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Lekkerbek Golf Course.

(1929– 1940)

In 1928/1929 a third golf course for Royal Knocke Golf Club (later renamed Royal Zoute Golf Club) was built at Lekkerbek with the plans drawn by Harry Colt & Co., namely John S.F. Morrison, adding another 18-holes to the already existing Inner and Outer Courses at Knocke (18 holes each)

On August 4th 1929 Princess Marie-José de Belgique, future Queen of Italy, opened the golf course at Lekkerbek, a beautiful and true links course that takes its name from a nearby restaurant opened in 1912 on top of the dyke. The first tee lies just at the foot of Villa de la Source (Het Bronnetje) constructed in 1914, which became the clubhouse of the “New Course” as Lekkerbek is also referred to. 

 

Lekkerbek Golf Course. Layout of the golf course 1931.

Above is the layout of the course from 1931.

 

Lekkerbek Golf Course. Course scorecard from 1936.

Lekkerbeck scorecard from 1936.

 

Lekkerbek Golf Course. On the tee on the “Nouveau Golf” course.

On the tee on the “Nouveau Golf Course”

 

We found a description of the Lekkerbek course in Golf Illustrated dating September 26th 1936 where golf professional Burrows describes the course:

“The third course belonging to the Royal Zoute Golf Club is known as the Lekkerbek course, and is situated about a couple of miles away from the other courses. It has its own small club-house, which I have small doubts in due course will be enlarged to meet the growing needs of this magnificent course.

Lekkerbek is a much sterner test of golf than the other two courses I have already described. In fact it is as stern a test of golf as anyone could wish for.

In terrain it is remarkably like Carnoustie. It is a mixture of vast sand hills and flat country, and utterly exposed to all the winds that blow. It is not what I call a friendly course. On it golf is a very serious business, but it will appeal to those with real golfing abilities, the greater the abilities, the greater the appeal. Its condition is simply grand. The fairways have a lovely sward of springy seaside grasses, and the greens are extremely true.

Its layout, the work of John Morrison, is on the St. Andrews plan. Placement, placement, and again placement is the keynote of the design, and it offers a fine variety of approaches. From first to last it is a highly interesting course. (….)

The Lekkerbek course measures 5,905 metres, or about 6,500 yards, and has a Standard Scratch Score of 74. There is not a dull or a bad hole on the course, and several of really superb character and design.

Going out, the fifth and the seventh, for instance: a couple of beautiful dog-legs to the right. And the sixth, a great positional hole.

Coming back there is the eleventh, requiring a beautiful tee shot to the exact spot, and still a grand second, and the fourteenth, the sixteenth and seventeenth.

There are two short holes going out and coming in, and they make four magnificent examples of the one-shotter.

All these holes I have mentioned lift Lekkerbek into a course of championship class. They are proud of this course in Belgium. They have something to be proud of.”

They had something to be proud of, eventually the course was destroyed by the Germans in WWII, who began laying mines on the golf course in 1940, and completely mining it in 1943. When Knokke was liberated in 1944 the mined course became forgotten and was officially closed by the Flemish authorities (https://inventaris.onroerenderfgoed.be/erfgoedobjecten/121648) in 1952.

One can still see the traces of the golf course on the left side walking down the Bronlaan direction to Het Zwin.

Christoph Meister

October 2017.

The Google Map below shows the location of the former golf course.