Ulrich
Golf Course Exposť (300+ courses reviewed), Golf CV (how I keep track of 'em)

Joey Chase

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2014, 12:10:15 AM »
Frank and Patrice,

The course looks fantastic, well done.  Was there any work done to the greens?  After playing a few Simpson courses around Paris last summer, I really am interested in seeing more of his courses. Do the greens possess bold contouring?  I really like the look of how the green seemed to really interact with the bunkering in the old photo.  It does seem as thought there are some areas that still could use some tree removal.  I guess it is tough to take too many at once as it may be a bit of a shock to some of their members.   

Thanks for the great post. I was looking to play there this fall, is it already open for play?

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2014, 02:31:31 AM »
Top class work! Les Pins was one of my favorite courses before the restoration already, so it seems I have no place to elevate it to now :)

One or two more trees need to go on the right side of #17, so the contours can be used to run the ball onto the green. I absolutely love the sandy blowouts, it's a coastal pine forest after all.

Ulrich

You are right about more trees needing to go right of hole 17, also I think the hole would improve a lot if we took the trees BEHIND the green out as well and created more sand blow out there. This would make distance perception a lot harder than it currently is, and further improve the growing environment of the green tremendously. We most probably should also take out more trees left of the green.....


Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2014, 02:35:31 AM »
Gents,

Aesthetically outstanding but in terms of further tree removal and fairway lines, would you not like to be able to open the course up still further?

Yes absolutely, removing trees brings back into view the original dune landforms, improves agronomy, introduces sandy blow areas and generally lifts the course up to a new level. Look at holes 10, 11 before and afters to see what it does.

My ideal would be to take out much of the inside trees, save for the more beautiful specimen trees, but leave trees on the outside, be it that they will be massively thinned out. Reason for leaving these trees is to shelter the surrounding houses from the view. If no houses would be there I would be in favour of bringing it all back to the original dune landscape.......

Frank Pont

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2014, 02:41:49 AM »
Frank and Patrice,

The course looks fantastic, well done.  Was there any work done to the greens?  After playing a few Simpson courses around Paris last summer, I really am interested in seeing more of his courses. Do the greens possess bold contouring?  I really like the look of how the green seemed to really interact with the bunkering in the old photo.  It does seem as thought there are some areas that still could use some tree removal.  I guess it is tough to take too many at once as it may be a bit of a shock to some of their members.   

Thanks for the great post. I was looking to play there this fall, is it already open for play?

The greens at Hardelot are maybe the biggest asset of the course, and in my opinion maybe the best set of greens Simpson did in France!
The undulations of some of the greens would make Doak's team blush  ;)

All greens except for green 13 are original, and as such we left them alone except for bringing back the original larger sizes back. Green 13 had been moved to a new location, but did not fit in well with the other greens. We reshaped the backside of the green, bringing back the undulations Simpson used so nicely on the other greens.

We are not nearly done removing trees, and even after the final result it will be an ongoing process. Most people forget that a forest generates 3% new wood per annum, so you can do the math what doing nothing for 20, 30, 50 or even 80 years leads to.....

David Davis

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2014, 03:28:04 AM »
Frank/Patrick,

My first thought was, oh no not another tree attacking thread...(of course I'm kidding and this was not a thought in my head at all as you well know). Great work! The bunkering indeed looks quite ominous, just when I thought our upcoming France visit was complete you guys go an make this a must see. Glad I'm only a couple hours drive away.

Can I ask how many bunkers you added, because they are now all visible it looks like a lot. That would be my only critical thought, don't get me wrong I love the natural looks of the bunkers but would have to play the course to get a feeling as to weather I thought there may be too many. If there wasn't many added it seems many had really grown in so bringing them back was certainly key to this renovation. It looks like a completely different course.

I wish I could impart both your visions on tree removal and overwatering here in The Netherlands. :-)

Really great work and I can't wait to pay it a visit.

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Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Hardelot Les Pins new pics (all 18 holes)
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2014, 03:57:12 AM »
Very nice, Frank.

Hardelot was a favourite of mine so looking forward to getting back.

Tell me, what is the short term / medium term / long term expectation with those open sand areas such as to the right of 11 fairway and before 16 green / 17 tee?

Are they getting planted / stabilised? If so, what with?

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