Considering Belgium's long history of playing a golf, it's strange that the country has yet to take off as the golfing hotspot it thoroughly deserves to be. A variant of golf has been played in Belgium since the 14th-Century, the weather is mild, the courses are located close together, it's a short distance from England and, of course, the beer and chocolate are legendary! These all add up to ensure that golf holidays in Belgium are perfect for anyone wanting a quick break out of England without having to travel for hours. . . But what are the golf courses in Belgium which the wanabe golfer needs to play while? There are plenty to choose from (according to the Royal Belgian Golf Federation, there are 78 affiliated clubs!) so even the most fussy golfer is bound to find at least one or two to their tastes. As ever, we've done our research and here are a few of my favourites for those looking to take a golf break in Belgium:
Royal Zoute Golf Club
This one should need little introduction - it has hosted the Belgian Open on 3 occasions, been praised by Nick Faldo and was voted Europe's best golf course in 1992/93. Designed by Harry Colt, it is a par 72 course and an absolute classic, and even harder when the wind picks up! Suffice to say; this is one course that serious golfers must have on the “tick-list".
Royal Ostend Golf Club
Founded in 1903, Royal Ostend offers both a challenging technical test (with strategically placed bunkers and plenty of trees) as well as some outstanding views of the North Sea and dunes. Despite being renovated in 1990 to make the course more modern, it still retains a feel of the old design. The course has a sandy soil so is in year-round condition and is always a great day's golf during a Belgium golf break.
The oldest golf course in Belgium remains an absolute treat to play. Designed by Willie Park in 1888 and “modernised" by Tom Simpson in 1930, it is a golf-architecture masterpiece. Oozing character, the course guarantees a challenge for even the most experienced golfer. Another guarantee for golfers round here is a warm welcome in the stylish clubhouse - whether you're a pro or an amateur! History aside, this really is one of the finest golf courses in Belgium.
Royal Golf Club of Belgium
The Royal Golf Club of Belgium offers an exciting parkland layout with surroundings that can only be described as ‘fairytale-like’ - indeed, the clubhouse itself is a converted chateau. The immaculately-maintained fairways and greens are lined by an impressive selection of trees and interesting plant life, giving the challenge of the course an aesthetically pleasing edge - a unique course and a must on your golf break in Belgium.
Waregem Golf Club
It's rare that a golf course offers this much contrast between the front and back nines. The first half of Waregem Golf Club is hilly with large open fairways and splendid views from the highest point of the region. The second half is situated on the flat lands and boasts several ominous looking water hazards making for a close that is both challenging and exciting.
This is just scratching the surface of Belgian golf and there are many hidden gems in addition to this. Because of the country's size and the proximity of the golf courses, it is very possible to sample a fair few of them over the duration of your golf holiday in Belgium.
Morgan Clarke is the Chairman of Your Golf Holidays, a company that has been providing golf breaks in Belgium for many years. The award-winning specialist tour operator is privately-owned and determined to ensure that both experienced golfers and novices will enjoy an unforgettable experience in whichever of the 20 countries they want to play in.