Philippe Van Roy and Mark Vijver have launched an initiative to bring the Belgium Open Golf Tournament back with the support of the European Tour. Having 3 absolutely top players, we believe Belgium deserves a place on the calendar of the European Tour. We want to make this an event for the people where the spectators are as important as the players.
Setting up an event like this is very costly, and so we need your help with the initial investment. We are looking for people who believe in this initiative and want to be one of the founders of the Belgium Open. So:
and let's bring it back!
The Belgian Open Golf tournament has been played intermittently since 1910. The first edition was played over 36 holes at the Royal Golf Club Belgium and was won by the Frenchman Arnaud Massay. In 1928 the format changed to the now familiar 4 day 72 hole stroke play format.
All events since 1978 have been part of the Euroepan Tour, played predominently at either Royal Waterloo GC or Royal Zoute GC, and had some well known winners such as Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Robert Karlsson and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
From 1978 - 2000, the 72 hole strokeplay format continued and then after an 18 year gap in 2018 it was put back on the calendar by the Pieters family as the Belgian Kockout, played at Rinkven International GC, with 36 holes of stroke play folowed by the top 64 playing match play over the final two days. The winner in 2018 was Adrián Otaegui and in 2019 was Guido Migliozzi.
We think it's a great pity that the Belgium Open is no longer included in the European Tour calendar, especially since we have three absolute top players. Namely: Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry. Our ambition is to put the Belgian Open back on the map.
We are two entrepreneurs who are very excited to try to bring this tournament back to Belgium in a way that people can enjoy the whole experience. Philippe van Roy is a Belgian entrepreneur, who has been pationate for the game of golf for many years. Mark Vijver in the owner of 45 websites, like golfballen.be, that sell golf balls in the Netherlands, Belgium and France and has a reach of 1.2 million golfers.
Together, we formulated a plan and contacted the European Tour, who were immediately enthusiastic about the organisation of a peoples tournament.
The new Belgium Open will be played in the familar 4 rounds of Strokeplay. This will be a tournament “for the people”. We are hoping both Belgian and international golf fans will be present to follow the tournament and their favorite players over the entire four days.
Many visitors will enjoy themselves following their favorite players or other potential winners around the course. Many will also want to enjoy the whole atmosphere of the tourament village where you can relax with a drink and something to eat while watching the tourament on a big screen. However, for the more active people, we are envisioning an area where people can experience various aspects of the game such as hitting some balls.
We believe golf should be a sport for everyone and we will be inviting the Belgian golf federation to introduce the sport to new or future golfers.
Organising such an event is only possible with the support of sponsors. Given it's coverage on television and other media channels, it is an ideal opportunity for companies to promote themselves to a wide audience and to build on existing customer relationships.
We envisage a main sponsor, after whom the tournament will be named. Also a number of other sponsors, at various levels, are necessary to make the tournament possible. In this way we want to create an incredible atmosphere, and attract a high number of daily visitors. We need everybody to make this event a success.
Right now, we are looking at various possibilities. Some clubs stand out as being ideal candidates. They will need to meet several criteria, such as a high quality design and condition of the course, access and adequate parking facilities.
At the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a date to bring the tournament back in 2022.