Course taking shape near Schiphol


Course taking shape near Schiphol
Sean Dudley

A new golf course is currently taking shape right next to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

Dutch developer BurgGolf Holdings, which already operates eleven courses around the Netherlands and Belgium, is building the Schiphol International course, with the help of Belgian design firm Mastergolf.

Mastergolf principal architect Bruno Steensels and associate Cees van Nieuwenhuizen are leading the design team. Austrian contractor Golf East is handling the build. Construction is well underway, with opening expected for early 2012.

“The quality of construction rivals and probably exceeds any course in the Netherlands,” said van Nieuwenhuizen. “The major challenge is that the site consists of numerous different soil types including bog, sea sand and heavy clay.”

The site, which is actually under one of the approaches to the airport, is a 75ha former rubbish dump. “The movement of the land is on a large, broad scale with elevation changes up to 16m, which is unique for this part of Holland,” said van Nieuwenhuizen. “The course takes full advantage of these undulations, with numerous holes playing  through or over these manmade landforms displaying fantastic vistas. The character of the site requires daring  and creative shaping. There are no set rules and the shaping of features and characteristics will progress as we work with our shapers on a daily bases. The fairways  will feature extensive movement, and are a little wider than normal to compensate for the typical Dutch winds. Native rough islands will be incorporated into the strategy.

“The landscape will be dominated by native rough grasses, indigenous trees and shrubs .  They will help to provide a nice contrast against the raw shaping of the golf course.  Important ecosystems and environmentally sensitive areas have been identified within the project area. The construction and management practices will protect, and where possible, enhance the environment. Negative effects on the environment have been indentified and will be minimised and mitigated, and Best Management Practices are in place to protect and enhance the environment during construction.”