A new 27-hole complex is to be built in southern Belgium with the launch on the stunning Bois d’Arlon Golf and Resort.
Located close to the border with Luxembourg, the new complex has been developed by Luxembourg-based property investor Roby Schintgen and will be designed by English architects Stuart Hallett and Jonathan Davison.
Construction starts on the creation of the Bois d’Arlon Golf and Resort in June 2021 and the course and hotels is expected to open in 2023.
Schintgen, whose background is in commercial real estate, bought the chateau and its 27 hectares (67 acres) of land in 2013. He subsequently acquired the surrounding 190 hectares (470 acres) of forest the year after.
Hallett will design an 18-hole course and Davison with put together a 9-hole loop, with both being built simultaneously.
Hallett Golf Design is based in the southwest of France and has been widely praised for the restoration of Harry Colt’s Golf de Saint-Germain outside Paris. He has also worked on Chiberta and the historic Biarritz-Le Phare.
Create Golf is headed by Davison, who designed the acclaimed Heritage course at the Penati resort in Slovakia. It is ranked among the 100 best courses in Europe.
Hallett said: “Ninety per cent of my course, which is in the land surrounding the chateau and its immediate estate, will be on pure sand, which is 10-12 metres deep.
“It is a large, open heath, gently undulating and ideally suited for golf. When I saw the site, I thought ‘I have to walk this property and find natural golf holes’. So that was what I did.
“There was one part of the site that was just beautiful – with heather, broom and the like – and it would be criminal to rip it up. There are seven or eight holes that are basically entirely natural and the rest was made to fit around it.
“In much of the site, it is just a question of stripping the vegetation and seeding it.
“There are a couple of beautiful natural punchbowl greens, and the sixth hole is a glorious natural par five along the edge of the property that is. just breathtaking. It will have fescue greens. Building the course will not need that much earthworks.”
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The 9-hole course will be designed by Davison in the chateau’s park. It is to be created on heavier soil that has more undulation.
“It is more traditional parkland, but still very beautiful ground,” Davison said. “It will be clean, crisp and subtle, and the greens will be bent, giving a good contrast between the two courses.
“We will sandcap using sand extracted from the driving range – which will be lowered by about four metres.”
The facility will operate as a golf resort, but will also offer memberships. The new hotel will have 65 bedrooms, while the chateau will continue to operate as a venue for functions.