Not too many visitors to Belgium come exclusively to explore the Belgian golf scene, but as more and more courses spring up around this relatively small country, the sport is finding its niche. Golf enthusiasts can surely find an array of good golf courses in Belgium, so enjoying a Belgian golf vacation is a possibility. When you’re not on the course, you can head off for some great Belgium sightseeing, as this country’s delights are many. Plenty of leisure and business travelers are starting to enjoy golf in Belgium with regularity, and it’s just another fantastic idea for things to do when arranging your Belgium itinerary.
Belgium’s capital city of Brussels is not new to golf, as in 1906, King Leopold II founded the Royal Golf Course of Belgium just outside of town. It is the oldest golf course in the city, and it is also one of the best. There are two courses that you can play at the Royal Golf Course of Belgium—the Old Course and the New Course. The Old Course is invitation only on the weekends, but during the weekdays it is open to the general public. The Old Course offers eighteen holes, while the New Course only offers nine, so as you might expect, it will cost more to play the Old Course. The excellent fairways at this Belgian golf course are well complemented by the challenging greens, and the club house is a converted castle that was gifted to the nation by Leopold II. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy a great round Belgium golf, and if you only have time to play one course while in Brussels, you’ll do well to head here. By no means is the Royal Golf Course of Belgium the only course to play when in Brussels, though. The Bercuit Golf Course offers up eighteen holes that were designed by the famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., and the Royal Waterloo Golf Club offers three tremendously appealing courses that are hard to find fault with. Two of them are 18-hole stretches, while the third is a 9-hole run.
Golf in Brussels can involve more great courses than the ones recommended above, so you won’t be limited when it comes time to book a round. Most of the courses in the area, and in the country for that matter, have a clubhouse, a restaurant, a pro shop, and other facilities that you would expect at a good course, so your Belgium golf experience will be an authentic one. Speaking of authentic golf experiences, the town of Knokke is the place to go on the Belgian North Sea coast if you want to play one of the best courses in this country of just over 11,500 square miles. The Royal Zoute Golf Club has hosted the Belgian Golf Open on more than one occasion in the past, so you know it’s top notch. In 1993, the course here was even voted the best in Europe. When one considers all of the great courses in England and Scotland alone, it is impressive to think that a Belgian course could compete when it comes to quality. But that is the secret about golf in Belgium, and the secret is starting to get out. If you want to play the eighteen-hole, par 72 Royal Zoute Golf Club, you will need to prove first that you are a member of a golf club either in Belgium or elsewhere abroad. You can do this by showing your membership card. If you are not a member at a club, then worry not, because there are plenty of other great golf courses in Belgium to choose from.
Just down the coast from the more exclusive hangout of Knokke is the popular Belgian seaside destination of Ostend, where you won’t have to prove that you are a golf club member to enjoy a world-class course. Interestingly enough, while the winters are pretty cold, Belgium golf can be enjoyed year round. Such is the case at the 18-hole Royal Ostend Golf Club, which is the country’s only links-style course. Links golf courses are generally rolling courses with more of a natural feel. They are most often found near coastal regions, and because of their more natural state, they can be quite challenging. Just watch the British Open and you’ll see how many different kinds of headaches a links-style course can give you. You can enjoy views of the dunes and of the North Sea when playing the Royal Ostend Golf Club, so if you’re game isn’t going to well, at least you have something to appreciate. Plus, if you have a bad round, you can forget all about it with an after-golf session on the historic clubhouse terrace.
You might be surprised that the list of excellent golf courses in Belgium is quite long. No matter where you base yourself in this small country, you’re never too far away from a nine- or eighteen-hole stretch. When visiting Antwerp, the oldest golf course in the country awaits you, for example, and should you drop in on Liege in the eastern part of the country, the Royal Golf Club Sart Tilman promises a great experience. Golf in Belgium is a wonderful thing, and there is no arguing that. You can rent clubs at most of the golf courses in Belgium if you are not bringing your own set, but don’t hesitate to bring your own with you if you can. You will surely have the chance to use them should you please.