Royal Zoute

Royal Antwerp Golf Club

Belgium, Antwerp
5 (3)
Designer: Tom Simpson
Course Opened: 1888

The oldest golf club in Belgium, and second oldest on the European mainland, the Royal Antwerp Golf Club was founded in 1888 and moved to its current site in 1912 to a golf course designed by Willie Park Junior. In the late 1920s and early 30s, with the club recovering from the effects of war, additional land was purchased and Tom Simpson called in to turn the property into 27 holes. The current Championship course retains some of the Park elements, but is basically all Tom Simpson.

One of the features of Royal Antwerp are the doglegs, there are several and tree growth has made driving much more precise and demanding - especially for shorter hitters who are often blocked out by trees if not really accurate on the drive. The greens are generally quite flat, but usually well protected by Simpson's stylish bunker shapes and chipping areas. The cross bunkering in the fairways is well conceived, not quite the construction polish of the Sandbelt or Heathland, but a good design tactic nonetheless.

The most enjoyable holes here are the right bending 6th (most other doglegs turn left) over small bumps and hollows, the 15th with its protruding traps and the short 16th. An interesting aspect of the experience at Royal Antwerp is the general ambiance and the fact that from the clubhouse one can look across seven fairways which creates a really pleasant environment for the game.


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