The top finishing player at the Dinard Ladies Open, not otherwise exempt, will receive an invitation to play at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, due to take place at Gray Bear Golf Club from 27-30 May.
The inaugural event which gets underway in Talé in the Slovak Republic this spring will boast €350,000 in prize money and is fully sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour.
The Dinard Ladies Open will take place at Dinard Golf in Brittany, north-western France, from 15-17 April, with a purse of €30,000.
Dinard Golf is one of the oldest courses in continental Europe. The course is the second oldest in France after Pau. Laid out alongside France’s Emerald Coast, players enjoy sea views from all 18 holes, each of which has its own individual name (the dog’s paw, the complete disaster, etc.) This course is neither long nor tiring, so it may deceive the unwary into thinking that it is easy, but the final score tells the real story. This course is trickier than difficult, with its sandy soil, undulating fairways, small, high, very fast greens and many bunkers; it also has very few trees, but plenty of broom and gorse bushes.
Although located in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Dinard Golf Club was founded by a small colony of British residents living in Dinard at the end of the 19th century.
Having returned from service in India and Egypt, these army officers and their families enjoyed life on the Emerald Coast, and set about organising things so that they could play their favourite sports. This era marked the beginning of sea bathing, the arrival of the railway and a general desire for a new lifestyle. They created France’s first tennis club, developed the sport of sailing and began to search for a suitable site for a golf course.
Their attention was drawn to some 50 hectares of broom- and gorse-covered heath and dunes overlooking the sea, and occupied by sheep and a few cows. Following many roundabout negotiations, the Scots architect Tom Dunn was engaged, and completed the long-awaited course in 1887.
At the Dinard Ladies Open, competitors from 18 different countries will enjoy the golf course, including players from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.
France leads the way with 16 entrants, including last year’s HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open winner Jade Schaeffer, the 2008 Portugal Ladies Open champion Anne-Lise Caudal, former Solheim Cup player Ludivine Kreutz and two-time LET tournament winner Virginie Lagoutte-Clement.
England is the next best represented country with 11 players in the field including Henrietta Zuel, who recorded a career best tie for third at the 2008 S4/C Wales Ladies Championship on the Ladies European Tour and who finished in a share of fourth place at the recent Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
There are four players representing Italy in the field including Sophie Sandolo, who recently returned to action following injury. Sweden is also fielding four players.
The Dinard Ladies Open will be the second of three events on the 2010 LET Access Series (LETAS) calendar, following the Terre Blanche Ladies Open. The third event will be the La Nivelle Ladies Open. The LET Access Series is the official feeder tour to the LET and the winner of the circuit will earn a place amongst Europe's elite in 2011.