In 1996, four good friends and golf professionals (who lived in The Netherlands), sat in front of a warm fire at Loch Lomond and formed a golf company called Made in Scotland that aspired to improve the game they loved in the Netherlands. This humble beginning would later lead to the expansion of their company along with the realization of their dream to create a world-class golf experience that would compete with the top golf courses in Continental Europe.
Made in Scotland worked together with Colin Montgomerie and Ross McMurray of European Golf Design (which is a joint venture between IMG and the European Tour) to create a course that would live up to the high standards necessary to host European Tour events. On the 14th of May 2011, The Dutch officially opened and was then put forward in the country’s bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, France won the Ryder Cup bid, but the infrastructure and facilities developed at The Dutch remain a lasting legacy and are pitched at a level capable of all the demands required to host any large-scale professional golf event.
The Dutch also represents a completely different kind of golf experience to anything that previously existed in the Netherlands. The level of service and the quality of facilities, from the practice facilities to the meeting rooms and locker rooms are second to none. The club was formed as a place where business meets golf, where companies pamper clients and build relations in a very special environment. The Dutch is a rare treat for the lucky members and their invited guests.
Styled in the fashion of an inland links, The Dutch features links-like bunkering, undulating green complexes and diverse, burn-like water hazards. The entire facility is set up for the hosting of European Tour events, at least the main Netherlands stop... the KLM Open is likely to end up here at some point. The Dutch is really the only venue in the Netherlands that has the perfect facilities, space and infrastructure to easily and logistically host these events, which makes perfect sense given the club was a potential Ryder Cup venue and was designed as such.
In 2016 The Dutch was duly rewarded as host venue for the KLM Open, which historically has always been contested on a classic links or heathland course.Home favourite Joost Luiten won the event, becoming the first Dutchman to win his national Open twice.There is always a “but” and in this case the “but” is that The Dutch is very private, extremely private even for the standards of the Netherlands as it's the only course in the country that will not accept green fee players at any time. Therefore, even if you are coming from overseas and call ahead or write in advance, you won’t get a game unless you know a member or have a corporate contact. However, wait a while and that stance might well change in these economically tough times.
As you make your way into the clubhouse it is evident that an enormous amount of attention has been paid to the fine details here at the Dutch. On top of that it’s clear that no expense has been spared with the furnishings from the quaint whiskey and cigar room, equipped with private lockers for the members, to the cozy meeting rooms, Board Room and library. Various paintings, maps and old golf collectibles decorate the walls, many with the purpose of drawing as many parallels as possible between the Netherlands and Scotland – arguably the two homes of golf.
Of all the features the clubhouse has to offer, the men’s dressing room is unquestionably the most memorable as it’s one of only a few in the world that has a fully equipped bar taking your orders and offering drinks upon entrance. With lounging chairs all around and flat screen TV’s in abundance, a trip to the men’s room takes on new meaning here at the Dutch. It provides the perfect setting to tempt your opponent into a few pre-round drinks to establish that ever so important competitive edge.
The practice range is where I could easily spend my day. First of all, it’s one of the few in the Netherlands where you can practice from real turf instead of mats. The balls are stacked and waiting, both at the chipping and pitching range as well as the driving range. As always, a trip to the first tee is not complete without a stop at the putting green. At the Dutch, this is an absolute must and it will shock most golfers because the greens are incredibly fast and very undulating. In my opinion, The Dutch is the only course in the Netherlands with world-class green complexes and I was personally thrilled with them. I honestly didn’t think that any club in club in Holland would build greens as good as these – if anyone gets the chance to play this course, I’d highly recommend paying very close attention to their features. I think greens are an essential element that separates good and world-class courses. It’s also one reason why there are only a couple of courses in Continental Europe that ever make the World Top 100. Review by David Davis (Top 100 Benelux correspondent) - click here to read the full story.