The province of Friesland isn’t exactly renowned as a golfing hotspot. Indeed, when Golf & Country Club Lauswolt was founded in 1964 it was the first golf club established in the northern part of the country. Two years after its formation, the club had a Frank Pennink-designed 9-hole layout in operation.
Three decades would then pass before Donald Steel added another nine holes and they were fashioned in rather a unique way, with many of the new fairways running parallel to the existing holes, following almost the exact same routing through a very heavily forested landscape.
The course extends to 6,146 metres, playing to a par of 73, with a handful of par fives on the scorecard. Water comes into play at several holes furthest away from the clubhouse: the par three 4th (played to a peninsula green), the par four 5th, and the adjacent 14th and 15th on the back nine.
The toughest holes on the scorecard are the right doglegging 408-metre 3rd, played to a green that’s guarded by a large bunker to the front left of the putting surface, and the arrow-straight 410-metre 13th, where a bunker to the front right of the green is intended to protect par.
You'd have to drive a good hour or two to reach this course, and it could be worth the trouble when you combine it with dinner at Heeren van Harinxma. Nice parkland and forest course, but not quite as good as the courses belonging to 'De Oude Negen'. Probably the best course in the north of the country along with de Noord-Nederlandsche en De Gelpenberg
Lauswolt is a decent enough course and has some lovely holes. What lets it down is the quality contrast between the older Pennink nine and the newer nine. Some of the holes are fantastic and some are average.
The routing does work well around the property and it's a nice walk. You begin with some of the older holes, go through the newer holes, and then come back to the older holes. This at least means you start and end with a good impression of the course. Worth playing again, but perhaps somewhere like De Gelpenberg in the area is a better example of mixing an old Pennink nine with a newer nine. BB