Exciting new course on Belgian coast

Exciting new course on Belgian coast
Sean Dudley

British architect Steve Marnoch and his Belgian collaborator Dimitri van Hauwaert have won the contract to design a new golf course at Knokke on the coast of Belgium.

Knokke, which is already home to Royal Zoute Golf Club, ranked as one of continental Europe’s top courses, has been mooted as a potential site for more golf for many years. Plans are now being submitted for a massive new development on this famous piece of Belgian coastline. 

After a presentation to the City Council, the Mayor of Knokke-Heist, Count Leopold Lippens selected Marnoch and van Hauwaert to design the new facilities. As part of a major recreational development, 27 holes of golf are planned. The master plan for the golf course complex and the improvements for Knokke-Heist are now being shown as part of a public exhibition in Knokke and featured in a book entitled Horizon 8300.

The development of a second golf complex in Knokke-Heist is part of, and considered a top priority for, the further development of the tourist/recreational infrastructure. 

Each nine hole loop has been given an individual character with the eastern course focusing on the theme of water. The central course is designed as an open, windswept links and the westerly course will be partly integrated into a proposed 35 ha public woodland on the outskirts of the city. The complex will also include practice area, driving range and new clubhouse and parking. A new congress hotel will be developed to create a direct link to the new golf course. 

The company Leisure Property Invest, in cooperation with the community of Knokke-Heist, will develop the project. Marnoch says the overriding character of the new complex will be in a natural rolling links style, not dissimilar to Royal Zoute.. As part of the overall Knokke-Heist improvements the Zeno Project in the Zwin Dunes and Polders will aim to protect endangered species and biotypes. Detailed design will commence this year, with construction expected to start in 2012.