Royal Ostend - Belgium

Royal Ostend Golf Club,
Koninklijke Baan 2,
8420 De Haan,
Belgium


  • +32 59 23 32 83

  • Golf Club Website

  • On the edge of De Haan

  • Welcome - members only between 12pm and 2pm

  • Dorine Vierstraete

  • Martin Hawtree

  • François Burgraeve


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Royal Ostend

Royal Ostend Golf Club was formed back in 1903 when Seymour Dunn – a relation of the famous Dunn golfing family in Musselburgh – laid out an 18-hole course on a narrow strip of dune land beside the North Sea, near De Haan.

The Ostend course and clubhouse were destroyed during hostilities in World War I and World War II but, on each occasion, the club rose like a phoenix from the ashes to ensure that links golf would continue despite all that conspired to prevent it along this stretch of coast.

Martin Hawtree renovated the layout in 1990 to meet the challenges of modern golf, at the same time respecting the original design, and his minimalist approach ensured this fine old links is as good to play today as it was over a hundred years ago. Further upgrading work was carried out in 2006 when five greens (at holes 7, 8, 10, 16 and 17) were replaced as part of a renovation plan that continues into the new millennium.

There are six par three holes on the course and many consider the 145-yard 8th to be the best of them. It is played from an elevated tee in the sand hills to a punchbowl green that slopes from back to front, with three protective bunkers to catch anything short. The stroke index may indicate it is one of the easiest holes on the card, but when the wind blows – as it often does here – a three on the card will be a very welcome score.

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Reviews for Royal Ostend

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Belgium’s only links course – Royal Ostend – was founded in 1903 and it’s a technically challenging test of golf amongst the coastal dunes. Rating: 4.8888888888889 out of 6

First time playing here and all I have to say that this is a must for any golfer. Only links course in Belgium. The whole maintenance is in outstanding condition with really fast, smooth greens. Tee boxes and fairways are fantastic to play off. Holes 5-10 are beautiful with hole 8 a par 3 at the highest point on the course looking over the sea. All in all this course is one of the best maintained I have ever played and will be back as soon as possible.

December 05, 2017


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What a pleasure it was to play this course. It was very windy but did not detract form our enjoyment. The lay out is varied with some very challenging holes. Raised tees also added to the day. The greens were excellent with subtle burrows but not unfair and the fairways were as good as any I have played. Having played Royal De Zoute the day before this was in much better condition and far more fun to play. I would recommend this course to any visitird to the area over De Zoute.
November 19, 2015


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This course is really good fun & one of contrasts. A proper links course but you have to cross busy roads and you can see a lot of street lights. Short in yardage yet exposed to the elements & tough in a breeze. Not all holes are links in nature but don't be put off. It's different and worth a visit.The people at the club are very friendly and welcoming.
August 12, 2015


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Ostend is a relatively short but solid course in a cosy little town De Haan. Public roads divide the course in four different parts. The course starts off relatively easy with an reachable par 4 and 5 on flat land. My swing was nowhere to be found the first few holes and let this get inside my head until the 4th, the last of the holes in the parkland part of the course. The fifth hole starts off the seaside part of the course which unsurprisingly is my favourite part of the course as it has some great links holes on undulated terrain. The greens and or tees are mostly elevated and the potbunkers are placed strategically. 7-9 I believe is the best stretch of holes on the course. Not only does it give some great views over the North-Sea, but you can either make or break your round on these holes atlhough they are pretty short. The prevailing wind will always play a major factor on any of these holes and positioning is very important. The eighth is a delightful little par 3, probably just a pitching wedge to a relatively large green guarded by bunkers and runoff-area’s. If you therefore miss the green on the left right or far, a par is far away because the green slopes from back to front. When I played last summer the greens ran fast and true and the fairways were in dry but good shape. Approach shots however could be hit a little too close by the pin for my taste, considering Ostend being a links course. Other highlight holes for me were the par 4 12th, where the tee shot is hit to a fairway with bunkers all over the place. In order to score well around Osten dit is key to take advantage of the short par 5s that play with the wind in favour, keep the high numbers off the card on the narrow, long par 4s and to take some well considered risks where possible on the short par 4s, although birdies are definitely possible when hitting irons off the tee for position. Probably better value than Royal Zoute, which is the better course by some distance. All in all a very enjoyable course for some holiday golf, you won’t be bored. I opt for a strong 4 ball-rating and I’ll be back. Maarten (MO)
February 11, 2015


