Sunday, May 21, 2017

Netherlands: Lunch & Golf Clinic at The International

The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

There is a saying and I don’t know where I got this, but I dropped this statement out of the blue during lunch in the office kitchen, well many years ago actually, in anticipation for the golf clinic outing the company will do the week later.

“The older the man gets, the smaller the balls they play become.”

It took the guys a few seconds to burst out into laughter. I guess they cannot get past the words, ‘balls’ and ‘play’ in one sentence. These words just got stuck; blame the naughty mind of a man. Haha! But more importantly, they did not expect that coming from me. Well yes, that was supposed to be a joke!

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Last November I went to another golf clinic in Badhoevedorp, which is located near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for a day of flexing our upper limbs and muscles. Basically, in the driving range and practice tee course only which hosts a number of holes. But we only started hitting balls after a series of meeting presentations and then followed by a nice and casual lunch.

I really liked the whole setting and ambience of The International (check out the 3D tour of the 18-hole golf course!). The floor to ceiling see-through glass walls of the clubhouse gave a feeling and experience that you are one with the golf course. The interior design which was designed by famous Dutch designer Piet Boon was elegant, spacious, a bit on the masculine side and very easy on the eye. The mood is down-to-earth yet exclusive, somewhat hotel-ish but business professional, which I believe is the image the golf club wants to project.

The International Golf Club Restaurant in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands
The International Golf Clubhouse in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

At The International clubhouse: restaurant, function room and changing room.

Lunch was typical Dutch, which is a variety of sandwiches, wraps, sweet pastries, fresh orange juice, yoghurt drink & milk. But they also served a few warm items such as the traditional Dutch thick pea soup, croquettes and egg roll wraps.

In the Netherlands, most of the locals here eat a cold lunch, which most of the times consist of simple meat (deli thin) and cheese (Gouda) sandwich. It might seem strange, but milk is a typical lunch drink here as well. I only see a variety in lunches when there are foreign colleagues around or someone who has a foreign background. So this lunch at the golf course was a nice treat as it is a good break from the usual routine.

Lunch The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands
The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

A few of the warm lunch treats such as croquette, egg roll wrap and pea soup.

Sandwiches The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

Sandwiches, wraps and sweet pastries for lunch.

After lunch, we proceeded to the driving range. Not everyone plays golf and not everyone as well knows how to play golf, myself included.

I do not really have the interest, to begin with. I have tried it a few times and never really got the hang of it. It’s not for me, well not for now for sure. I did manage to hit the balls hard and send them rolling into their right holes, but the joy was rather shortlived as it was freezing cold and windy outside. It was mid-November and winter was just starting.

There are many golf courses/clubs in the Netherlands and many offer the pay-as-you-go scheme while others have their own variety of membership programs, some very exclusive. The International, for example, has an exclusive membership rule and comes with an 18-hole course designed by Ian Woosnam, one of the legendary golfers in Europe. The city of Amsterdam and the airport are just a stone’s throw away.

It must not be an easy walk in the park to play golf in the Netherlands. There’s crappy weather throughout the year to consider with. The sun rarely shines, which can also be good compared to getting dehydrated under the scorching sun. But other weather elements such as rain showers, the wind and the cold have to be dealt with. I guess one will get used to it. But it’s a sport that definitely gets you moving and gets you outside.

Driving range The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands
The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

So just really practising my swing here =)

The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands
The International Golf Club in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands

Calling it a day!

Visit Period: November 2016
Destination: Badhoevedorp, Haarlemmermeer (North Holland), the Netherlands

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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