La Marache is, quite simply, superb. In fabulous condition and the most wonderful design set amongst mature woodlands. Although it opens quietly with two fairly routine par four holes, the third is a triumphant example of what is yet to come. A wonderful, sweeping par five dog-leg down into a valley turning right hand up to a raised green.
The tree-lined fairways are lush and scrupulously maintained with not an unrepaired divot mark to be seen and the greens are small, firm and fast with some treacherous run-offs. On a number of occasions I hit what I thought were some fine shots in only to find my ball nestling in the short but remarkably thick stuff that surrounds each hole. There really is not a weak hole on the course and each has its own test and character.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing and it was a privilege to play such a wonderful course. Belgium boasts a number of world class courses, sadly underplayed by British visitors who traditionally head for France, Spain and now, as often as not Turkey. But for me this comes comfortably in the best 10 courses that I have played in any of those countries. It is no place for the novice but a tremendous challenge for any serious golfer looking for a sensational new venue.
I have only one small quibble and that is that the bar staff are not the most welcoming to visitors but that may well be because they are only used to seeing locals who should be justifiably proud of being able to play such a terrific course as La Marache.
Date: May 13, 2015