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k parfitt
February 24, 2015
I agree the course is worth a play if in that area, only thing was the crossing roads part. Also a bit of a frosty reception from both pro shop and the bar possibly because we were 20 in number that booked but the food was great.
I regularly play Ostend at different times of the year. This course is great from a golf perspective: it requires finesse, length and precision to score well. And when mother nature, especially the North Sea breeze comes into play, "wahoo!" to keep the ball in play. The recent upgrade increased the links character. The scenery is a bit contrasted with some ugly inland appartments spoiling the view. The fact a motorway and railway split the course does not really disturb me since playing Ostend is simply a pleasant experience I recommend to any player visiting the Belgian seaside.
September 17, 2013


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Martin
January 04, 2014
Royal Ostend is a highly underestimated golf course, probably because it is cut in three pieces by two roads and a railway track. But besides these rather ugly ''immovable obstructions'' this classical links course offers some of the finest holes to be found on the European continent. Great links course, immaculate condition, history, beautiful clubhouse and holes 5-10 along the coast are very spectacular!
Not a bad course but way behind the likes of Noordwijk and Kennemer in Holland. Belgium has far better courses further inland at Spa for example and if you want to play world-class golf near the sea in Belgium go to Knocke.
October 27, 2011


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Each year during the summer we come to this magnificent linkscourse to play our 'Open Tournament' amongst friends. With 20 players we play during 4 days but everybody makes the Cut ofcourse. This course gives you the same feeling like playing on one of the famous Royal courses of 'the Open' especialy if your playing the week after the tournament. Not to long...we're only amateurs...but so difficult when the wind is coming into play. You better keep the ball under the wind to get a good result and avoid the huge Rough! Last year at lot of changes where made to the course by an English Architect make the course even more a typical links. By far the best course at the North See and certainly our number 1 in Belgium.
January 30, 2010


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This magnificant LINKSCOURSE, which by the way is the only links in Belgium, gives you the feeling like you are playing at The Open. Certainly between may and the end of september the course is in Championship condition with fast greens and perfect fairways, and last but not least the so typical long Rough. The course is not long but plays each time differently mainly due to the wind, especaily difficult when it's coming from the see. Enjoy the views over the dunes and the see on the tee of the 6th, 7th and 8th hole. This course is ranked 5th in Belgium but according to most Pro's it should be the absolute number one.
January 29, 2010


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Cedric
January 29, 2010
Absolute number one seems a bit big of an affirmation... Zoute is hard to beat!!!
Wouldnt really class this as a classic links - thought the majority of holes had either a woodland or parkland feel. and certainly the fairways were quite lush in a parkland type of way. Also the way the course is cut into 3 sections is a bit of a downer. Having said all that there are some good holes and if in the area its worth playing although I wouldnt travel too far out of my way. Greens werent in the best of condition, but maybe it was just a timeof year thing
November 14, 2009


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Talloen
January 29, 2010
The fairways were very wet during this period because of the excesive rains we had. Normally the fairways are just very dry. Concerning the greens they had just been aired to prepare them for the winter season. Even during the winter the club only had to close the course because of the snow. Otherwise we can play in good conditions the whole year round.
Matt
July 18, 2011
These comments must have struck a point with the club board. The greenkeeper was fired for watering the fairways too much and allowing poa annua to infest the course. Dozens of trees have been cut down to allow more light and air to the course and the fairways and greens are being overseeded with fescues again. Use of water is limited. In about a year or so, this links will be in top shape again, playing like a bump and run course. Oh, and to Cedric here above: Royal Zoute is NOT a links, it's a beautiful parkland course, manicured and heavily watered. A far stretch from what links golf is all about, but a gem nonetheless.