The Island Golf Club - 5th hole
The Island Golf Club

Here at Leadingcourses we’re all about the golfer. Back in the day (2007 to be exact) we seen the need for a service that provides information on the best courses to play all around the world. We weren’t talking about the usual, over-produced reports on the same top 10 golf courses that you hear from every Tom, Dick and Harry. We wanted real insights from real golfers. Golfers that play the inconspicuous, ordinary and unknown golf courses of this world. The courses you didn’t even know you wanted to play… but you do! Our site is built on the reviews and insights of golfers like you, that play their local course, tell others about it, and put it on the radar for other golfing fanatics.

Speaking of golfing fanatics, this is where the Leadingcourses Ambassadors come in. These self described “golf nuts” are the ones that have stood out over the years. These guys and girls play the most golf courses, leave the most (and longest) reviews and lead the way in helping people to find their preferred course wherever that may be. Hailing from all over the world, our Ambassadors have been handpicked over the years and have adapted the Leadingcourses mission of making every golf course visible to all. As we sit in the office organising reviews and ratings, our Ambassadors have the daunting task of being our eyes and ears out in the field (course)!

Why They Play…

This series of blog posts is aimed at getting to know these critical members of our team and getting insights into why they play the game of golf. We also hope to give you some fun stories and hidden gems along the way. These lads and ladies have developed a love of the game, after years of playing, so there are no better people to answer the question “Why should you play golf?”.

Without further delay, we’ll start at the beginning and with our first ever Ambassador, the ‘Golfing Dutchman’, Leonard Van Nunen.

Profile

Name: Leonard van Nunen
Nationality: Dutch
Years playing golf: 16
Home Course: Utrechtse Golfclub Amelisweerd
Favorite golf course to play: Utrechtse Golfclub ‘De Pan’

When did you start playing golf and why?

I began playing in 2004 while I was living in Cape Town South Africa. I needed a sport to unwind after the stress of setting up a 300 seat call center and because there were so many beautiful golf courses and practice facilities nearby.

A. What is your favourite thing about playing golf? B. Your least favourite?

A. Being out in nature and hitting good shots.

B. That it takes a lot of time.

Do you have a favourite course/why?

My favourite course would have to be Utrechtse Golfclub ‘De Pan’ in the Netherlands. It is a great design by Harry Colt – my favourite designer – with perfect routing. The distance from one green to the next tee is only about 10 steps without it posing too much risk of hitting somebody on the head. Great holes too, you cannot play this course often enough

Utrechtse Golfclub ‘De Pan’ - Why Should You Play Golf?
Utrechtse Golfclub ‘De Pan’

What’s your favourite golfing destination/why?

Scotland is without doubt my favourite. The offering of links courses, tradition, and sheer amount of quality, famous courses. Take into account the relatively low costs of green fees and the friendly people and you have yourself a winner.

Royal Dornoch in Sutherland, Scotland
Royal Dornoch in Sutherland, Scotland

What is the best golfing trip you have ever been on? Why?

Dublin, Ireland in 2018! We played 4 courses; Howth, Portmarnock Hotel & Links, Royal Dublin and The Island. Due to the lack of rain for 3 months (rare in this part of the world) all the fairways were yellow and hard as a rock. We were hitting 5 irons from the tee and with the roll they must’ve went about 220m+. On the Island I parred the last hole of the trip with a perfect drive, excellent hybrid and 2 putts… super!

The Island Golf Club, Dublin
The Island Golf Club, Dublin

Do you have a favourite type of course? (Eg. links, heathland etc.) Why?

That would have to be the traditional links. Right on the coast, 9 holes out, 9 holes in, no water (except the sea) and none or hardly any trees. That is perfection!

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you during a round of golf?

I was once playing golf with my brother at Terre Blanche in the south of France and there were no other players out there during our round. Suddenly we turned a corner and seen 4, 6, 8 people with golf bags walking in front of us. The next hole was a par 3 and the guys waited on the tee to let us through. As we came closer we noticed that they were 3 European Tour (Victor Dubuisson, Alexander Levy…) and one Challenge tour player(s). We said hello and then had to step up and hit at an elevated green in front of our new audience! Luckily we both hit the green and made par. Talk about a high pressure “let me through shot”.

Terre Blanche in the Provence Côte d'Azur
Terre Blanche in the Provence Côte d’Azur

What is the toughest course you’ve ever played?

Kusadasi International in Turkey was extremely challenging. Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria and Royal Óbidos in Portugal are also up there.

What courses are on your bucket list? What golfing destinations are on your bucket list?

The top 5 courses that I would love to play are:

  1. Bandon Dunes – USA
  2. Carnoustie – Scotland
  3. Muirfield – Scotland
  4. Ballybunion – Ireland
  5. Sunningdale – England

My top destinations include: Bandon Dunes – USA, Mauritius – F, Sandbelt- Australia, 17 Mile drive (Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Cypress Point) – California (USA) and Hawaii.

Bandon Dunes, Oregon, USA
Bandon Dunes, Oregon, USA

What are the cheapest and most expensive courses you’ve played? What is the best price/quality destination for playing golf?

The cheapest around is probably Prague. There are courses with an 18 hole green fee for less than €30 a go. The most expensive however was definitely either Pinehurst no. 2 at $450 or Nirwana in Bali – €395.

Who is your favourite course designer and why?

Harry Colt without a doubt. He is the designer with the most courses in the top 100 of the world. His courses are structured to give you an ‘easy’ bogey and difficult par. He managed to design and co-design over 300 courses worldwide including sites in Japan, Australia and America. Even when it took 6-8 weeks to get there by boat.

Royal County Down - a Harry Colt design
Royal County Down – a Harry Colt design

How did you hear about or find Leadingcourses? Why should people join Leadingcourses?

I first found out about Leadingcourses in 2009 when they had just started with courses in Benelux. At the time I was playing a lot of different courses and to keep track I reviewed them on LC. I also uploaded quite a lot of pictures. At one point in time, one third of all the pictures on Leadingcourses where mine. Currently I’m the #1 reviewer in the world but I hope to be surpassed by my ambassadors or other fanatic reviewers…

Follow Leonard!

A special thanks to Leonard for chatting to us and for all his help over the years. You can see read all of his reviews on his profile here.

Find some great courses and hidden gems by following Leonard’s activities:

Next Episode

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here