The entire Rinkven domain is remarkable for its tranquility and its natural beauty. Rich in oak, birch and pine trees, the most impressive however are the many beach trees several of which come significantly in play on certain holes. The fenland character of the land is reflected in a number of lakes which also add to the challenge on about a third of the holes. Maintenance of the courses is carried out with great care for the natural environment and a desire to protect the indigenous flora and fauna. A woodland management plan is strictly followed and all course maintenance is carried out in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management plan (see link on the page Course Status).
Having two 18 hole courses enables the club to reserve one of the courses for visitors and competitions - the “Competition Course”, while the other course is reserved for members and their guests, the “Members Course”. Rinkven remains one of the few clubs in Belgium to maintain a non-reservation policy for its members at the first tee of the members course. Each week the competition course and the members course alternate between the South Course and the North Course. Visitors wishing to play on only one particular course should check with the secretary before reserving their tee-time.
The clubhouse, newly opened in 2017, has been designed to accommodate visitors both as individuals and in larger groups. While various areas can be set aside for large groups to hold apart gatherings or prize-givings, there are no areas excluded to visitors who are always welcome to reflect on their golf rounds at the bar, restaurant or terraces, whilst enjoying the splendid views over the courses.
Visitors are also welcome to use the clubs trolleys and driving range balls without charge and to spend time exercising their short game on the five practice greens which are available for different purposes. Lessons can be arranged in one of the two fully equipped swing studios with any of the clubs five professional golfers.
As with all clubs, Rinkven’s membership includes a great mixture of recreational players as well as players who take golf as a sportive challenge. That sportive atmosphere has resulted in remarkable successes with Rinkven’s interclub teams enjoying Belgian champion status in all mens categories. During the last 12 years Rinkven’s teams have been men’s Belgian interclub champions no less than 7 times.
While the club limits its number of full members in order to control playing pressure, it remains open for new members and also operates a “start to golf” programme for beginners who often graduate to become future golfers. A highly active junior section keeps regular contact with local schools in order to widen the appeal of golf in the local area. A “youngsters programme” has recently been established in order to reduce the natural decline in golf participation among young adults at the start of their careers or university.
Although the club has endured two years of disruption during the construction of the clubhouse and golf course amendments, now largely completed, there remain plans for further development and renovation of individual golf holes (during the close seasons). Rinkven is a dynamic club and with a desire to develop and continually to improve it’s courses and facilities for the benefit of its members and its visitors.