CULTURAL EXCHANGE

Here’s an excerpt from my article that appeared in GME last year about The Dutch

With more than 750 members signed up before its official opening, Holland’s newest championship course and Ryder Cup entry is causing a bit of stir. Mark Alexander finds out why

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…

Check out my images of the course at http://www.markalexanderphotography.co.uk/TheDutch-2/ and http://www.markalexanderphotography.co.uk/TheDutch/