Maurice Stuyvers - Going Back to our Roots
In the midst of the mayhem caused by the Covid-19 restrictions, it was very pleasing to receive the news that the 2020 Dutch Open is to go ahead. The tournament site will be Koekange, which was opened as the first-ever official Dutch course, back in the 1990s. There will be some changes in format and logistics but it is wonderful that Marcel Ahuis, Amador Rodriguez and Esther de Schiffart will have an opportunity to defend their titles. Pitch en Putt Bond Nederlandse President Maurice Suyvers tells us more.
- What is the current Covid-19 situation in Netherlands?
Maurice Stuyvers (MS.) Since May 11th courses have been reopened and all players are welcome if they comply to the local safety measures. Also local club competitions can be resumed under the same restrictions.
As most of our clubs are commercial businesses with a focus on hospitality they have been struggling economically. As of June 1st the hospitality industry is starting to reopen and so our clubs can also start and resume food and beverage services. We are really happy for them, because bankruptcy and courses closing was and still is a possibility.
- How have you personally coped with some of the restrictions?
MS. I’m lucky to work in an industry where I can easily work at home and business could continue. For me personally, sitting at home and not being able to see clients in person, having to have web meetings and off course not being able to play our lovely game was no fun at all……On the other hand for me all those things are nothing compared to what many of my friends had to go through, having a business that was and is being hit financially by “the lockdown”.
- What has been the impact of Covid-19 on Pitch and Putt in the Netherlands?
MS. Since March 16th most of the courses were closed. As a Union we had to cancel/postpone national tournaments and local competitions. The irony this year was that putting together the national calendar has never been as tough as in 2020 and then COVID-19 arrives…
- How has the pandemic affected your plans for the 2020 Dutch Open?
MS. Due to cancellations on the national and international calendar and the fact that the players are really anxious to play a beautiful tournament, we as PPBN and the course owners of Pitch and Putt Koekange want to do everything in our power to deliver. Looking how the COVID-19 numbers are developing, we are more than hopeful that we can succeed. As for the criteria concerning the tournament we have made some necessary “COVID-19-proof” changes. The tournament will have a max. of 90 player entries. Also in a time were solidarity is key, we find it more than fitting to reduce the prize money to help our sponsors who have been hurt economically by COVID-19.
- Do you expect many non-Dutch visitors for the 2020 Dutch Open?
MS. That is good question. Everything depends on how the restrictions in our and our fellow countries develop, but being realistic there will probably be less non-Dutch players.
- How excited are you that the 2020 Dutch Open will be at the birthplace of Dutch Pitch and Putt?
MS. We are very excited. After a successful Dutch Open at Oirschot last year, we had many applications from courses wanting to host the Dutch Open the following year. After a few assemblies we allocated the Dutch Open 2020 to Koekange. Koekange has been modelled as a typical Irish course, with many small greens and beautiful scenery.
- What is your motto for these challenging times?
MS. We hope that all our national and international friends stay safe and healthy and hopefully we can go back to normal, loving (and sometimes hating!) to play our own game.