A new 27-hole golf complex in southern Belgium, close to the border with Luxembourg will start construction in June.
The Bois d’Arlon Golf and Resort, being developed by Luxembourg-based property investor Roby Schintgen, will feature courses designed by English architects Stuart Hallett and Jonathan Davison, and is expected to open in 2023. Both courses – Hallett’s 18 holes and Davison’s nine – will be built simultaneously.
Schintgen, whose background is in commercial real estate, bought the chateau and its 27 hectares (67 acres) of land in 2013, and subsequently acquired the surrounding 190 hectares (470 acres) of forest the year after.
Hallett said: “Ninety per cent of my course, which is in the land surrounding the chateau and its immediate estate, will be on pure sand, which is 10-12 metres deep. It is a large, open heath, gently undulating and ideally suited for golf.
“When I saw the site, I thought ‘I have to walk this property and find natural golf holes’. So that was what I did. There was one part of the site that was just beautiful – with heather, broom and the like – and it would be criminal to rip it up. There are seven or eight holes that are basically entirely natural and the rest was made to fit around it. In much of the site, it is just a question of stripping the vegetation and seeding it. There are a couple of beautiful natural punchbowl greens, and the sixth hole is a glorious natural par five along the edge of the property that is. just breathtaking. It will have fescue greens. Building the course will not need that much earthworks.”
Davison’s nine holes, in the chateau’s park, are on heavier soil that has more undulation. “It is more traditional parkland, but still very beautiful ground,” the architect said. “It will be clean, crisp and subtle, and the greens will be bent, giving a good contrast between the two courses. We will sandcap using sand extracted from the driving range – which will be lowered by about four metres.”
The facility will operate as a golf resort, but will also offer memberships. The new hotel will have 65 bedrooms, while the chateau will continue to operate as a venue for functions.