There are three sets of nines at the Kennemer, a frequent KLM Open venue, imaginatively entitled the A, B and C. Harry Colt designed the original 18, now the B and the C – and it is those loops that make up our Continental Top 100-ranked course. Frank Pennink added the A, and when it is staged here the Dutch Open uses the whole of the A nine and a combination of the other two nines. Curiously, the land Colt chose was further from the sea though more interesting topographically.
While the prime linksland at home is often narrow, here it can extend some way inland. The A nine, meanwhile, is a little flatter and less varied, though the holes are perfectly worthy.
Colt began in real style here, playing from an elevated 1st tee that allowed for the stylish, thatched-roofed clubhouse to occupy the highest ground.
Kennemer, we can all agree, offers one of the great apres-golf experiences. A drink or three on the terrace on a summer’s afternoon is a real treat. The golf is surprisingly quirky in places, with a couple of unusual holes that are rightly dictated by the lie of the land.
Alongside them are some downright adamantine par fours when you face them into the wind. As at nearby Royal Hague, this is not the rugged links experience one might have hoped for but the land does have a rolling, seaside feel – albeit with a lot more deciduous trees and bushes than you would expect to find on our links.
The conditioning of Kennemer is very good even if to the connoisseur it is usually frustratingly green. Most iron shots resulted in a distinct pitchmark and finished close to where they landed.
An excellent climax comprises a reachable par 5, a pretty short hole across a jungle of thorns and a terrific par 4 played uphill towards the iconic clubhouse.