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.
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.
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.