Dating back to 1894, Utrechtse Golf Club de Pan is the second oldest golf club in the Netherlands – Haagsche is the oldest by just one year. Harry Colt designed Utrecht de Pan in 1929 and the course is set in delightful wooded seclusion.
A worldwide audience of golfers glimpsed the charms of this layout in 1967 during one of the “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” series of televised challenge matches when the course hosted a tie between Peter Thomson and Dave Marr.
Host to the Dutch Open on three occasions – the last was in 1982 which Paul Way won – Utrecht de Pan is a strategic and exacting layout which requires thought rather than muscle, especially during the homeward nine.
The course is laid out in classic English heathland style, doglegging through stands of pine, birch, oak and chestnut trees with memorable driving holes at the 6th, 7th and 10th where the tee shot is played over valleys of heather and sand. Many are surprised to find the terrain rises and falls as much as it does – particularly at the 6th where both tee shot and approach are played blind – and with no water in play, the main hazards to be avoided are the trees and the few well-positioned bunkers.
Martin Hawtree was commissioned to renovate the course in the 1990s.
On returning to the clubhouse, with its steep thatched roof, there is a statue of Pan – the mythological Greek god – outside, playing his pipes. Hopefully, you will not have encountered him during your round as he is said to haunt the woods and fields, causing anxiety to those who pass through – hence the term panic attack. Actually, with a course as good as this, any worry you may have at the end is bound to have been caused by a below par performance, not by Pan!
April 02, 2011