Royal LatemSint-Martens-Latem, Vlaams Gewest
- AddressLatemstraat 122, 9830 Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
- Championships hosted
Royal Latem Golf Club, the centurion, was founded in 1909 and is one of Belgium’s oldest golf clubs. Geo Pannell, who was commissioned by Albert Feyerick to route 18 holes over his hunting estate, originally designed the course at Sint-Martens-Latem. We think Pannell was the English professional (George Pannell), who won the inaugural Dutch Open in 1912, but please let us know if we are incorrect in our assumption.
Originally called the Société Coopérative Golf Club des Buttes Blanches, or “les Buttes Blanches” for short, the club was granted royal status in 1928. Sadly, the Germans commandeered the course during the Second World War and it was a struggle to return it to its former glory after the occupation. Thankfully and largely due to president, Jean Delori, the club fully recovered and even played host to three Belgian Opens in the 1950s, which were won by Albert Pelissier (1951), Flory Van Donck (1956) and Bernard Hunt (1957).
In the 1970s, the golf club changed its name to Royal Latem and continued to flourish, aided by a series of alterations and improvements (most notably to the 17th) implemented by Fred W. Hawtree. Fred's son, Martin, installed five new greens in 2012. Set on a fairly compact site of approximately 100 acres, this engaging parkland course requires a technical approach in order to post a score.
Royal Latem is strategically bunked with an occasional pond to focus the mind. The course is routed through avenues of trees, so straight and accurate ball striking is always the order of the day.
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Course ArchitectView All
Fred W. Hawtree was a founder member and later President of the British Association of Golf Course Architects, which was the first attempt in the UK to form a golf course architecture profession.