Known in Dutch as De Swinkelsche Golfbaan, this very appealing Frank Pont-designed golf course is surrounded by forests and attractive heath areas a short drive southeast of Eindhoven. Built for around 3Million Euros, the project is a success from a golf perspective for the restraint shown by Pont in design, and the freedom allowed him by the developers to build the most appropriate course for their tight property. This is classically understated old-school golf, and great fun for those who enjoy a challenge but prefer not to be beaten up on each and every hole.
The most obvious features of note at Swinkelsche are the greens and bunkers. Nicely sculpted there is a rustic feel to the entire property thanks to the jagged edge bunkering and the manner in which greens are shaped to exist comfortably within their surrounds. If there is a criticism of the course, it’s only with the few areas where the design is actually evident and perhaps overdone. Examples include humps or raised greens at the 6th, 10th and 13th or the excessive bunkering of the split-route 11th and 18th holes.
Elsewhere, what impresses most about this course is the sheer number of quality greens and quality holes across both nines. From the severe front-to-back aspect of the par five 2nd green, to the wonderfully simple but effective contouring on the long par three 5th, Pont continually strikes the right balance between creating tricky or interesting pin positions, yet keeping slopes in context with the rest of the area and the rest of the hole. Among the highlights are the tree-lined par threes, the beautifully bunkered short par four 3rd, the strategically arranged 14th and De Pan-like 16th, played into a grove of trees.
Although Swinkelsche is far from the most exciting piece of ground in Holland, because of the sensible approach taken to design here the layout comes highly recommended and is about as much fun as anything inland of the famous old Dutch dune courses.
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