The Netherlands isn’t synonymous with golf, but visitors will find a wealth of courses within easy reach of Amsterdam. In fact, several of Europe’s top courses are situated close to the capital, including the fabulous links trio on the North Sea coastline.
From seaside gems to championship tests there’s something to suit every golfer.
We look at seven great courses within seventy miles of Amsterdam.
The International Amsterdam
Located just a few hundred meters from the runway at Schiphol Airport, The International Amsterdam may be the most convenient golf club in Europe.
In fact, you don’t even need a passport to play this modern new test. Ian Woosnam would put his name to the Bruno Steensels design, which created plenty of headlines when it opened five years ago. The layout is the first championship layout in Amsterdam itself, and a long overdue addition to the city.
The location may veer more towards convenience than charm, but there’s no disputing that the championship test is more than worth a round.
This stunning layout is about as close to a links course as you can ever find without stepping foot in Britain or Ireland. Located in The Hague, and regularly ranked among the top 100 courses in the world, Koninklijke may well be the best links course in mainland Europe. It is also regularly posited as the top layout in the country.
While the club can be dated back to 1893, it is the great Harry Colt who is credit with the current design. Links traditionalists will be impressed by this testing layout which meanders its way through undulating terrain along the North Sea coastline. Little has changed since the Englishman worked his magic here and golfers will find rippling fairways surrounded by gorse and penal rough.
Kennemer offers something a little bit special and from the moment you catch a glimpse of this links gem you know you’re in for a real treat. Founded in 1910 Kennemer is located in Zandvoort, a popular seaside town close to The Hague, and occupies a stunning stretch that is home to some of the country’s greatest courses. As with many of the great links courses on the continent, Harry Colt was the mastermind behind the design. In fact, many will argue it is among his finest moments and golfers will find a classic links course maintained in immaculate condition.
The Noordwijkse is the third member of a fantastic trio of links courses situated just north of The Hague. This stunning stretch is widely considered to be the greatest collection of links courses on the continent. It’s hard to disagree.
A true championship test, golf has been played at the bracing seaside town as far back as 1915, although the current layout was fashioned by Paul de Jong in the 1970’s. His vision was a classic links test and that is exactly what you will get. Played across undulating terrain, you will find eighteen distinctive holes, with each carving their way through sand dunes and pine woods.
Ranked among the top 20 courses in Europe, de Noordwijkse Golf Club has staged the Dutch Open on nine occasions. Previous winners include Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
Legendary English architect Harry Colt was behind no fewer than ten Dutch courses, including this charming layout.
Utrechtse Golfclub is considered the best inland test in the country. It is also the most picturesque. Set on densely wooded hills, the course takes in many distinctive features, including heather-clad valleys, sandy hills, and secluded trees. It’s easy to feel like you’ve been transported to a traditional English heathland, and golfers will need to carefully plot their way around the strategically designed layout if they wish to score well.
When Harry Colt and Kyle Phillips have both had a hand in a course’s design you know it’s going to be out of the very top drawer. That’s certainly the case at Hilversumsche Golf Club, a delightful layout that carves its way through dense woodland. The venue has played host to 30 Dutch Opens over the course of its history. With a recent redesign by Phillips elevating the course to a whole new level, there’s no doubting it will be staging tournaments for many years to come.
Hilversumsche is one of the most exclusive clubs in the Netherlands, although there is limited visitor access during the week.
Renowned architect Kyle Phillips has fashioned a fabulous course out of what was once flat farmland. Golfsociëteit De Lage Vuursche opened for play in 2000, the ambitious project is now regarded as one of the country’s best golf courses. Stretching 6,900 from the back tees, the rolling terrain is flanked by woodland, with serpentine canals and water hazards coming into play on several holes.
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