golf Course Profiles

Golfbaan Heelsumse Veld, Heelsum, The Netherlands

"Steve Marnoch is involved in a 27-holes renovation at Golfbaan Heelsumse Veld since 2008. He is a passionate golf architect with an open mind to the different stake holders. He is valued for his ability not only to design a challenging and attractive golf course but also to integrate the course with its natural surroundings..." Gert Mulder, Director Golfbaan Heelsumse Veld

"Mr Mulder, finally a golf course that knows what needs to be done, this is the way to go, this is how golf should be played." Course Manager GolfClub De Gulbergen. The Netherlands

PROJECT - 27 holes - Red loop 2996m, Yellow loop 2536m, Blue loop 3069m, Par 70/72 - Parkland/Heathland


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Transforming a young existing course into a modern day Heathland Classic

Being built in two phases with phase one complete this project is already being talked about in The Netherlands with many visits to see the works from some great courses including The Hague and Hilversum and with the works featured in The Netherlands Golf Foundation Magazine entitled 'Heelsumse becomes a classic'.

I realised that this project could be special from an early stage in the design process and it has given me an opportunity to produce something which I feel should be more common place in The Netherlands - 'traditional and classic design within a heathland setting'.

If you talk about golf courses be they parkland, links or heathland the characteristics of those courses immediately spring to mind. It is from the list of heathland characteristics (with perhaps a couple of links references) that we have redeveloped Heelsumse Veld. We have carefully planted scattered copses of pine trees and birch, as much heather as we can introduce with some gorse and broom within a generally open landscape. Within this framework there is opportunity to carve golf holes, create open views and utilise vistas between trees or shrubs which allow the golf course to unfold during the round. Rather than create golf holes through a heathland we have created a heathland throughout a golf course. In preserving the open nature of the site we allow wind to play a large part when playing here, another heathland characteristic.

Heaths are often sandy with areas of open sand or sand scrapes where lizards, snakes etc would bask in the sun. Heathlands are massively important to a particular range of flora and fauna and this is another really exciting aspect of this project making Heelsumse Veld a very important wildlife habitat. In addition we have introduced ragged style bunkers, very raw almost out-of-control in their appearance so as to retain a natural look. In contrast there are some specific pot bunkers, some revetted to stabilise the banks, others less deep but all working together within this predominantly heathland character and adding to the playing strategy of several holes.

The course strategy has been improved immeasurably by the introduction of the bunkering, sand wastes, changes in levels, mounding, hollows and planting. By utilising the 'hazards' listed above the golfers are presented with challenges, enjoyment and variety when playing the course. Heathland courses as well as true links should present the golfer with several strategies when playing each hole, strategies which may also alter dependant upon the wind direction.

Like a good book all the intricacies at Heelsumse Veld will not unfold after just one round. There are so many new opportunities when playing these new holes and for some the secrets of how best to play a hole may never reveal themselves. On this basis this course will have the makings of a modern day classic offering opportunity and challenge for all standards of player to enjoy and be tested over the years and managed correctly and with maturity it can only get better - Enjoy!

"Playing De Heelsumse in its transformed style makes the course so pure and natural, it's a true challenging course."

"The recently planted pine trees which now mark the fairways, it's wasteland area's combined with new heath area's make you think twice before playing your next shot. More strategy during your round is required to come to a good score at any level of play. The right choice of club will be rewarded even more."

"It's not a bombers course but made for shot creators you get your brain picked."

"De Heelsumse has become a pleasure to the eye and treat to your feet to play golf. As club professional it's a privilege and pleasure to have such a nice office to work every day..."

"Playing this design made me curious to go out and play other Marnoch design courses in the future, but first I want to learn about every square-meter on this design." Menno PELK, PGA Golfprofessional, Golfschool Heelsumse Veld


Adrie van Der Werf


Click on a publication below to read the article in full

Steve marnoch at Golf Club Heelsum, July 2011
Golf Course Architecture Golf Course Architecture, January 2010
Golf Course Architecture Golf Weekly, January 2010
Golf Journaal Golf Journaal, May 2009

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