The island of Texel is the largest and most populated of the West Fresian Islands in the Wadden Sea and it’s reached by an hourly ferry service from the nearby port of Den Helder on the northernmost part of the North Holland peninsula.
The golf club is located in the north of the island, adjacent to the Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel, which is a protected area of heathland, salt marshes, sand dunes, pine forests and long, unspoiled beaches running along the west coast of Texel.
Architect Alan Rijks set out the original 9-hole course in 1996 then he returned in 2014 to expand the layout by adding another nine on adjacent farmland so the club now boasts an 18-hole links-style layout, 9-hole par three course, driving range and practice area.
The old nine extends towards the coastline – though the nearest point the course ever gets to the strand is still one and a half kilometres from the green on the par four 5th hole – so you’ll never get to see the sea, but you may well feel its salty spray when the wind’s up.
Highlight holes include consecutive par fours at the 2nd and 3rd which dogleg in opposite directions to their respective greens, and the short 6th at the far end of the course. On the new back nine, all three par threes (at holes 10, 12 and 16) are highly entertaining.
Architect Alan Rijks provided this exclusive quote in 2020:
We built holes 1 to 9 about twenty years ago, with a minimum of sand, and this project was a success on this island.
Holes 10-18 were built in 2014. It all started from a flat piece of farmland. We moved and got soil from the island and used around 180,000 m3. We used the sand from the dune area and seeded with red fescue, which needs less water and gives a good quality.
Even in the rough areas we used red fescue as it gives a great texture during the summer and autumn and players can easily find their ball and play on. Nature helped us with the wind and created new hills. In one year this became a great site and no one believed it started from farmland.
A real links is not possible as it has to be right on the coastline, created by the sea with sand and wind, so, to be honest, it is links-like, but nearly all the players think I have blended the course out of the existing dunes. That gives me a good feeling for the design and the team that built the course.