Eindhovensche Golf was inaugurated in 1930 and the great Harry S. Colt routed the course through a dense forest a few kilometres to the south of Eindhoven.
The club was the brainchild of a certain Dr. Philips who was the brother of the founder of the Philips Electrical Company. Eindhoven has more than the forest as a hazard with plenty of water in the shape of streams and ponds and enough strategically placed bunkers. In many ways, Eindhoven is reminiscent of Surrey’s heath and heather courses, which is high praise indeed.
Holes are laid out in two huge clockwise loops that each return to the clubhouse – and what a charming building it is. With its thatched roof, it is one of the most picturesque clubhouses in European golf.
Host to many top championships, including six Dutch Opens between 1947 and 1970 and, more recently, the Dutch Ladies Open (2006-2009), Eindhovensche is a course for the connoisseur.
If De Pan is Holland’s antwoord to Swinley Forest, then might Eindhoven be a Dutch cousin of Sunningdale New? It’s slightly less pretty and slightly more challenging, and no less effective.
A routing winding its way through mature woodland & a place that you could get lost in is what you will find here. You reach the edge of a hole or a corner of the property and are either met with another hole or just nature: Views out over more forest, or healthland, or wetland. This lends a spaciousness to the course and ensures Eindhoven is a quieter place to be than a roomful of strangers upon hearing one of my Dad Jokes.
It’s also a good test. With sufficient length, tree lines occasionally distracting you, and (we had) pins tucked away near run offs making you think twice. Middle of the green is often the right idea (and in other news, the earth is not flat). The sandy property doesn’t have significant elevation changes, but is rumpled & far from being flat. This raises the challenge from uneven lies, as well as shooting uphill or downhill to targets. And conditions are firm so you will also need to take into account that where your ball lays it’s head might not be where it calls home.
There is plenty of hole variety at Eindhoven - especially amongst the Par 4’s. Shorts ones, long ones, lefties, righties, and straighties. The second hole stands out as a very good par 3.5. Long hitters can go for the green and risk punishment if they miss. Laying up still provides 2-3 length & line options for placement, as there’s a bit of a split fairway. Is great to stand on a tee box and have to think twice before having a stab at the ball. Following a semi-sensible decision here, I still tugged it left, causing me to wince like it was actually a hamstring I’d pulled. Finding fairway yet blocked out by a lone tree. Instant Bogey. Is there anything more magical in golf than taking the sensible option but failing to execute & still finding trouble? The 5th was another good short 2 Par 4, with a few bunkers to make you think twice, with a treacherous raised green falling away sharply on all sides (if I’m mentioning think twice more times than Celine Dion, it’s because this course made me do so and not because I’m a fan of the music).
The par 3’s were mostly good, and I particularly like the 11th. It has one bunker well short of the green to add some disguise, and the putting surface is tilted severely from right to left. 16 is another attractive one shotter, with the clubhouse across the lake behind the green framing the hole. The par 4 18th is beauty with a cross bunker and some discerning humps welcoming you back to the clubhouse.
A couple of holes fell short of the general high quality for me - the driving line at the 12th didn’t feel right (hole looks better from the yellow tee) and the short par 3 8th felt like green was angled all wrong (hole is better from the back or even ladies tees though). Aligning all tees could solve this though. Perhaps there’s also a case for more variety in green sites - especially on the inward 9 - as 2 or 3 felt familiar.
A quick digression to mention the facilities. The clubhouse is lovely - an old thatched roofed building renovated inside to create a settled marriage of the old & new. The style is nothing unfamiliar if you’ve played at Hilversum or Kennemer, but what is perhaps unique here are the modern practice facilities: an impressive and extensive area tucked out of the way with all mod cons you could wish for working on your game, both indoors & out. You’ll rarely see this at any courses, let alone older clubs with limited space.
