Dutch architect Frank Pont has launched a major renovation project at Golfclub De Hoge Kleij in the town of Leusden near Utrecht.
De Hoge Kleij was designed by Frank Pennink in the 1980s. “It was one of the last courses to be cut out of the Dutch heathlands,” Pont told GCA. “Pennink was a talented architect – I think De Hoge Kleij is maybe the tenth or eleventh best course in the country – but, here at least, he was working with very low budgets. So I think he approached this project with the mindset ‘I’ll make sure that the routing is well done and the greens are good – we can do the rest later’.
Pont’s three year renovation will see six holes altered each year, with each period of construction lasting around six weeks. “We’re repositioning the bunkers to make the course more strategic – asymmetric defences if you like – and reshaping the green surrounds to make them seem more natural and have a more interesting, classic feel from a playing perspective, incorporating grassy hollows,” the architect said. “The bunkers will be rough edged, as were many of the old style Simpson and Colt bunkers on the classic courses in the Netherlands.
Rough work has been completed on one hole, the par three fourteenth, which will be the fifth in the new routing. A new irrigation system, designed by British consultant Stuart Tate of York Martin International will also be installed. Dutch contractor De Ridder is handling the construction.