In 1928 when the club was founded, with the assistance from the renowned HARRY COLT,
René Thion de la Chaume not only created a magnificent Golf Club, but by doing so he also celebrated the success of his daughter Simone who had earlier won the British Open in 1927.
In 1922 René Thion de la Chaume,an outstanding fencer, visited Saint Jean de Luz for the first time and subsequently La Nivelle golf course. This triggered off his dream of creating a brand new golf course situated at the foot of LA RHUNE mountain, He then bought various small farms with their surrounding land, notably ETCHEVERRIA, URCHABALETA, KANTIA, MOCHOBAITA, COYOENIA and CHANTACENIA which eventually gave the club its name.
The name CHANTACO originates from a transformation of Santiago which in turn is a reminder of the Chemin de Compostelle.
The architecture of the golf course was created by HARRY COLT . The clubhouse was designed by JEAN WALTER and the work was overseen by EMILE PICOT.
The inauguration of the CHANTACO golf course took place on the 1st November 1928, in front of over 300 guests who also had the pleasure of seeing a memorable match between Jean Gassiat, Aubrey, Percy Boomer and Arnaud Massy. Massy was also the first club’s « pro » and incidently the only Frenchman ever to have won a Grand Slam tournament.
Chantaco met with an immediate success and many celebrities joined the club, attracted by the high quality of the golf course and the sporting spirit which was enhanced by the marriage in 1930 between Simone Thion de la Chaume and Rene Lacoste the French tennis champion, who had peviously won at Roland Garros.
The club continued it’s success ranging from exciting golf tournaments to the many famous parties with such celebrities as the Prince of Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway and even the Prince Bourbon.
Mrs Rene Lacoste, 13 times French Open champion and 1927 British Open champion, succeeded her father as the president of the Chantaco Golf club, from 1930 onwards.
She had a difficult time during the war to maintain the club’s survival and also in 1945 to ensure that the club continued. Her husband René Lacoste discovered that by organising the planting of over 40 000 trees, this ensured that the golf employees were not sent sent off to Germany to work in their factories. These trees are to be seen all along the different fairways of the club which created a magnificent forest.
During the 50’s and 60’s Chantaco produced some of the finest professional golfers in France, such as Raymond and Jean Garialde, Domique Larretche as well as Bernard Pascassio to name just a few.
Later in 1967, Catherine Lacoste became the first foreigner, plus the only amateur and also the youngest player to have won the US Women’s Open . Which was an incredible feat ! They say at Chantaco that the best scores were made by the ladies !
Catherine Lacoste assisted by her brother François Lacoste suceeded their mother in 1974 and assured the presidency of Chantaco until 2009. She was replaced by Camille Lacoste the niece of of René and Simone until 2013 when she herself was replaced by Veronique Smondack, Catherine’s daughter.
The club has always been managed by a member of the Lacoste family.
Today the new president is Jean Marie Lacoste, the grandson of René Lacoste who has
new and exciting plans for the future of the club.
Chantaco is one of the leading top golf courses in France, and is renowned not only for it’s architecture, for the beauty of the fairways and greens but also for having held such prestigeous events as the French Women’s Open during a 7 year period (2012 to 2017). The new project of transforming and renovating the course and the clubhouse began in 2018.
2018 THE NEW ERA OF IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS
Jean Marie Lacoste who is as ambitious as his grand parents continues to strive to maintain the Chantaco golf club as one of the most important clubs in France and especially in the Basque Country,where it is possible to play the whole year round.
A huge investment of 4 millions euros has been made available to improve and maintain the quality of the golf course and the club house.
A project of improving and redesigning certain greens and improving the drainage system of the fairways is a high priority. Pathways for the bugies will be introduced as well.
Not forgetting a face-lift for the famous Art Deco clubhouse.
To garantee the success of this operation a new independant company was established to overlook the renovation of the club and to organise the work in such a way that it minimizes the disruption to the members and visitors and keeps the maximum of fairways and greens open as much as possible.
.Assisted by Stephane Kerjean, the club’s director, who works with a motivated team of employees whose priority is to offer, to all the members and visitors a memorable golfing experience, on an excellent golf course.
It is also possible to reserve a round of golf on the the club’s internet site.
Connection Mygreenfee or conversely GOLF PASS PAYS BASQUE.
A mythical golf course in the pure Basque tradition