City guide: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Where to play
Utrecht de Pan: Arguably only Morfontaine is above it in the whole of Continental Europe. A heathland of rare class, that would sit comfortably among the greats of Surrey and Berkshire – which is not a common scenario among courses on the continental. Some genuinely world-class holes here.
Hilversum: Renovated by Kyle Phillips, this Harry Colt original is probably the most stringent of the Dutch heathlands. Expect a succession of strong two-shotters on a course exacting enough to have hosted the European Tour.
Royal Hague: Long regarded as the Netherlands’ finest course, this is a seaside course that plays over notably undulating land. Shrubs, rough and trees often line the fairways and the greens have been remodelled by Harry Colt enthusiast Frank Pont. Probably the toughest course among the six.
Noordwijkse: This is part seaside, part woodland and has a lot of potential. The ‘linksy’ section at the start and end is the highlight, where it at least looks like we would expect a links to. The phase among the trees is claustrophobic but a fine hybrid nevertheless.
The Kennemer: Three loops of nine on a seaside course that dives over and around sand hills. Lots of distinctive holes among the 27.
Rosendaelsche: Often under-rated by even judges in the Netherlands, but we are in no doubt this heahland is worthy of being classed alongside the others in this list. New holes opened this deace have enhanced a classy experience even higher.
What to do in Amsterdam
Art and culture: Museumplein is the cultural heart of Amsterdam; visit Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art – and there’s also a superb Banksy exhibition.
Explore by bike: An essential part of a trip to Amsterdam – you must hire a bike and take in the sights on two wheels. You get to see so much, such as Anne Frank house, and it’s very safe – cyclists have right of way and are treated with reverence by motorists.
Nightlife: We all know the kind of nightlife Amsterdam is famous for, but away from the narrow lanes of the centre is the hipster De Pijp area, which is full of cool restaurants and bars. Loads to choose from and a brilliant vibe among the locals.
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Waterland Golf: This is your best option if you want a play-and-stay base for your trip. Located in Purmerend north of the city centre, Hampshire Golfhotel provides the accommodation in the shape of neat bedrooms and excellent food in a modern hotel. The golf at Waterland is in the form of four different loops of 18 holes: red, yellow, blue and white. Each course is different, but as per the name, the common theme are a wealth of water features.
Apollo Amsterdam: We’ve stayed here twice, so much do we enjoy its location half a mile from the De Pijp area. You can cycle into the centre in 20 minutes and the hotel is seriously stylish in an art deco era. The €20 breakfast is definitely worth it.