New heathland track in Netherlands


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Construction on the new De Swinkelsche course in the Netherlands is to start at the end of January.

Located on a 240 acre site near the city of Eindhoven, De Swinkelsche will be an eighteen hole heathland course. Dutch architect Frank Pont will be overseeing the work.

“The site has sandy soil ideal for golf, a low water table and is bordered by Scottish pine and oak forests,” said Pont. “Although the land has been in use for agricultural purposes, as late as the early twentieth century it still consisted of heather fields. This is not so strange since the site literally borders De Strabrechtse Heide, the largest heathland area of the Netherlands. A large effort will be made to bring back the heather in the new golf course. “

Five holes will play through existing forests, something that Pont says was last allowed in the Netherlands some twenty years ago. Virtually no earthmoving will be necessary on these holes due to existing landforms.

Pont, who has made his name working on many of the Netherlands’ classic courses, plans to give the course elements reminiscent of Tom Simpson’s courses. “These include ragged lace edged bunkers, greens with many subtle and devious undulations, and an abundance of strategic and heroic holes,” he said..

The developers, brothers Harry and Hendrik Swinkels, say they hope to create a classic course that will be comparable in quality to the nearby Eindhovensche Golf, a Colt design of the 1930s, generally considered the best course of the southern Netherlands.