Colin Montgomerie visited his new golf course in The Netherlands last week as part of a week long series of events to celebrate the official opening of The Dutch.
The Dutch, one of only five courses in Europe which campaigned for the 2018 Ryder Cup, was designed by Colin in association with European Golf Design. The 18 hole golf course and practice facility at Spijk, near Gorinchem, in the Netherlands was inspired by the company ‘Made in Scotland’, and is a place where golf is used to bring top executives together in an environment where business and social relationships can be created, developed and enhanced. The high quality championship golf course has been uniquely styled to help them meet this objective.
Speaking during the day, Colin Montgomerie said: “It gives me great pleasure to return to The Dutch to mark the official opening of the golf course. I have been here several times over the last three years to keep an eye on how it has developed and I have to say I am absolutely delighted with the results. We’ve created 18 holes of real quality which look fantastic and I’m sure will be fun to play. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team here and my thanks go to all those involved. I wish the club every success for the future.”
Golf course construction began in early 2008, dealing first with some of the unique engineering solutions required to create flat farmland, several metres below sea level, into a first class golf course. Since then exciting and quite radical shaping has been used to create a rugged golf course character where undulating fairways, featuring many bumps and hollows, are framed by dramatic mounding. Out of necessity on land which is below sea level there are also many water features, with several lakes, streams and canals coming into play.
Ross McMurray, lead architect on the project for European Golf Design, said: “The concept here was to combine influences from links and heathland golf courses with some modern flair to create an individual style, unique to The Dutch. We wanted to establish an immediate ‘wow’ factor and then back that up with good strategic design. I really like the way that the challenge builds as you go around the golf course. From a relatively gentle start the course keeps racking up the pressure and the back nine especially will represent a true challenge.”
Despite not being named as host venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup, there was still a great deal to celebrate at The Dutch, not only for the opening of the golf course but also because their 2018 Ryder Cup bid has put The Netherlands firmly on the golfing map. Of particular importance is the fact that the bid has significantly raised the profile of the sport within the country.
European Golf Design are the joint venture design company of the European Tour and IMG. Formed in 1992 European Golf Design have designed over 40 courses throughout Europe, The Middle East and South Africa with another 30 currently in the design or construction phase.
The Twenty Ten Ryder Cup Course at Celtic Manor is a European Golf Design course. Projects currently under design and construction include those in Croatia, Morocco, St Kitts, Portugal, and Russia.
European Golf Design www.egd.com