This is one of the revered ‘Old Nine’ courses in the Netherlands, who benefitted from being laid out by the great architects of the early 1900s and whose talent is arguably even more widely recognised today than in the era in which they worked. Harry Colt is a common theme among the nine founder clubs of golf in the country – Broekpolder, Hilversum, Kennemer, Noordwijkse, Rosendaelsche, Toxandria, Utrecht and Royal Hague are the others – and Eindhoven is the one he was most involved with.
His associates Hugh Alison and John Morrison accompanied him at Eindhoven, but unlike at Royal Hague where they did all the work, Colt was hands on at Eindhoven. The heathland course is part of a huge sports estate crated by the Philips family of the electronics fame in the southern suburbs of the city.
Colt was given space to work, with a 260-acre site at his disposal, which by way of comparison is twice the size of our No.1-ranked Dutch course Utrecht. As a result, there is a feeling throughout of tranquillity as you play along corridors between the mature trees that remain wide but will have been much wider in Colt’s day.
He routed it in two loops that return to the clubhouse and it is so easy to imagine members playing 18 here and being tempted out for another nine, for it is impossible to imagine ever tiring of this endlessly varied heathland. .
It hosted four Dutch Ladies Opens from 2006 but while it is not intimidating it quietly has bite. So it might be that you walk on to the green of the endearing, short two-shot 2nd in regulation, but leave it with a five because you have been flummoxed by the eccentric green.
You might gather your thoughts and hit a fine shot on the par 3 that follows, but the margin for success is small because the small target has a mound before it and failing to clear it will mean your ball lands on the downslope and scuttles through the back.
Table-top greens, dog-legs and well-defended green complexes are regular complications just when you felt you had Eindhoven under control.
While low handicappers ought to play off the back tees for the full experience, lesser players are advised to move forward to ensure they are hitting the appropriate clubs for their approaches.
If the course isn’t always as welcoming as it looks at first glance, the club certainly is, and the statuesque, thatched-roof clubhouse is impossible to resist after the round.