The Golfsociëteit De Lage Vuursche layout was fashioned by Kyle Phillips and it opened for play in the year 2000. This was an ambitious restoration project which aimed to revert flat farmland back to its former glory of rolling terrain flanked by woodland.
The result is that Lage Vuursche has found its level as one of Holland’s premier courses that stretches out beyond 6,900 yards from the tips.
Serpentine shaped canals and a number of lakes come into play on twelve holes with adroit and sometimes raised bunkering waiting to catch the errant shot. The large greens should be easy to find but it takes courage to block so many prominent hazards from your mind.
Newly planted trees naturally require time to mature but already they are adding to the challenge and the appeal of Lage Vuursche.
5 Aug 2010 – MJ van Laake commented as follows: “in addition to your accurate info on the Lage Vuursche I would like to add that the layout was a collaboration of Phillips and Trent Jones Jr.”
It’s always great to get back to see the Lage Vuursche. The first, and for years, the only routing from Kyle Philips in The Netherlands. This fact is about to change with the addition of a new course in the south of the land.
This may well be the premier members club in the country with near perfect conditioning that is highly uncommon in continental Europe. It’s a challenging course on a small property and it’s found its place among the county’s Top 10 courses.
On top of that, the rest of The Netherlands could learn from this wonderful example of superior service headed by the best GM in the country. My hat is off to him and his team. Great work here and as always I look forward to my next chance to enjoy a day at this challenging and beautiful course.
I live around 9 miles away from this track but have yet to splash out, having heard mixed reviews from friends.
Would therefore appreciate a little more info on the course itself (this reviewer is clearly capable of valuable and detailed insight)!
Having had my first encounter with this venue a couple of years ago, I was lucky to be invited back to 'de Lage Vuursche' to play a round of golf & lunch this Sunday.
Although de Lage Vuursche is a total makeover from flat farmland to a undulated parkland course (only performed in 2000), the course feels well matured and blends in perfectly due to the trees surrounding the terrain. Kyle Phillips did a wonderful job creating 18 unique holes, and because of the excellent routing, one settles in the round easily. Although relatively long and well protected by an abundance of different hazards, the course offers plenty of birdie opportunities.
In 2000, de Lage Vuursche must have been 'the new kind on the block' being so close to 'de Pan' and 'de Hilversumsche', offering a more modern, corporate golf experience. These two tracks truly belong to the top tier of golf tracks in the Netherlands, and in my opinion are still a class better that the track at de Lage Vuursche. But since these two clubs are difficult to join, de Lage Vuursche must be a welcome alternative for new golfers in the area.
The maintenance levels throughout the course and the service level at the reception & the restaurant are of the highest standards. That's why I was a bit surprised that a number of greens had patches of damage or diseases. On the unaffected (parts of the) greens, the roll was good. My personal favourite is hole 9: I like the challenge from the tee and the approach to the green complex that is tucked away between trees and bunkers.
De Lage Vuursche is open to visitors, but given the green fee charged (EUR 137,50), I have a sneaky suspicion the business model is more focused on catering for the needs of the members & their guests. Since de Pan & de Hilversumsche both offer a better track and friendlier tariffs for visitors, I know where I would spend my day.
Still I hope that many invitations, to play at de Lage Vuursche, will follow!
I can understand why upwardly mobile golfers would want to become a member at Lage Vuursche as it offers an upmarket golf experience with a well-appointed clubhouse and well-presented golf course which is laid on easy walking terrain with no strenuous climbs and everything laid out in front of you.
Actually, “well-presented” gives only withering praise for the conditioning as the layout is manicured to a very high standard indeed. Everything is so pleasing on the eye: lakes are beautifully edged, bunkers are impeccably fringed, tee boxes and green surrounds are immaculately trimmed and the bent grass greens are just a joy to putt on.
I’m not a big fan of water-laden holes (especially when there are so many on the one layout) but they’re so brilliantly constructed here and they fit the landscape so well that you can’t help but admire them.
I really liked the short par four 3rd, which turned sharply left and up to a raised green that sits behind a pond and a large protecting bunker. The par three 6th was another favourite on the front nine, where the tee shot must carry water all the way to a shallow raised green.
The best was kept until last on the outward half at the par four 9th. It’s very tight off the tee (like the preceding hole), with the perimeter treeline of the property running along the left of the fairway as it narrows towards a green that allows a running approach shot.
On the back nine, I thought the placement of the two trees guarding the par four 13th green was a little too obtrusive for my liking, and the large specimen tree close to the putting surface on the par five 16th was also a bit too close for comfort.
Water prevails on each of the last five holes so concentration levels need to be maintained all the way to the end if lost balls are to be avoided. Holes 15 and 16 are routed round opposite sides of an attractive little lake, putting pressure on golfers at the first of these holes as they can see more of the same to come immediately on the other side!
There was a shotgun start event on when I played here so our group was lucky to be allowed out early in the morning, before the competition began at lunchtime, but we were back in time to sample the atmosphere of a vibrant, busy clubhouse before everybody got going in the competition.
You don’t attain a prominent position in the European Top 100 rankings unless you’re one of the top tracks on the continent and Lage Vuursche certainly falls into that category. The club doesn’t actively seek casual green fee golfers – only twenty-two thousand rounds were played on the course last year – but it’s well worth playing if you ever get the chance.
It was a joy to play this wonderful course on a mild day in late summer. I teed off at 8.50 and it was still a bit foggy and moist, so the course was a little softer than I had expected because my home course De Rosendaelsche played ridiculously firm and fast the week before and I reckoned that the soil would be pretty similar, given that De Hilversumsche is pretty nearby as well.
The conditions at the golf 'Society' as the members call it were incredible. The fairways were mown like I've never seen before and the beautifully designed bunkers were constantly machine-raked by the greenkeepers, who were overall very nice. The greens ran at 8.6 on the stimp and but I had expected more of them because some were perfect but others patchy and appeared to be running slower.
As for the design: Kyle Philips has done a terrific job. The course is right up there with the classic Dutch courses. There are a few great risk reward holes and some brutal par 4s. The fairway bunkers really are hazards one should negotiate with, I hit a lot of three woods and long irons from the tee, while the course played to its' full length of 6285 meters from the tips.
The opening hole is a terrific slight dogleg longish par 4 where the approach plays downhill a meter or two and the 546 meter par 5 8th is also a fantastic hole playing into the neck of the woods, followed by another well bunker-guarded long par 4.
The best holes on the back nine are the amen corner of Lage Vuursche, as the birdiebook suggests: holes 14-16 and they are indeed great holes. The finishing hole is also a cracker par 4 that I double bogeyed. There is water all along the right side and in front of the green that is guarded by deep bunkers also.
The driving range is also a unique experience in the Netherlands because there are pyramids of balls on real grass instead of the usual mats, which really adds to the experience. I will definitely be back.MO