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Royal Antwerp (Tom Simpson)

Royal Antwerp (Tom Simpson)

Kapellen, Vlaams Gewest
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Kapellen, Vlaams Gewest

Royal Antwerp was inaugurated in 1888 and it’s the oldest golf club in Belgium. The course was originally laid out by Willie Park Junior in 1913 and redesigned by Tom Simpson in 1930. It’s one of continental Europe’s architectural delights.

The following extract is from the New World Atlas of Golf.

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“No royal family has taken a livelier interest in golf than the Belgian. King Baudouin has represented his country in international matches, a unique distinction for a reigning monarch, and his father, the abdicant King Leopold, is a true aficionado.

In all Europe, including Britain, Antwerp has few peers for the type of course that wends its way through woods of pine and silver birch, heather and shrubs, and it has a character similar to those on that fine belt of golfing country west of London. At first sight it might appear easier than Sunningdale, Wentworth and their brethren. Its level changes hardly more than a yard or so; rarely do the trees threaten peace of mind, even that of a golfer. Yet its very flatness call for fine judgement of distance, and the unusual disposition of some 6,700 yards makes the strict par of 73 severe even for the good player.”

According to the Peugeot Golf Guide: “Having the privilege of being an old style course, its length doesn't mean having to drive à la John Daly and the subtle greens hardly require the putting touch of Cory Pavin. But the trouble in store should never be underestimated, as this is an iron hand in a velvet glove. The remarkably intelligent layout, highly strategic bunkering and the presence and use of trees and heather are an example for all modern designers."


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Course Architect

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Willie Park Jr.

​Willie Park Jr. was born in Musselburgh, the second of four sons of (Old) Willie Park, four-time Open Champion. Young Willie won the Open twice himself, becoming one of five Musselburgh men to do so.

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