Goyer Golf and Country Club lies close to the intersection of the A1 and A27 highways, 20 miles to the east of Amsterdam city centre. So close, in fact, the 7th and 8th fairways of the course are bounded on the left by the busy A27 as it heads north to the Stichtse Brug bridge over the Gooimeer Lake.
Opened at the start of the new millennium, Goyer’s golf facilities include an 18-hole course (the North) and a six hole par 3 course (the South) and they were laid out by Bruno Steensels of Master Golf, a Belgian architect with over 45 European golf projects to his name, the majority of them in the Benelux countries.
The North course is very flat, as you would expect in this part of the world, with clever use of water, waste bunkers and mounding at many of the holes. The double doglegged par five 4th hole is a real tester early in the round, with water to be avoided to the right of the green. On the back nine, the par four 16th hole is an eye-catcher. A pond threatens the tee shot on the left then the approach must carry a massive sandy wasteland and steer clear of more water to the front right of the putting surface.
Thanks to my friend BB, I returned to play the South Course after a couple of years. A few alterations have been made in the meantime.
The first hole is a gentle opening hole, yet a challenging risk reward hole. It’s the only tree-lined hole you’ll find on the course. That give you a wrong idea of what’s up ahead, as the course is quite open and has an inland-links meets parkland-character furtheron.
The fourth is a nice double doglegged par 5 with an approach over water. It’s too bad a great drive in the middle of the fairway can turn out not so good due to a lone giant tree. The par 5 17th has the same problem. A good drive can be punished and it’s quite arbitrary. The tree stands in the narrowest part of the fairway to make it worse. The 16th also has a tree in the way near the green, but at least this one can be meaded by good course management or a quality golf shot.
As for the routing, there are negatives and positives. Bruno Steensels did a great job creating a course on a compact piece of land, making use of two loops: the outer loop for the front nine and the inner loop which consists of the back nine. You rarely have the feeling that you’re packed. The par 3 fifth is a nice example. It’s a short and compact hole tucked between holes, but with a really wide sloping green that makes it a great hole providing variation off the tee.
Especially at the end of the inward half however (17 and 18), you need to walk back to the mens tees quite a distance which does not feel necessary.
The back nine has some great holes as well. Especially the stretch from 13th til the 16th is enjoyable. 13 is a stunning par 5, a genuine three shotter (for most people) with a raised green with wasteland in front of it. 15 can be a completely different hole depending on the tee you play from. Multiple options from the green and you can probably even reach the green, although it’s guarded by large bunkers.
It’s great fun playing this course, given the conditions, a couple of great holes, speedy greens by Dutch standards and the beautiful terrace overlooking the 18th hole. On a sunny day like we had, you can’t really wish for more. MO
It's difficult to be completely objective with De Goyer as it's my home course in The Netherlands. I tend to look forward to playing other courses. There's a marriage analogy in here somewhere.
Having played around 40 courses in this country, I would have to say it's definitely above average by the local standards, especially amongst the newer Dutch courses.
The front 9 routes out clockwise along the outside of the property (don't got left) and the back 9 tends to route back anti-clockwise inside the front 9. The attractive US style clubhouse looks out over the 18th green.
It opens with a perfect gentle getaway hole - a beautifully framed short dogleg Par 4. As long as you've loosened up a bit (which I never do) you should more often than not end up with a wedge into the interesting 2 tiered green.
It immediately gets difficult at the Par 3 2nd though, where you need to hit a pretty straight long iron 190 yards or so.
The 5th is the best Par 3 on the course as you hit over wasteland to a wide shallow green that slopes from back to front. Depending on the pin position and deceptive wind in this corner I find myself hitting anything from a wedge to a 6 iron on this hole.
The course then has a tougher stretch from 6-8, before a less testing Par 4 9th with a friendly green that brings you back to the clubhouse.
Highlights on the back 9 would be the Par 5 13th - a great hole that gives strategic options for both better and lesser players.
Hole 15 is a short Par 4 that also gives options - drive over the central bunkers for an easier second shot, or plot your way around them and have a longer second shot. They've just introduced a new back tee on this hole which crosses the 7th fairway, lengthening the hole by 40 yards or so. Not sure what I think of it. Safety concerns aside (!), I liked the option of better players perhaps having the option to drive the green.
The 16th hole is a weaker one for me as it doesn't give options off the tee and however good my drive is, the big tree in front of the green is seemingly always in my way!
The 17th is also a bit unfair as you tend to have to play up the left side otherwise you can get blocked out by 2 big trees. However, I've played with people who have eagled it, so it's probably just me.
The 18th is a nice hole to finish - hit my driver as hard as I can (only reached the water once), making sure to hit the fairway, and then hit your glory second shot with sand and water guarding the long green.
Conditioning is not great all year round, so try to catch it around August and then you'll see it at it's best - quicker greens and long purple tinged grasses meaning you need to find the fairway. The €100 greenfee is possibly not great value (they're not too bothered about greenfee business and golf is already expensive here, so try to play with a member), but it is well worth playing if you're in the area for the likes of the Hilversumsche or Lage Vuursche.
To come back to my marriage analogy: The grass is not always greener elsewhere and it is a pleasure to play the majority of my golf at De Goyer. BB