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  Maurice Stuyvers - Dutch Open and other PPBN priorities

Pitch en Putt Bond Nederland President Maurice Stuyvers was kind enough to update us on developments and plans in the world of Pitch and Putt in the Netherlands.

fippa.org (Q.) Are the board and members of the PPBN pleased to be back in FIPPA?

Maurice Stuyvers (A.) We are very happy to be back. Since the foundation of the PPBN it has always been the goal to be part of the highest international level. We were saddened by the fall of the former Dutch union and the fact that when we started the PPBN we could not join FIPPA. But as in real close companionships, sometimes you have to let go on the short term, to get back together in the long term.

Q. How are plans progressing for the 2019 Dutch Open?

A. Plans are going very well! This is the first time this tournament will be played in the region of Brabant. Last season there was a trial of sorts in the form of the National Strokeplay, which was very well received. For this edition of the Dutch Open only, even the prize money for every category has been raised. Although I know I'm a bit biased, this is a must play tournament for every Pitch and Putt player!

Q. Tell us a little about the Oirschot course?

A. Oirschot is a challenging, but fair, course and for many foreign (but also domestic) players a totally new one as well. The course is literally located around one big pub and between rounds you can enjoy your beverage watching the play from the terrace.  The town of Oirschot is very near to Eindhoven and Tilburg, which are very attractive to visit. To see the course details (and to register) players can visit our site: dutchopen.ppbn.nl.

Q. Do you expect a number of Dutch players to challenge for the 2019 European Strokeplay championships at Dagenham?

A. Of course our players will definitely want to play at “the Deebles' home”. Most of the Dutch players are already familiar with the course and many players, including myself, have been there in 2016 and 2018 during the British Open. The relationship with John Deeble and his family has been great for many years.

Q. What are the short term and long term priorities for the PPBN?

A. Last year was a major year for us as we implemented our new national handicap system and of course we joined FIPPA. Also, we more than doubled our number of players' memberships. All of which we are very proud of.

This year’s short term priority is the start of the new season in April and implementing some changes in playing formats and regulations. The long term goal is working together with (new) partners like course owners and FIPPA to help and grow the beautiful sport of Pitch and Putt. We’d really love to get more children and women involved! Another long term priority is trying to get recognized by more domestic authorities for funding.

Q. Who are the Dutch players that you think may be the successors to Rolf Kwant and Esther de Schiffart?

A. That’s a tough question. Both are, to be honest, still in a league of their own. At a national level there is a lot of talent attempting to challenge Rolf. To name a few: Marcel Ahuis, Remon de Groot and Gerben van Dorland are all very talented and may be the future successors to Rolf. But for now, in my opinion, “a Rolf” in great playing form, is untouchable.

For Esther we hope that more ladies will start to play at a national level and reach the level she is at. That is also the reason she plays national tournaments in the gents category and she is doing a good job there too. For now I don’t see a successor, but I’m very hopeful in the coming years.

Q. How is your own Pitch and Putt game?

A. It’s always difficult to talk about yourself, but I'm training and playing a lot and I'm still getting better! Being a board member and a player was a difficult combination over the last few years. Last year I reached my first top three final in a national tournament. I was very proud of that. Now that we’ve introduced a structure that means that board members are not the lead organizers of the nationals, hopefully I can focus on merely being a player and just enjoying our lovely game.