With the KLM Open in full swing, I thought I’d post an excerpt from a piece I wrote about Holland and the country’s bid for the Ryder Cup. Enjoy.

For images, check out http://www.markalexanderphotography.co.uk/TheDutch/

CULTURAL EXCHANGE

The Netherlands is remarkably flat. It’s a place of smooth-running roads where vantage points are rare and views stretch on for miles. It is a cyclist’s paradise defined by unbroken mirror-flat surfaces and uniform planes.

The country’s millpond appearance means that any rise or peak is cherished. It also means that The Dutch – Holland’s newest championship course and epicentre of its Ryder Cup bid – comes as a bit of a shock. For a start, there are hillocks, mounds and ripples, not to mention the occasion bump and ridge. The Colin Montgomerie-signature course is awash with contours and gradients unlike anything you see in the surrounding countryside.

Opened by the former Ryder Cup captain in May, the Dutch is for all intents and purposes a rough-and-ready links-style course. “Radical shaping has been used to create a rugged golf-course character where undulating fairways, featuring many bumps and hollows, are framed by dramatic mounding,” explains a note on Montgomerie’s website.

In between the bumps and hollows, the course stays true to its origins by incorporating a host of water features which stem from building a course on land below sea level. Once again, the transformation co-ordinated by European Golf Design has been absolute with straight and angular canals magically remoulded into meandering streams and sweeping lakes.