Royal Ostend

Royal Ostend

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Course Information

The ‘consistency’ element within our rating has sometimes been questioned by some, but it is a key element when grading probably half the courses we considered for the Continental Top 100.

Royal Ostend is definitely one of those for which it makes a big difference.

If consistency was not a factor, it could easily be in the 50s, because the best of Ostend is really good – and if you prefer spectacular highs as well as a few lower moments as opposed to a more consistent if less enthralling course, this is for you.

Two roads run through this coastal course to break up the flow, but in the opening duo and then especially in a classic section from 5 to 10 you have holes that look as close to our GB&I links as anything on the Continent.

In this phase, the golf is of top 50-class and probably just above.

The two pars 3s – the 6th, played towards the beach, and the all-world dramatic drop 8th – are wonderful individual holes.

A slightly bewildering routing costs Ostend in our rankings but the links scene for the closing two is a reminder this is a continental course of rare highlights.

In between the long 7th – which is played to an elevated green tucked into the corner of the site – might be an even better hole, certainly in terms of its strategic merit.

Then there is the dog-leg 9th, which charms and tests in equal measure and at this point in the round you wonder why you’ve not heard a great deal more about Ostend given it is hardly a new kid on the block.

It was initially laid out in 1903 by Seymour Dunn, restored after the wars and then upgraded by Martin Hawtree in the ‘90s.

There is an inland feel to most of the back nine and in between the less dramatic tree-lined holes there is also a bit of road crossing to do in what is a slightly bewildering routing.

That definitely costs Ostend in the ranking but it is back to links scene for the closing two and a reminder that this is a continental course of rare highlights.

Information

Seymour Dunn, Martin Hawtree

+32 59 233 283

Koninklijke Baan 2 , De Haan , Belgium , 8420