Founded in 1989, Golfclub
Beveren moved a couple of years after it was formed to its present site next to
the Kallo lock, which links the Scheldt River to Waasland harbour, just outside
the city of Antwerp.
Built on reclaimed land located immediately next to the docks, the course started out as a basic 3-hole layout in 1993 before it was doubled in size three years later then further expanded into a 9-hole track shortly after that.
Work began in 2017 to redesign the course under the instruction of local architect Dimitri van Hauwaert and this involved the remodelling and rerouting of several holes, along with the addition of three new par threes at holes 3, 7 and 9.
The 9-hole course is laid out on land leased from the local government, with a new 4-hole short course, putting green and short game area set around the clubhouse, the ground floor of which also doubles up as a driving range.
Golfclub Beveren is truly an ambassador for golf in Belgium (and elsewhere), showing others how to run an all-inclusive golf facility in the modern era on a site that was formerly just wasteland within an industrial zone.The club operates a restaurant and driving range that’s used by both the general public and club members and it welcomes new recruits through an active junior programme in addition to offering reasonable green fee rates for casual golfers.
After visiting a couple of Royal courses and an impressive 36-hole venue during a short visit to Flanders, I didn’t really expect too much from a little 9-hole track built on industrial wasteland next to the Antwerp docks. As has happened on trips before, the course that you might expect the least from turns out to be the star of the show!
Beveren is never likely to feature in the Belgian ranking charts and I’m sure the club doesn’t care in the slightest that its course remains largely unknown by the outside world. What it’s concerned with is providing the best golfing amenity possible for the membership, both on and off the course, and if “growing the game” is the main aim these days then a lot of clubs could learn a thing or two from how Beveren is going about its business.
I can’t ever remember fronting up at a club early on a Sunday morning and finding such a level of activity in and around the clubhouse from people of all ages. The ground level of the modern clubhouse has half of its area devoted to the bays of a busy driving range, with the other half used as office space and a pro shop. Upstairs is used for meeting rooms, the bar, restaurant and outside terrace so not an inch of space gets wasted in this building.
Out on the course, the existing 9-hole layout is currently being revamped to allow the creation of a 4-hole short course, practice area and putting green next to the clubhouse. Three new par threes are in different stages of construction and a resequencing of the holes will complete the upgrade later this year. I’m planning to return to Belgium next year for a longer stay and I’ll be hoping to return here to see how the new course looks.
The future’s bright; the future’s Beveren!
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