- +31 (0)252 37 37 61
1 Km N of Noordwijk aan Zee
Welcome midweek at certain times - contact club for details
Paul de Jong
Noordwijk is a bracing North Sea seaside town and golf has been played amongst these Dutch sand dunes since 1915 when the Noordwijkse Golf Club was formed. A housing estate now occupies the original layout.
In 1959 local approval was granted to build a new 18-hole layout using a course routing drawn up by Noordwijkse club member, Paul de Jong. The plans were rubber stamped by Ken Cotton in 1960 but due to years of permit negotiations it took another nine years before construction work started. Eventually, in the early 1970s, a new 18-hole course, once again set among the dunes, was ready for play.
Undoubtedly, de Jong shaped a classic course through this undulating linksland with each hole winding its way through the sandhills and (in a Formby-like style) through pine woods at holes 4 to 7 then 11 and 12.
In this edited extract from the book Golf Courses of the World author Geoffrey Giles writes: “Perched upon the ridge that acts as Holland’s protection against the North Sea, Noordwijkse is as hilly as any seaside course. An expanse of Leviathan dunes seems to continue north to the horizon, making this a far cry from the rest of Holland’s creaseless landscape.
The small clubhouse is modest for such a veritable club. It sits on the crest of the dunes, overlooking the green fairways winding through the folds of the land. From the 1st tee it becomes clear that Noordwijkse is a true links, with the elevated tee leaving the shot perilously exposed to the wind.
Noordwijkse’s location has a trick up its sleeve because the sandy soil of this important region is actually held together by trees. As a result, the opening links holes soon lead into dense woodland, while retaining the legendary tight lies of a links. It is an interesting and unusual mix (and the ) fusion of different styles creates a wonderfully original experience.”
The Dutch Open has been held here nine times and winners include Seve Ballesteros (1986), Bernhard Langer (1992 and 2001) and Colin Montgomerie (1993). Noordwijkse is a tough pure links test, which stretches to 6,317 metres from the back tees.
One oddity at Noordwijkse was the location of the driving range which had to walk down the first fairway to get to the range. David showed me where the first hole is going to be relocated and it looks like the new location in the sand dunes will make the new hole one of the top opening holes anywhere. The range is also going to be relocated which will remove this oddity. The current first hole is a solid 353 meter downhill par 4 that is a slight dogleg to the left with the green guarded by bunkers on the right front and left of the green. The second is a strong three shot 547 meter par 5 that requires accurate shots to reach the green in regulation. The third is a 152 meter par 3 that has a two-tiered green. I thought the 423 meter par 4 fourth was the most difficult on the links as long and accurate shots are required on this hole. The 377 meter par 4 fifth was a dogleg right that requires a drive down the left side of the fairway to see the green on the second shot. The downhill 171 meter par 3 sixth was a nice hole with a relatively smaller green. At this point there were some pine trees that seemed to be out of place in the dunes. David explained that the Germans planted a long line of pine trees in this area to keep the sand from blowing on the farmlands. The seventh was a short slightly dogleg left 331 meter par 4 that requires an accurate tee shot with two bunkers guarding the right front side of the green. The eighth is a 369 meter dogleg left par 4 that requires an accurate tee shot and unless the drive reaches the top of the hill will have a blind second shot. The ninth is a strong 509 meter par 5 that played into a strong wind on the day we played and was a solid three shot hole.
The tenth was a strong 400 meter par 4 with the drive seemingly an optical illusion to me where to go. Looking out from the tee it looked like should keep the drive right but in reality the line was more left to hit the fairway. The eleventh hole is a 457 meter par 5 that is probably the easiest on the links as long as the drive is accurate. The green slopes broadly from back to front on this green with potentially big breaking putts depending on the pin placement. The twelfth is a downhill short 134 meter par 3 guarded by a bunker on the left. The thirteenth was a short 338 meter par 4 that requires an accurate tee shot with the line the grass bunker in the middle of the fairway. The green has an interesting oblique design and is guarded by a left front bunker. The fourteenth is a solid 514 meter par 5. The fifteenth is an interesting relatively short 340 meter par 4 with a blind tee shot. The correct line is the left center of the large sand dune with the green protected by bunkers on the left and right. The sixteenth is a 358 meter par 4 that requires a drive down the left side as the fairway slopes broadly to the right. The seventeenth is a scenic 186 meter par 3 that requires the tee shot to carry on the green. In front of this green is a very steep slope. The eighteenth is a 358 meter par 4 with bunkers on the right side and a bunker on the right front of the green. Overall an excellent links. Click here to see the You Tube photo slideshow video I’ve created. Jim Brady
The moment you turn off the coastal highway and onto the entrance driveway proceeding through the wooded coastal pine forest you realise you might be in for something special and unique. Upon breaking out of the pine forest and entering through the entrance gate the landscape opens up to the purest of links land. That to which any jolly Scot or Irishman would be incredibly proud. Upon arrival in the clubhouse you experience the “wow” factor I’m talking about. It’s a view I can only compare to that of Cruden Bay or even Chambers Bay where you look out from the highly perched clubhouses and first see what lies in wait before you. The view allows you to look out over much of the course and the rugged, undulated dunes land. It’s tough to hold back the excitement from this point.
At De Noordwijkse it’s clear that everything revolves around one thing and one thing only, that my friends is golf. Everything else is understated, the clubhouse is very nice and cozy, a great place to sit inside before and after your round. However, it’s incredibly understated and from the outside looks like something you might see in the dunes in Scotland or Ireland. The facilities are nice and cozy but the only real luxury is the view, that is, until you’re standing on the first tee. Review by David Davis (Top 100 Benelux correspondent – click here to read the full story.