Lochemse Golf & Country Club, known locally as “De Graafschap,” was established in 1987, some fifty years after the local mayor proposed such a facility for the local people living in the small market town of Lochem.
W. van Luttervelt, son of the former mayor, and C. W. H. van Dam, who owned “The Hameland” farmland property in Lochem, joined forces to form the new club but it took a further six years before a 9-hole course was unveiled in 1993.
The old farmhouse building was converted into a clubhouse (ten years later it would be further extended) and the new facility was off and running. In 1995, another nine holes were added to complete a full size 18-hole layout.
Renowned Belgian architect Bruno Steensels of MasterGolf International added a 3-hole practice course at the start of the new millennium and this development has since allowed the club to introduce many hundreds of junior golfers to the game.
The course stretches to 6,001 metres from the back tees and it’s characterised by subtle changes in elevation as the tight fairways weave around several man-made water hazards, with several holes doglegging to the target off the tee.
Back-to-back par fives arrive early in the round at holes 2 and 3 and the 343-metre 7th requires special care as stray tee shots will catch ponds on either side of the fairway. The semi-blind, bunkerless green at the 135-metre 8th is probably the most memorable feature on the front nine.Like the 7th hole, water to the left and right of the landing area at the 12th is a visual threat from the teebox. The long, narrow, double doglegged 15th is an even tougher hole on the inward half (rated stroke index 1) with a large tree on the right side of the fairway obscuring approach shots to the green.
I wasn't too impressed on my last visit here. It's ok and some of the holes have some nice risk-reward challenges in them, but overall I found the course to be not so difficult. The course usually plays rather soft and the fairways are quite broad. Add no relevant elevation-changes or daunting bunkers and an up and down is quickly made.