Michiel van der Vaart is overseeing the construction of a new nine-hole course at Golfclub Rosmalen, near to 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.
The club has a par-30 layout within the Coudewater Estate, formerly home to a monastery and – since 1870 – a psychiatric hospital. A new residential development is now being planned so the existing course will be closed and Van der Vaart has created a new par-35 design on a different part of the estate, aimed at making a “better and safer golf experience”.
Van der Vaart has a close personal connection to the site. “I was born and raised in Vught, less than 10 kilometres from the site, and my family has roots in 's-Hertogenbosch where the project is situated,” he said. “As a child I walked a lot with my father in the surroundings of Coudewater and, in particular, on the Wamberg Estate.
“Designing a golf course at this location was certainly not easy. There were many things to consider, especially with regards to nature conservation and development. The area must be made suitable as a habitat for the badger population, which we have succeeded in doing. We have also added ecologically-friendly areas and reinforced the historic ‘kampen’ landscape with plots separated by coppice walls.”
The club wanted the course to be long enough so that national club golf competitions could be held in the future. “Despite a modest amount of earthmoving, an exciting golf course will be created with plenty of room for nature and subtle height differences that fit into this landscape,” said van der Vaart. “The goal is that the golf course is challenging and fun to play for members and guests.”
He says the new course is a very sustainable project: “It is a small-scale, well-arranged and low-key project,” said van der Vaart. “Moreover, the sandy soil is perfect for sustainable, disease-resistant grass types, perfect for golf and, therefore, maintenance budgets can be kept in check. There is also a very solid club behind this plan, with many loyal supporters. The layout is in the peripheral areas of Rosmalen and Den Bosch and for many it can even be reached by bike! It will be a nine-hole course that is not long, so can be played quickly, fitting with the spirit of these times.
“There are some majestic mature oak trees on the site already that will immediately play a role during a round. The development of residential areas on the edge of the golf course will complement the project in a beautiful way.”
Contractor FL Liebregts, headed by Harry de Koning, is handling construction and Van der Vaart expects the course to open by late 2020.