After the thrills and spills of last week’s USPGA Championship, the European Tour returns to this side of the Atlantic for the KLM Open where Darren Clarke defends the title.
Opened in 1927, the seaside course at Kennemer is the work of the ubiquitous designer Harry Colt. It has a links feel and wind is always a factor here. It’s been the venue for this tournament since 2006.
The Dutch Open was first contested back in 1912 when Englishman George Pannell was victorious. Since then many famous professionals have claimed the title including – J.H Taylor, Bobby Locke, Roberto De Vicenzo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
Last season, Darren Clarke put on a superb display, recording four rounds in the 60s en-route to a four-shot victory over Paul McGinley.
Clarke will be back at Kennemer and the Northern Irishman will be hoping good memories of last year’s performance might kick-start his season.

Venue: Kennemer G&CC, Zandvoort, Netherlands
Date: August 20-23
Course stats: par 70, 6,626 yards
Purse:  €1,800,000 Winner: €300,000
Defending Champion: Darren Clarke (-16)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am
Friday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am
Saturday 22 – Live on Sky Sports Xtra from 1pm
Sunday 23 – Live on Sky Sports Xtra from 1pm

Player Watch:
Oskar Henningsson – It took the ’08 Tour School winner some time to get to grips with life on tour but he’s done it emphatically over the past few weeks. He followed a fourth at the SAS Masters with his maiden victory at the Moravia Silesia Open. Watch out for him again this week.
Pablo Larrazabal – The talented young Spaniard is yet to show us his best form in 2009 but he’s capable of winning every tournament he enters. This could be his week.
Paul McGinley – The Irishman finished as runner-up here last year and has shown signs of form recently. This could be the week he returns to the top level.

Key Hole: 16th. At 480 yards this long par 4 actually plays as a par 5 for the members. A fade is the ideal shot from the tee but you’ll then be left with a long approach to a narrow green cut into the dunes.

Skills Required: Wind play. A links-style course on the Dutch coast, Kennemer tends to be buffeted by strong winds. The winner here will have good control over his ball flight and will be able to shape his shots both ways.

Where next?

Tour news: 91st USPGA Championship 
Amateur news: England win 2009 Boys Home Internationals
Equipment: PowaKaddy Freeway II trolley review
Competitions: Win some great new golf prizes
Golf blog: Chris Wood at the USPGA