What you get at Eindhoven is maybe a little more science than art - mathematical puzzles to solve and less of Jackson Pollock splashing golf holes everywhere. In truth the differences are more nuanced than this, because there’s fun to be had here. With regards to woodland courses in The Netherlands, I would put this at #2 amongst my hall of famevourites, just ahead of Rosendaelsche & then Hilversum. It is a lovely course and hard to find many faults. Although Top100 already has it at #4 in NL (& #23 in Europe), it feels like it flies under the radar.
Comparing with the country’s pre-eminent inland track, De Pan, some might even make a case for Eindhoven being better. Ultimately it may come down to what you look for in a golf course - the thrilling artistry of a Dennis Bergkamp or the brilliant efficiency of a Ruud Van Nistelrooy? Both hit the target, just in different ways. You must play them both and decide for yourself. Eindhoven is a treat of a course where you don’t have to think twice - for once - to go play it
Excellent review as always BB and you’ve further whet my appetite for a Netherlands trip, now adding another course to a potential itinerary that I hadn’t previously given too much thought to. I have to be honest though, I’ve always been a Bergkamp fan over RvN. I must also go and visit Zinadine Zidane near Paris too. I hear that place is a real treat.
With the recent quarantine now over T P Dean, you can start planning a visit - try late summer to catch Dutch Golf in a purple patch. You may have a hard time deciding which courses to leave out & I’m confident you’ll get a very warm welcome here.
And as for Paris - Creme de la Menthe Rodney - yes, that place is littered with Zidane’s finest moments. When you secure a tee time at Morfontaine, it will probably feel like how Zizou did in winning the World Cup in 1998
It’s a great course with some amazing holes (hole 18 is awesome)
Eindhoven is a heathland course and plays through dense forest with a rolling sand base- perfect for golf.
The course is eminently walkable as there is little elevation change of consequence- just rumpled fairways framed
by heather, bunkers and lots of trees!
The clubhouse is a classic! It has a traditional thatched roof that instantly identifies the property.
Eindhoven has hosted a number of championships over the years including 6 Dutch Opens, and is currently regarded as one of the top 5 courses in The Netherlands.
Our group had perfect golfing weather – warm and sunny – and enjoyed the course immensely.
Eindhoven is a must for any golfing tour of The Netherlands. And whilst the land does not have the same movement as de Pan, it is nevertheless a lovely site for golf and a quality course.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
Third stop of the Amsterdam Iron Man Quest, 6am wake up call and 1hr drive for the first of 2 rounds of the "Harry Colt Day". We teed off just before 8am with a Member and the course was just for us. This big guy, almost 2 metres tall and long hitter could send the ball miles away. Third match against DD, 1 win and 1 draw at the moment, the local guy was getting fitter and better!
I would say this course is a mix, not a total heathland course not a parkland one, but with some features of each.
Again, great weather, almost no wind, sunny and not cold, couldn´t have been luckier. Greens not fast but at least true, not in great shape, but again coming from so many days in fast ones was a problem I was not able to solve.
Let's go to the golf course, not as great as Utrechtse, but a world class design by Harry Colt. Played it from the very back, almost 7000yds, another great challenge I want to face again in better personal conditions. Bunkers were a little bit untidy, with heavier sand than Noordwikjse and Lage Vuursche.
1st is a dogleg right, plays longer than what it shows. Then 2nd in my opinion is one of the great ones, short reachable 4 where a narrow miss is bogey. 3rd a long great 3, one of the best pictures of the course.
After a not to special par 5 4th, first great hole comes: par 4 5th, perfectly well placed bunkers to a very short and tough approach, small green where there is trouble in all directions. 7th might be the most challenging on the course, not only because of the length but again how tough it is to judge distance to the green. Then 8th gives you a sort of break, but the green is very sloped so if in the wrong side 2 putts will be better than most! Front 9 finish with a reachable par 5 (if you hit the fairway!).
10th used to be a par 5, now a very big par 4. 11th a sort of redan design par 3. 12th has 2 different angled tees, they got back to original Colt and is one great golf hole.
