This month the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) was welcomed at the Royal Waterloo Golf Club in Lasne, Belgium for the Citizenguard Trophy. As this is my first season playing in Europe and I’d never been to Belgium before, there were really only two things I knew about the country going into the week
- the first was that they have some next level chocolate; and
- the second was that somehow a place can rain more than England.
One of the first landmarks I noticed along the street of my hotel was a small Belgian chocolate store. So far, nailing the brief. Then, sure enough, on the 16th hole of my practice round the heavens opened. Thankfully the weather cleared and we only had a couple of small downpours during the first round. Although we were left with some great days for golf, the course had soaked up a lot of water and we were given preferred lies on the fairways for the event.
Royal Waterloo was in beautiful condition and was a fair test, with thick rough and three par fives to finish to keep you in the game right until the very end.
On the second day of the tournament, everyone woke up to the sad news of the attack in Nice. It wasn’t long ago that the world mourned with Belgium when Brussels airport was attacked earlier in the year.
The European flags that separated the golf course and the clubhouse remained at half-mast for the duration of the event and players were offered pins and ribbons as a way of remembrance.
At the conclusion of the final day’s play, I finally got to check out something other than the golf course. American player, Maia Schechter, and her dad kindly offered me a lift back to the hotel but not before going to see the Lion’s Mound, which is located not far from the course. The Lion’s Mound is a man-made hill, that looks almost like a giant, grass pyramid from a distance. Proudly standing on top of a stone-block pedestal at the pinnacle of the incline of the 226 steps is a statue of a majestic lion.
The construction of the landmark was completed in 1826 after King William I of the Netherlands ordered it so, to commemorate the spot where his son, the Prince of Orange was wounded in battle. The Battle of Waterloo resulted in the end of Napolean Bonaparte’s reign when he was eventually defeated by the Duke of Wellington and his men.
Before making the journey up to the lion, we first went through the attached museum. I haven’t been on a school trip for a while but that was one of the most in-depth and interactive museums I’ve been to. It even had a 3D movie… My kind of learning.
When we were finished with wearing out the touch screen displays and decided to venture up to the top of the steps, the views were pretty spectacular. There were a lot of people with shaky legs after the near verticle climb fighting it out for the ultimate selfie spot. No filters needed for the images captured from up there. The walk down the steps was unsurprisingly a lot less demanding and a nice way to finish the experience.
If you’re ever in Waterloo, there’s really only one way to see the surroundings and that’s at the top of the Lion’s Mound.
As for the golf…. I hit the ball really well in my first round and managed to shoot a pretty good score (70) without holing many putts, which put me up towards the top of the leader board. The next two days I fell away a little (77 + 75) due to my driver not being as strong, making it difficult to hit it close from the rough. All in all, there were some good signs of things to come (Scorecards).
The LET access series heads to Sweden for the next event – the Norporrten Ladies Open, which will kick off a busy month with 4 events on the schedule for August!
Amy Walsh is a talented Australian professional golfer based on the Queensland Gold Coast and aiming for success on the Australian, European, and LPGA tours.