- AddressDeutersestraat 39d, 5266 AW Cromvoirt, Netherlands
- Championships hosted
Dutch entrepreneur Sander van Gelder – who ruled the roost at the Portuguese resort of Vale de Lobo for three decades until he sold out 2006 – was originally the man behind the development of this golf facility at Cromvoirt in the North Brabant province.
After van Gelder withdrew from the enterprise, everything stood still for a few years until 2016 when another even more successful businessman, Robert van der Wallen, stepped in to finish what had been started five years previously.
Additional land was acquired then architect Kyle Phillips (who co-designed the well-regarded Lage Vuursche course near Utrecht at the start of the new millennium) was brought in to oversee what had now become a big budget project.
The fairways lie on an ancient sandy plain so scraping back the top few metres of dirt revealed a sandy sub strata underneath. After mining this subterranean layer, the vacant space left behind was filled with the excavated top soil before the extracted sand was then spread over everything, effectively swapping the two seams.
To accelerate the ageing process, many acres of native heather were transplanted to fringe tee boxes and soften transition areas around green sites, quickly establishing a real heathland feel and gaining an overnight maturity to match that of the specimen trees dotted around the course.
Water comes into play at several holes, most notably on the front nine where a couple of lakes feature prominently at the 2nd, 7th and 8th. A deep, wide ditch also exits a smaller pond on the 17th and runs alongside the 18th before cutting diagonally across the fairway in front of the home green.
Bunkers are the most visual element of the design, both at the edge of fairways and around the greens, with large, ragged-edged sand traps sculpted into little ridges to help protect par around beautifully contoured putting surfaces. Aesthetically stimulating, these steep-faced bunkers are "proper" hazards that not only look great, they play much tougher than players might think.
Bernardus is actually divided into three inter-connected “compartments”. The first of these areas contains the futuristic clubhouse complex, an enormous practice facility and eight-room lodge, all of which lie close to holes 1, 9, 17 and 18. The other two sections of the course are then split equally, between the more aquatic holes (2 to 8) and the remaining holes in the northeast portion of the property (10 to 16).
Shortly after a soft opening in the summer of 2018, it was announced that the club would host three editions of the KLM Open on the European Tour from 2020 onwards, allowing elite professionals, on site spectators and a large television audience the chance to see just what an estimated 50 million euro investment looks like.
And for golfers who wish to sample the “member for a day” playing experience for themselves – paying a reasonably-priced day ticket rate to play a prestigious, rather than an exclusive golf course – then Bernardus is worth every cent of the visitor fee currently being charged.
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Course ArchitectView All
Kyle Phillips graduated in 1981 with a degree in Landscape Architecture and began his career in golf working with RTJ2, eventually rising from the position of Design Associate to Vice President.