Houtrak - Netherlands

Golfclub Houtrak,
Machinweg 1b,
Halfweg 1165 NB,

  • +31 (0) 23 513 2933

  • Not known

  • Gerard Jol

  • Ingmar Harthoorn

Constructed in the mid-1990s on land reclaimed from the IJmuiden estuary between Amsterdam and Haarlem, the 18-hole course at Houtrak Golf Club is a challenging layout located within an attractive polder site. The golf club still has some way to go before its course reaches maturity but a good job has been done in creating a fine contemporary golfing facility. 

Architect Gerard Jol has accumulated many golf design credits in the Netherlands over the years and he has become pretty adept – with the skilful use of earth moving machinery and intelligent planting of vegetation – at turning flat, bland terrain into interesting, subtly undulating golfing landscapes. Houtrak is a very good example of such a transformation. 

The course lies close to the noisy main flight path into and out of busy Schipol airport and its proximity to surrounding wind farm and maritime businesses does it no aesthetic favours. However, it does somehow seem to overcome the limitations of its location, providing members and visitors alike with a much appreciated golfing diversion from the outside industrial world. 

The Dutch Futures tournament on the European Challenge Tour has been held here since 2007.

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Reviews for Houtrak

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Description: Constructed in the mid-1990s on land reclaimed from the IJmuiden estuary between Amsterdam and Haarlem, the 18-hole course at Houtrak Golf Club is a challenging layout located within an attractive polder site. Rating: 3.7 out of 6 Reviews: 3

A parkland course set on the outskirts of Amsterdam, I guess it is probably quite typical of many Netherlands courses in that it has little canals (and therefore water hazards) everywhere. And I mean everywhere. From Houtrak Golf Course - Photo by reviewer a brief count there are probably 31 different times when water comes into play.

The long rough added significantly to the difficulty of the course with lost balls likely when straying. This alone made my stroke round look pretty poor at the end. The greens were quick and true, but had some patches as well.

I liked the aesthetic of the course, especially the back nine where there was a nice isolation of the holes. The back nine was probably more interesting too.

4 / 6
November 12, 2017

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November 15, 2017

Fair review, just one small detail. It's not a parkland course though it does look a bit like one. In The Netherlands we call this a "Polder" course. Which actually is an indication of the land it sits on just as would be the case if it were a parkland. Polder = reclaimed land and as you might know The Netherlands is full of courses like this. Believe it or not Houtrak is one of the better "polder" courses. Doesn't say too much for the average level of "polder" courses does it? Imagine they will even play year round on these courses but you need fly-fishing waders to not ruin all your shoes and clothes for that.

why this course is high on this list baffles me completely. A well maintained but very average "polder" course...
3 / 6
October 12, 2011

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Hourak is one of the longest courses in the Netherlands and length is its main challenge, the second being the wind which often blows across this "polder" course. The course itself is relatively broad, although the rough is kept fairly long so wayward tee shots can be severely punished. Given the length of the par 4's (most are getting close to 400m) you need to use the driver to have a chance of scoring, bringing the rough into play.As a new course it does still need a few years to mature, however the back 9 has a nice run of holes built in a mature wood. Best holes are the par 5 13th which demands accurate approach shots when the flag is tucked back behind the trees, the par 3 14th with a narrow green squeezed between the trees and water and the dogleg par 5 18th which gives the best birdie opportunity on the course (local boy Reinier Saxton scored an eagle to force a play-off he eventually won in the 2008 Dutch Futures).
4 / 6
December 22, 2009

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April 15, 2010
The local "boy" was Taco Remkes, Reinier Saxton was also a local "boy" but he won the Bitish amateur 2008! So there is a lot of talent at Houtrak.
February 09, 2011
it was Taco Remkes who won the dutch futures 2008 with a eagle on 18 Rein Saxton won the British amateur open in 2008 and he is a member of Houtrak
March 05, 2011
Correction to review: as correctly stated by others, it was Taco Remkes who won the Futures. Apologies for confusing my Dutch golfers.
martin Lehmann
June 26, 2011
I think this is a somewhat overrated golf course. It is not bad, but doesn't deserve a position in this list. Between the 1980's and the year 2000 Holland has been overloaded by a large number of mediocre golf courses (often euphemistical called 'polder' course). This is also the case with Houtrak. Apart from a couple of reasonable holes in more or less mature woodland, the course is uninspiring and straightforward. Green complexes are dull, scrub areas are in a poor shape and the maintenance level of the course is basic at best. Hopefully newly built high end golf courses like The Dutch, Amsterdam International, Stippelberg and Cromvoirt will make golfers in Holland aware what really good golf courses should look like.
Ad Heskes
July 06, 2011
Martin Lehmann is very harsh in his judgement. On some points I have to agree with him and that a rating of 9th spot is too much credit but not on the fact that it's a mediocre course. We have asked the Challenge Tour Players to give us feedback and they all praised the course as a challenging lay out and a good championship course allthough not a Noordwijkse or Kennemer. I'm afraid that Martin's score was probably not very good.
Martin Lehmann
July 22, 2011
Most golfers are polite, and this must be the case with Challenge Tour players as well. In all honesty: Houtrak does not belong on a list of the best golf courses in Holland. The lay-out is pretty basic and the maintenance level is average. I played the course in June on a rainy day and had many poor lies in the middle of the fairway. Pitch marks on the greens produced small divots, which on poa dominated greens is not a good sign. I scored somewhere in the high 70s or low 80s, but realy can't remember, which is often the case after having played a so-so golf course.