I enjoy playing golf since 1964 the year my father introduced me to this never boring game.
My first irons I shot in The Netherlands at the (now Royal) Haagsche Golf Club, which
club has its course in the neighbouring
park town Wassenaar. Back then, golf was still a game for the elite in The
Netherlands and no public facilities existed.
Consequently, club membership was reserved for the 'happy few'. However, the club
in Wassenaar promoted young players to become a member
and fees were modest. Only 35 Dutch guilders (in those days 3 British pounds) secured a one year membership
club's "joining" fee was based on 3 times first year membership fee. Becoming a
member of the selective club cost me just 105 Dutch
In my years at university I moved my golf bag to
courses in the North of the country and successively the
"Noord-Nederlandse Golf Club" in Groningen and "Lauswolt Golf Club"
in Friesland became my home
course. In those years these clubs had 9-holes only; since, both clubs
have extended their course to beautiful, full 18 holes facilities. Also,
during my (obligatory) military service, I played in Arnhen at the 'Roosendaalsche',
again, then a 9-holes, now extended to a magnificent 18 holes course. The atmosphere in these clubs
was, and still is, cozy and a family-like environment exists. No wonder, I keep fond memories of my
friends at all three clubs and the rounds played, although I never managed to
win a major club tournament or club title. However, once, I did succeed in
winning the "Chateaux & Relais" Cup, organised by
Hotel Lauswolt that allowed me to participate in the
European Championship of the famous hotel chain. The tournament was held
in Punta Ala, Italy and I added the men's first prize to my spoils .....
Following job changes, I moved back to the center of
the country and settled near "Anderstein Golf Club". Despite my frequent
and lengthy stays abroad, I remained being a member of this private club which
plays a lovely combination of heath', forest' and water holes. The
challenging course was recently extended to 27-holes.
inserted picture shows the lay-out of the
course, clearly indicating the location of the fairways, the greens and
lots of water hazards! Here is also where I taught my own children to play
the game and laid the basis of winning the 1993 Heineken sponsored National Parents-Children
In this competition I played with my son Jelle, who played a faultless round that day
and is a single digit handicap player now. The win allowed us to
participate in the Pro-Am of the Dutch Open in 1994 where we were among
all the famous names on the European Tour. With my
friends I participated
every year in the Dutch National Matchplay Competition and we were quite successful .... in our own league.
I played many
courses in the countries I travelled. The first "foreign" course I played was in Crans-Montana,
Switzerland, where the fairways
are on the ski-slopes of the resort and the Mont Blanc completes the scenery. The following years I visited courses in
England and Ireland, Belgium, France and Germany. I spend golfing holidays in Italy and Portugal and took my clubs
with me on consultancy assignments in China, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Bangladesh. Even in the former
Soviet state Uzbekistan we had a championship-course,
Golf course, developed and financed by the Korean community. The "Tashkent
Nomads" are a group of local Uzbeks and foreigners, playing on Sunday
morning. Visiting foreigners are welcome to join in the fun and should
call in to the clubhouse for information. In Uzbekistan, next to winning trophies in several club competitions, I
played at single digit handicap level and achieved
winning 3rd place in the 2003 Central Asian Championship. Ultimately, I scored
my lowest strokeplay score in a one over par round. Ever since I had to confess after each round
of golf, that I didn't achieve up to 'my' level !
Next station was Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I became a member of the challenging Kurmitola Golfclub. The fairways are lined with trees and admittedly
I need some space, left and right, for my shots. The DOGS (Dhaka Oddball Golf Society) is the foreigners'
group to join, competing weekly for the 'Chief of the Pack' award. The player with the worst score, however, has to go home with the 'Dogs Doodoo', which
is exactly that. Normally play is at "Kurmitola", tee-off at noon (but be ready to play at 11.45 AM), however, in the dry season they may go out
to Savar Golf Club. It's a nice outing, an hour's drive from the capital and on the return trip, there is a stop at "Little Italy" for pizzas
and beers. Chittagong in the South of the country has a beautiful, landscaped 18-holes course, situated in the hills just outside the famous and busy harbour
town. All golfclubs in Bangladesh facilitate the players with male caddies, some of whom are really good golfplayers themselves. In wintertime the
Kurmitola Golfclub has a large number of formal competitions, sponsored by local and international companies; I succeeded
to win the 2005 American Cup Trophy; a prestigious win, receiving
coverage in the world press, since, in Bangladesh, it is the tournament with
the largest number of competitors. In 2006 I managed only to get my name on a silver
plate for a 'second day, best net score' in the Aga Khan Strokeplay
championship and in 2007 the
Citibank Cup landed on my mantlepiece.
During my time in Bangladesh, we made several trips in the region,
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, allowing to sample some golfing
experience in these countries. I made a journey to Nepal and played the
famous Himalayan Golfcourse at Pokhara. This really is a spectacular
9-holes course in the sense that it is rough and rocks all over the place. The
holes are stretched out on the borders of a river in a canyon, which can be pretty wild in spring, and the
ísland green in the middle of it, makes you wonder how to manage par .......... please click here to see my
pictures of the Pokhara Golfcourse.
Summer of 2006, I played the Grand Ducal in Luxemburg with my eldest daughter
and a couple of rounds in Curacao, one of
the islands of The Netherlands Antilles, where my son was
residing. We played the old "Shell" course next to the refinery
in Emmastad which course used to be famous for its 'brownies', putting areas
of sand and oil. It now has has beautiful greens. The other course we
played was the championship course at
Blue Bay, a challenging
course with great views. Not without reason it is advertised to not
only bring your clubs, but also your camera. Despite the warning
signals, I thoroughly enjoyed the food & drinks of the region!
In December 2007 we moved back to The Netherlands and 2008 has been a
bad year for golf; I only managed to play a couple of rounds during
the full year, however, in 2009 I was started to sample the
golfcourses in my new neighbourhood, the Southern parts of Limburg, where
we have a couple of
interesting golfcourses. Ultimately I decided to join
the "Zuid-Limburgse", which is the oldest course in this region.
Main reason for my decision has been that it has the most of
the local character on offer: undulating fairways and terrific views
on the surrounding roling landscape, which is typical for this region
and unique in The Netherlands ...... after half of year of active
membership, I am getting back into the groove and pars and birdies are
rolling in again .....