De Hoge Kleij is one of the post war courses that were still being able to be built on very attractive sites. It lies in an heathland area surrounded by both pine, oak and beech forests. But its main attraction is the fact that there is aheight difference of some 30 meters, something quite rare in the middle of the low countries.
The course was designed by Frank Pennink, the English/Dutch designer who did many of the best post war courses in the Netherlands. The budget he had to build the course however was quite limited which meant that he had to cut some corners to make ends meet. This was esspecially visible in the relatively simple detailing of the green surrounds and the lack of any significant fairway bunkering and simple bunker detailing in general.
Another of the issues of the course was the routing, where the front nine were relatively flat and the back nine required a lot of climbing of the players.
Our remit at Hoge Kleij was first to improve the strategy of the bunkering of the course, second to increase the visual esthetics of the bunkering, third to improve the variety of the green surrounds and finally to improve the routing.
In a four year period we first created a comprehensive masterplan which included a new improved routing and also provided the club with a complete new bunkering scheme. Second we then executed the changes through a very hands on approach working closely on the ground with the greenkeeping staff and the contractor.
Our work at Hoge Kleij has been very well received in the Dutch golf press, which has paid itself back through a solid position just outside the Dutch top 10.
We are currently still working with Hoge Kleij on further improving the course, focussing mostly on heather regeneration and tree management.