Belgium is a country with great chocolate and great beer. But not many know that Belgium has some of the oldest courses in continental Europe. The oldest course is near Brussels, the Royal Golf Course Belgium founded in 1906 by King Leopold.
As witnessed by their play at the 2011 Spirit International, there are several new and up and coming players from Belgium.
Want to learn more about Belgium and Belgium golf? Check out our video below.
In 2011, The Spirit International saw the Belgium participate for the 3rd year in a row. Although they finished 16th, they were lead by the stellar play of Thomas Pieters, a senior from the University of Illinois. Pieters went on to have an outstanding senior year and has played well this summer. Recently, he turned professional.
The clip below show Thomas with a remarkable chip on hole 15 during the 3rd round of the 2011 Spirit International Championship. Enjoy!
Translation:Haskett: Oh, very nice touch, almost made a remarkable 3.
The weekend during the golf season always produces interesting tidbits of news items, particularly with Spirit alumni. With a deep group of great alumni from past Spirit Championships, there is always something interesting happening throughout the summer months of golf. And this weekend is no exception.
First, 2009 Spirit Player Ben Martin won is 2nd Web.com tournament, the Mylan Classic, played on the Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, PA. Martin was leading by 4 strokes entering the final round and calmly shot a 4-under 67 in the closing round to win by 5. This victory vaulted him to 2nd on the money list and should likely ensure a place on the PGA Tour next year.
Martin has been preaching to himself about being consistent all year.
“At the start of the year consistency is one of the things I wanted to work on,” Martin said. “My coach used to tell me that great golf is playing consistently good golf. I’ve had some runs before but this is the most consistent I’ve ever played. It’s fun to keep this going.”
2011 Spirit Player Charley Hull also made news over the weekend. She will become the youngest player in Solheim Cup history when she represents Europe next week at the Colorado Golf Club. Hull (who turned 17 on March 20th), received a wild card pick from Captain Lisolette Neumann. It was no surprise that Neumann picked Hull, as she has finished second in each of her first 5 events this year on the LET.
“She’s had a great year,” said Neumann. “She shoots in the 60s 30 percent of the time. She’s energetic, she’s fearless and she’s a great addition to our team.”
Interestingly, Neumann was the Swedish coach during 2011 at the Spirit International and likely had several opportunities to see Hull during the Championship in 2011.
Congratulations to both Ben and Charley, from your friends at the Spirit International.
As we move closer and closer to the 2013 Spirit International, there is more excitement about the teams committed and the players that we will be seeing on the fairways of Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Our August Team of the Month is Belgium. Belgium has fielded a team in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Spirit International. Their best finish came in 2007 with a 12th place finish. In 2011, Thomas Pieters lead the Belgium team to a 16th place finish. Since then Pieters (who plays for University of Illinois), has had some great finishes in various championships, including being part of the Fightin’ Illini team that had a runner-up finish in the NCAA Championships and a 2013 Big 10 Conference victory.
Here is a video of the Belgium team introducing themselves at the 2011 Spirit International.
2011 Spirit Player Garrett Rank endured some record breaking temperatures in an effort to break some course records. After birdieing holes 6, 8, 9 and 14, he needed a birdie on 18 to match the mark set by Danny Green at the 2004 APL at Rush Creek G.C. Unfortunately, he came up short on 18, but he came out with the Medalist honors and is looking forward to match play.
Rank works as a professional referee for the Ontario Hockey League in the winter, but has dedicated himself to full time golf this summer.
“I’m treating this as my full-time job,” said Rank. “I made some good swings at the end of the round and was trying to cement those for the next couple of days.”
In the 2011 Spirit International, Rank led Canada to a tie-9th finish in the team competition. As he continues his strong play throughout the summer, we look forward to (hopefully) having him return to Whispering Pines Golf Club for the 2013 Spirit International.
For more in the United States Amateur Public Links Championship and this story go to:
Courtesy: United States Golf Association