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
Date: May 29, 2018