Golf in Zeeland
A little tip, before we tee off. It could come in handy if you want to show off your Dutch with a play on words. The word ‘golf’ in Dutch means both the sport ‘golf’ and a ‘wave’, as in water (not as a gesture of the hand). The verb to play golf is ‘golfen’, and the plural noun ‘waves’ is ‘golven’.
The spacious golf courses of Zeeland provide you with special helpings of the calm and relaxation for which the sport is famous. Space for a quiet round in the splendour of nature, or out with family and friends. It’ll be good to play again, won’t it? The thrill of the drive, the kick when it’s a long one, on target. In such stunning surroundings, the landscape, the quiet – this is Zeeland. See it all around, smell it, the special air and special light. Unique.
The space beyond the land has a great influence, the waves and the water. We have more golf courses than any other province with so much sea wind and sunny weather. Some are close to the sea, others in nature areas. Whatever your preference, you’ll find it here.
The course at Domburg is one of the oldest in the Netherlands, and often described as one of our most beautiful 9-hole golf courses. Lying exposed next to the shore line, the ‘Domburgsche’ is a real ‘links’, with the extra challenges of the wind straight off the sea. Another golf lingo tip: ‘links’ is an old Scottish word, meaning the grassy sandy sea coast, from an ancient Saxon word ‘hlinc’. Was there once a Zeelandic word like that? Another splendid 9-hole course is De Zeeuwsche on Walcheren, just outside Middelburg. There are so many areas of water that even an experienced golfer treats it with respect.
Actually, you’ll always be near a good course. At Bruinisse, the glorious 18-hole course of Golfclub Grevelingenhout is a tournament version. It quietly occupies a large area that in the past was home to country estates and woods, near the Grevelingen lake. Now, it’s quite a test. In Burgh-Haamstede the superb Molenberg course. It has brought more than a few master golfers down to earth: its advantages must have softened the blow to the ego: ponds, wee lakes, bunkers, woods, bushes and pasture meadows.
There are two courses on Zuid-Beveland. The Goese Golf is the largest complex in Zeeland, and includes a demanding 18-hole competition course. It is a delightful location, its fairways fringed by (too numerous) waterways and creeks in the splendid landscape. The site of Golfcentrum Reymerswael in Rilland-Bath is unique indeed. Lying on the Westerschelde, it is at the point where Noord-Brabant, Zeeland and Flanders meet. The 18-hole seaside golf course looks out over the Schelde-Rijnkanaal, the Westerschelde estuary and the Brabantse Wal area. And from some point on your compass, the wind will race in. It just does not stop.
In Zeeland-Flanders, that same compass will always point you towards a golf course. The ‘Bruges Vaart’ in Oostburg is truly exceptional, on the banks of the old Zwin area. An untamed, resurgent, extensive, landscape with an amazing biodiversity, including some serious pelicans. The course of Golfvereniging “De Woeste Kop” in Axel is more sedate and park like. Manmade, from the earthworks left behind after the widening of the canal from Terneuzen to Gent. Next hole? Go over to Lamswaarde where everyone is welcome for a bout of ‘Short-Golf’. A similar short course at the Petrus and Paulus Hoeve is good for absolute beginners.
Do we have that legendary 19th hole in Zeeland? You bet we do – sometimes it’s the 10th. A decent glass of wine, a good local beer, a grand meal, and convivial company. That’s what golf courses do. And many in Zeeland also sell, repair or rent out clothing and equipment.