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Top 25 Golf Courses of The Netherlands 2018

15 January, 2018

Top 25 Golf Courses of The Netherlands 2018

If you read last month’s news articles relating to our newly updated World Top 100 and Continental Europe Top 100 then you will not be shocked to learn that Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club retains the number 1 spot in The Netherlands.

This late-1930s layout from the design company of Colt, Alison and Morrison is not only ranked as the second best in continental Europe, it has also just climbed nine places to number 89 in our new global rankings, which gives a proper indication of the regard in which this old Dutch Master is held.

The latest person to review the course had this to say a couple of months ago: “Royal Hague is routed across a hugely impressive rolling piece of links land that’s ideal for golf. The changes in elevation are dramatic in places… there is a great sense of excitement with a number of the blind shots as they progressively reveal the hole to you… it’s a mighty encounter on a gorgeous piece of property with a dynamic routing that will joyfully bring you to your knees.”

Several members of the Top 100 Team visited the country last summer and the subsequent report that was published The Netherlands – a golf destination of surprisingly high quality was positively glowing in its praise for the quality of golf that’s available in the Kingdom of the Low Countries.

Much was made in the article about another Colt, Alison and Morrison design at Utrechtse Golf Club de Pan, which now closely shadows its Dutch compatriot, Koninklikke Haagsche. It remains the #2 course in The Netherlands and has also risen six places to #3 in Europe as well as debuting in our new World hundred at #100.

“Great to see Utrecht de Pan join Royal Hague in the latest World Top 100 listing as it’s arguably the best amongst the small but high quality group of Dutch courses that date back to the golden age of golf architecture,” is how one reviewer commented last month on De Pan’s spectacular rise in the international charts. He also gave credit to work undertaken here (and at Royal Hague) in the last few years by one of Europe’s most respected architects: “Frank Pont’s Infinite Variety company has had a positive impact on the course by renovating many of Colt’s original bunkers and stripping back much of the encroaching vegetation, encouraging further heather regeneration.”

OK, so two world-ranked courses head the new national table but what about the other positions?

Well, within the top 10, there‘s a very high standard maintained with six of the remaining eight places occupied by courses ranked within our recently revised Continental Europe Top 100. These courses are in exactly the same order as when we last appraised The Netherlands, except for the #7 and #8 slots, so Rosendaelsche Golf Club’s century-old layout near Arnhem (extended to an 18-hole course by Frank Pennink in the mid-1970s) swaps positions with the new millennium design of Kyle Phillips and Robert Trent Jones Jnr at Golfsociëteit Lage Vuursche, close to Utrecht.

Just outside the Top 10, a couple of courses rise two places in the right direction: Golfclub De Hoge Kleij’s mid-1980s layout just outside Amersfoort (designed by Donald Steel and Frank Pennink but since renovated by Frank Pont) is now at #11 and it’s immediately followed at #12 by the Championship course at Golfbaan Stippelberg, near Eindhoven, where architects Michiel van der Vaart, Philip Spogaard and Gerard Jol collaborated on its design.

Further down the chart, there are solid three position advances made by another two courses. The first of these is Het Rijk Nunspeet (North & East) near Zwolle (at number 19), which is a late-1980s design by Paul Rolin, and the second is the course at Golf and Country Club Geijjsteren, situated close to Weeze airport on the German border (at number 21), with the layout benefiting from a Michiel van der Vaart renovation in recent times.

The only new entry appears at number 17 in our new standings and it’s one that’s been on our radar for a while now, without breaking into our classification process. The 27-hole complex at Golfclub Heelsum is a Hans Hertzberger layout from 2002 which Steve Marnoch has been renovating for the best part of a decade now, working with the local contractor to re-establish a heathland character for the course by exposing naturally sandy areas and introducing plantings of heather and juniper around the property. It’s an ambitious, relatively low-budget eco-project which is now causing industry insiders to sit up and take some notice of what’s been achieved.

Finally, we're keeping a close eye on a new Kyle Phillips development at Cromvoirt, the brainchild of Robert van der Wallen from BrandLoyalty, which we understand is due to open at the end of this summer. No expense has been spared in the construction of this new layout, including the underground burial of overhead power lines. The club will oddly be called “Bernardus”, mirroring the name of the owner's wine estate in Carmel, California. Our only question is, how high will Bernardus debut in our next Dutch rankings?

If you’re unsure about any of our selections then feel free to tell us what you’re thinking. Have we left out a course that should be included or is there a golfing layout there that really shouldn’t be anywhere near a ranking position? Perhaps there’s one riding too high or another lying too low? Whatever your opinion is, please click the “Respond to this article” link at the top or bottom of this page to let us know your thoughts.


To view further details of The Netherlands Top 25 click the link.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses


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