In 2025, the golf course of Les Sables d’Or will celebrate its century of existence, a great achievement! One hundred years lived through some ups and downs… but the course is still there, more beautiful than ever. The arrival of a new owner in 2021 will allow us to see the future with serenity, which will satisfy members and visitors alike, just a stone’s throw from the sea.
At the end of the First World War, in a respectable Breton seaside resort, a golf course was welcome to satisfy the expectations of the British gentlemen who were particularly fond of this steep, windy and sheltered Penthièvre coast. Between Cap d’Erquy and Cap Fréhel, set back from the Sables d’Or beach, nine holes were created in 1925. Soon followed by nine others, born of an unknown father the following year. The euphoria was short-lived, as the club’s finances suffered from the 1929 crisis. The course was reduced to nine holes before being mined by the Germans during the war… In 1957, a new design was inaugurated and the club life was organised around golf and tennis in the carefree atmosphere of the “Trente Glorieuses”. After many peregrinations, the acquisition of land allowed the extension in 1990. Alain du Bouëxic, who had just designed La Freslonnière near Rennes, extended the course to 18 holes. Set on the sandy dunes, his design still winds between the trees – pines, willows, oaks -, the clumps of gorse and tufts of grass, the heather, the water features without ever approaching the sea, which can only be seen from the start of the first hole, towards the islet of Saint-Michel.
A little frustrating but the configuration of the place linked to the urbanization left no other way out. At that time, despite the euphoria of golf in France, the club was struggling to keep up. The involvement and generosity of several members enabled the club to be saved. In 2006, after having bailed out the club, Joël Lemaître – a local boy – became president of the SA du golf after having managed the Pêcheries d’Armorique in Erquy. President, director, greenkeeper, barman or switchboard operator, he never balked at the task but it was on the course that he was most at ease. Fifteen years later, in 2021, he handed over to Marc Gerretsen, a Dinan native involved in auditing and real estate consulting in Paris. By becoming the club’s majority shareholder, Marc sees this new adventure as an anticipation of his retirement and a return to Brittany. Without excessive sporting pretensions, he is brimming with ideas to keep the club alive and developing. The arrival of Olivier Dromel – from golf courses in the Paris region – to manage the golf course is a step in this direction. This fifty-year-old, half-Breton, half-Southerner, wants to develop the club, make it more lively and attract new players. One of his priorities is the table, for a long time the Achilles’ heel of Les Sables d’Or, which will keep the clientele loyal through good food and a friendly atmosphere at the time of having a drink in a club-house which is being modernised. In memory of the old clubhouse, the restaurant will be called “Le Pavillon”.
On the ground, the ecological transition is obvious, Olivier wants to anticipate the constraints of the “zero phyto” imposed in 2025, starting this year. This is achieved through small everyday details, Marc giving him the means to achieve his ambitions. On a sandy soil – the club is aptly named! -The course is playable all year round, even if the grass turns yellow in the summer, as Les Sables d’Or is low on water. Reputedly impeccable, the greens do not suffer any consequences, like the one on the 8th – an uphill par 3 protected by four bunkers – to be reached after a short climb, the Everest of Les Sables d’Or! A few granite rocks, haunts of rabbits, protrude from the grass. An additional touch to this country course, full of fresh air and wind, which should pass its centenary in good shape and health. Like a young man! Enough to satisfy the visitors, the Golfystadors, the best ambassadors of the club beyond the confines of the Costarmoric region…
Golf des Sables d’Or
Avenue du Golf
Tél. : 02 96 41 42 57.
18 T, par 70, 5489 mètres (blancs).
Architecte : Alain du Bouëxic 1990 (création 1925).