Course of the Month - Overbetuwe, Netherlands.
Major Pitch Pitch and Putt competition first arrived at Overbetuwe in the shape of the superbly organised 2004 Dutch Open. That inaugural Dutch Open was won by a certain Ray Murphy of Cork, Ireland. Murphy produced a whirlwind 10 under par on day two to overhaul friend and colleague Darren Collins.
Darren Collins was back in Overbetuwe the following August to help Ireland to the fourth European championship, another organisational triumph for the NPPB and Overbetuwe. The Dutch themselves performed exceedingly well and claimed the second place after beating Catalonia. All of the participants, officials and supporters of the nine competing associations were hugely complimentary of the Overbetuwe course and the wonderful tournament support staff.
The Overbetuwe municpial region comprises eleven villages and no less than 42,000 inhabitants. Nestled betwen the rivers Rhine and Waal, the region is rich in pasture and diversity.
Not too far from “The Bridge Too Far”, so pivotal during the Second World War, lies the Overbetuwe course on which the spotlight of the Pitch and Putt world fell on August 25-28 2005 (for that European team championship). This is a rural setting with meandering rivers and rolling meadows, populated with sheep and cows. Yet the cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen are just minutes away. The German border is not far distant.
Opened in 2001, Overbutuwe boasts an excellent clubhouse facility. The course is still largely as it was for the Dutch Open and the European Championship (or EK as they term it in Holland). The fifth hole is downhill over heavy rough and always gives players much to ponder. Clever use has been made of a small stream (complete with indigenous wildlife) which bisects the course. The ninth is a maximum 90 metre pitch into the prevailing wind. The 10th is also a long hole. Teeboxes offer three possibilities. Teeing up on a ready made tee (a la a driving range), teeing up on your own tee or playing from an astroturf type surface.
Irish influence is strong at Overbetuwe, as testified by Willie’s Pub (in honour of the late Willie Parker), the sale of Murphy’s beer and even the Gaelic signs on the toilets!
The Overbetuwe course, situated near to the Rijkerswoerd lakes, is regularly very busy with many clients playing the course on a daily basis.
Card of the Overbetuwe European championship course
The Overbetuwe website can be found here...