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Europe's biggest golf complex is in financial trouble

Wednesday 21 November 2012


A downturn in the number of people playing golf has led the Spaarnwoude golf complex west of Amsterdam to ask for court protection from creditors, RTL news said on Wednesday.

The complex offers 66 holes spread over seven courses and claims to be the biggest in Europe. Spaarnwoude is open to the general public and says some 350,000 people a year use its facilities.

However, the number of players has fallen by up to 20% over the past year, and the company is also grappling with high rents, RTL said.

Spaarnwoude is owned by Golf Goed, the owner of Golf Centrum Rotterdam, which is also in serious financial trouble, the broadcaster says.

Do you play golf? Share your thoughts through the comment section below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I sold my clubs before moving here since it looked like there would only be 3 or 4 decent weather days to actually play. Also found out the fees were high and extremely hard to get on the course!Planning on moving to the southern half of the USA where I can take it up again!

By M | 21 November 2012 2:35 PM

3 letters - GVB - get rid of it, they will have their 20% back in a heart beat

By John Smith | 21 November 2012 2:42 PM

If golf was more affordable in Nederland as it is in Ireland many more people would be playing, generating more revenue for the clubs

By Maurice Jones | 21 November 2012 7:45 PM

Turn it in to a natural park and profit from growing industry of eco-tourism. Holland has one of the smallest areas for natural parks per capita for Europe.

By Colin | 22 November 2012 9:00 AM

Have to support 'John Smith' and the three letters: GVB. If you want to license it and charge absurd costs, this is the outcome. Business 101.

By Damian | 22 November 2012 10:03 AM

The GVB (golf ability license) is insulting! I am not great, probably could fail the test, but I have played Sawgrass and Torrey Pines in the US without holding up play or wrecking the course! I agree get rid of it and more people will play golf in Holland

By Andrew | 22 November 2012 10:29 AM

I had clubs also had clubs when I moved here but when I discovered how difficult they made it to play I just sold them. This GVB is just a way to exclude the "wrong type of people" from the game. You don't need a license to play on courses in Ireland, the UK or the US. I hope they go to the wall, the new owners will no doubt be a little more inclusive.

By D | 22 November 2012 11:41 AM

If they get rid of that GVB requirement that stands on most of their courses I would happily play more often.

By Simon Says | 22 November 2012 5:24 PM

It's about time more Golf courses realize they should make it cheaper and accessible for more real players. Spaarnwoude is a great natural Eco for many people.
Management is just lousy, too bad.
Hope this will be the beginning to a great New start and have Dutch Intl Champions.

By Grant | 22 November 2012 5:43 PM

@Colin: bogus argument. Netherlands has a relatively high percentage of its area devoted to recreation and parks. However, its population is very dense on itself, thus unless you had half of the country set as parkland, those stats will not look good.

To stretch the reasoning, think of how little parkland per capita is there on Monaco or Vatican...

By Andre L. | 23 November 2012 6:18 AM

A round of golf nowadays costing more that of a private club, difficult booking arrangements, car parking fees, well what a suprise that Spaarnwoude has gone bust.

By Roelf | 1 December 2012 3:29 PM

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