After blowing out its 90 candles, the Saint-Cast golf course has continued its development. New holes, new greens, the renovation of the tee boxes, clear views towards the ocean and above all a reflection on the “zero phyto” which is soon to arrive, have seen the light of day. The work was done in anticipation of the club’s 100th anniversary in 2026.
by Claude Granveaud-Vallat
Originally, it was necessary to retain and entertain the English who enjoyed the beach of Pen Guen. What could be better than a golf course between the beach and the villas! In 1926, based on a design by the British Edgar Green – a predestined name – the 18 holes were interwoven into the dunes on a 4715 yard long layout, with the tee of the 1st and the green of the 18th grouped together in front of the Celtic Hotel, which was then used as a clubhouse. Badly damaged during the war, the course remained abandoned until 1959, as did the hotel, now converted into flats. Nine holes were then recreated before a new clubhouse was built in 1961, overlooking the sea like the new tee of 1 and the current green of 18. The club lived on like this until 1995, when, after long negotiations and work, the plateau overlooking the historic layout was used to recreate 18 holes.
Faced with the emergence of new golf courses along the coast, Saint-Cast had to react in order to survive. On the eve of its 90th birthday, the club wished to better exploit its potential. The field of a recalcitrant farmer was finally acquired on the top, a godsend to rethink the new holes. Trees were pruned, they were hiding the view of the sea and the boats sailing on the horizon, according to the wind. A green to accommodate hole 9 was created in the perspective of the Vauban tower and the Ébihens archipelago, as was a fairway for the new 10. The work was coordinated by Philippe Lefeuvre, a director who is passionate about course architecture and very involved in the life of his club. More recently, Philippe and his entire grounds crew worked on the bottom of the course. The new 1 is now a true par 5 while the 2 has been given a new green in the dunes, in the spirit of the evolutions orchestrated in Granville by Stuart Hallett. At the same time, several tee boxes have been redesigned, well defined and levelled. The greens were enlarged, in harmony with the standards of the modern game. The final trilogy played along the beach (par 4-4-3) remains a pure marvel, especially when the sea breeze tends to bring the balls back to the ground.
But today, with the club’s centenary in sight, the gardeners’ main concern is the management of “zero phyto” which will come into force on 1 January 2025. It is better to anticipate the deadline so as not to be caught short. The absence of chemicals on the ground will mean more manpower, letting the greens breathe, recreating real winter greens, and accepting to play “a little more expensive and a little less well”, a phrase that is not necessarily pleasant to hear! In this sense, Philippe Lefeuvre anticipated with his members – all shareholders of the club – by arguing his choices, preferring to be one step ahead. The period of health crisis was beneficial to this reflection, which was understood and validated by the majority.
On the course, the trees planted to replace those felled continue to grow and to delimit the upper holes better and better. Next winter, the clubhouse will be enlarged, creating more space in the kitchen as well as in the golf cart room, which is currently a little cramped due to the increase in new members. The “19th Hole” table is always a hit, both on the plate and when you look up. The view on the 18th green, the beach, the sea… but who could get tired of it? The Golf de Saint-Cast only has to oxygenate its lungs until 2026, before blowing out its big candle. Until then, Golfystadors are welcome to help in this pleasure-filled task…
Golf de Saint-Cast
Route du Golf
Tél. : 02 96 41 91 20.
18T, 5009 mètres, par 69.
Architectes : Edgar Green (1926), Pitrel & Pantin (1995), Philippe Lefeuvre (2016).