I hated 15th, if you are not in the exact spot you have a mandatory lay up and I believe this par 5 should give you a wider chance to be played.
17th the other par 5 has a big challenge for the second shot if you go for it as a lake mades the fairway super narrow. And 18th is a great finisher, where local DD stuck a hybrid to 1ft to tie the match.
The Club House is under restoration work so there is a provisional one in the Driving Range which could perfectly well for many golf courses in the world!
Another great experience, another surprise and another reason to think in coming back.
Sometimes even in your home country you forget to visit some of the excellent local courses for a number of years. Eindhovensche Golf Club is a classic understated Harry Colt gem located in the South of The Netherlands. It had been about 4 years since my last game here. What a mistake that was.
The club has been really busy following through on a long term maintenance strategy plan that has them removing many trees to reclaim the lost width, open up vistas and improve turf and greens. They have also changed the watering procedures in order to improve the turf and firm everything up. I for one commend them on moving in the right direction. Are they there yet? Not quite but it’s already a huge improvement. Hundreds more trees need to be removed to bring this landscape back to the way it originally was closing in on 100 years ago.
I believe the members can already see the improvements and that this process is contributing to the fun and playability of the course. I’m hoping this will encourage them to continue with the current path and get everything out of the course that they can – firm and fast with plenty of width and open vistas and restoration of heather growth. There is an amazing course waiting to be revealed.
Great work by all involved so far.
To say I’m shocked to be only the third person in ten years to review this course (and the first since 2011) is a gross understatement – how can it be possible that not a single golfer in the last six years hasn’t felt sufficiently motivated to let others know how just good this place is?
Having played the day before at Utrecht de Pan and been suitably impressed, I wasn’t expecting the course at Eindhoven to run it so close in terms of architectural quality. In my rough notes created whilst playing, I’d given top marks to ten holes at de Pan and Eindhoven finished with only one less, on nine.
I know direct comparison against other courses is frowned upon but if De Pan is currently regarded as the best inland course in The Netherlands then it stands to reason that close competitors such as Eindhoven should be matched against it to see how closely they resemble the gold standard.
It’s all about the terrain, of course. Eindhoven is set inside a beautiful wooded property, with fairways undulating through the trees in two returning loops of nine and heather fringing many of the bunkers in a wonderful heathland setting.
The short par four 2nd and 5th are absolute gems; the first of these holes is played to a green that slopes significantly from back to front whilst a more aerial approach can be employed to access the elevated green on the second hole.
The par three 3rd is another terrific hole – the slightly downhill tee shot needs to carry a large expanse of heather between the tee box and green – and the front nine ends in fine style in front of the clubhouse, where the rectangular-shaped 9th green tilts at a lovely angle from back right to front left.
On the back nine, the tee on the 12th hole is to be repositioned, which will bring it back to where it was set originally, and this will vastly improve was is already a decent par four. The 13th hole that follows is a tough one, with broken ground 75 yards out from the green helping to obscure the target.
The par five 17th is a little out of line with what has gone before as it’s rather flat and has more of a parkland feel to it but the story goes it was used as a runway during World War II and it’s since had a couple of large mounds added, along with a pond (that probably provided the fill for the mounds) sitting to the front left of the green.
Whether that tale is true or not doesn’t really matter because it’s still a good hole as it stands nowadays, preceding the 18th which starts out towards the clubhouse from a raised tee position. Like the 9th green, the left to right sloping putting surface of the home green is shaped very pleasingly as a large, old-fashioned rectangle.
The club has an ongoing program of course improvements which is keeping it true to Colt’s original design intentions and the clubhouse is undergoing a major refurbishment next year. Hopefully, they’ll manage to retain the same informal atmosphere inside the refurbished building, with guests warmly welcomed like life members. Do yourself a big favour and see what Eindhoven’s like both on and off the course, I promise you’ll not be disappointed.