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Top 40 Golf Courses of The Netherlands 2023

20 January, 2023
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Jim McCann

We started ranking courses in The Netherlands in 2008, going on to establish a Top 15 in 2012, before expanding to a Top 25 four years later. We extended the list to a Top 30 when we last revised the listings in 2020 and we’re now pushing the boundaries yet again in this edition by adding another ten courses to form a new Top 40.

There’s lots of great golf to play in The Netherlands and we’re only too happy to shine a light on those courses that we think deserve wider recognition. Of course, we don’t always get things right so if you think we’ve missed out on a particular layout then by all means let us know. The same applies if you think a course is riding too high or falling too low.

Let’s crack on and have a quick look at a few of the new chart highlights…

Koninklijke Haagsche

The course at Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club took over the No. 1 spot six years ago and it remains in that position now, following the latest update of these national listings. The club dates back to 1893 but its links course is of a more recent vintage, having been remodelled by Harry Colt’s design partner Hugh Alison just before the beginning of World War II.

Guy Campbell helped revive the fortunes of the layout shortly after the war and, in more recent times, Frank Pont has been involved in restoring the course to its more open, sandier origins among the towering sand dunes that the fairways weave through. Currently ranked #2 in Continental Europe, Koninklijke Haagsche also occupies a position in our World Top 100.

The International – Amsterdam

The course at The International – Amsterdam rises four places in our new standings to number 11. Designed by Bruno Steensels with Ian Woonam as the headline architect, the layout opened almost exactly ten years ago, with holes routed around a property that sits between De Nieuwe Meer lake and the northeast perimeter of Schiphol airport.

“To design a pretty looking course in flat wasteland is impressive, even when big money is involved in the design and the construction,” wrote one reviewer last year. “The green complexes are right up there in terms of excitement, variety and challenge (though) some of the greens are probably a bit extreme.”

Gelpenberg

The course at Drentse Golfclub de Gelpenberg was a newcomer at #23 the last time we re-ranked and it makes further progress by moving six spots up to number 17. Located close to the village of Aalden, which is half an hour’s drive from the city of Emmen, the layout is an early 1970s design by Frank Pennink and Donald Steel when they were in partnership.

Featuring an open front nine and forested back nine, both of which return to the clubhouse, the course extends to 6,321 metres from the back tees, with par set at 72. The terrain is decidedly flat in much of the Drenthe province so there’s not a lot of movement in the fairways here but the internal contouring of the greens and runoff area shaping add great interest.

Lauswolt

Climbing five positions to number 22, the course at Golf & Country Club Lauswolt first entered our chart at #21 in 2016 so it’s heading back in the right direction to where it first arrived. Situated in the north of the country, Lauswolt was the first golfing layout in the province of Friesland when it debuted in the mid-1960s.

The original 9-hole layout was designed by Frank Pennink, with Donald Steel adding another nine thirty years later and today the course extends to just over 6,000 metres, playing to a par of 73. Fairways weave through a heavily forested landscape, though a few holes in the middle of each nine occupy more open ground to the south of the property.  

Domburgsche

Advancing six places to number 23, the 9-hole course at Domburgsche Golfclub is reckoned to be the oldest golfing layout in the country still playing in its initial format, dating back to 1914. The course was badly damaged during World War II and didn’t reopen until 1955. In more recent times, upgrade work by architect Alan Rijks has enhanced the course’s links credentials.

A reviewer summed up his experience here last year by writing: “when you stand on the 1st tee and feel the wind blowing straight in your face, you instantly realise how beautiful this simple game of golf is… when we phone for our annual visit we ask for a seafood lunch between rounds on the lovely little terrace nestled between the dunes… golf at Domburg is a down-to-earth experience and never lets me down.”

Sallandsche

The first of ten chart newcomers appears at number 25 and it’s the course at Sallandsche Golfclub ‘de Hoek’ which is situated a mere 10-minute drive north of Deventer city centre. The club started out with a 9-hole track designed by Frank Spalding in 1933 then this was eventually extended to an 18-hole layout by Donald Steel sixty years later.

In 2014, the club embarked on a bunker renovation project that was overseen by Frank Pont and Brett Hochstein. The vision of attaining a style of bunkering which was a cross between that of Harry Colt and Tom Simpson involved rebuilding some hazards and removing others, with the objective of improving the overall aesthetic of the course.

To view the complete detailed list of our latest Top 40 Golf Courses of The Netherlands click the link. View list here.

If you have any comment to make on the above chart then please use the “Write a Response” button at the bottom of this page.

Jim McCann

Editor

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