La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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Sweden has a history of producing world-class golfers, including the legendary Annika Sorenstam and Open Champion Henrik Stenson. With some of Europe’s most beautiful and varied landscape, the country is also home to some truly exceptional golf courses. Many of these are located close to the country’s charming capital, Stockholm. Come the summer months, locals flock to the countryside to make the most of the long days and the great selection of layouts. We take a look at seven courses you should be playing.
Home to the Scandinavian Masters, the Stadium Course at Bro Hof Slott is the country’s finest layout. One of the finest architects of the contemporary era, Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the championship layout, which was named Sweden’s best golf course just months after opening. With the addition of the Castle course two years later, Bro Hof Slott has since cemented itself as Stockholm’s must-visit golf destination.
Everything at Bro Hof Slott is on a grandiose scale. The Stadium measures over 8,000 yards, although the beginner tees are much further forward, and even the bunkers and water hazards are truly enormous.
The second layout, the Castle Course, is a markedly different challenge from the long and demanding Stadium layout. The course has a heathland feel and scoots between forest and open countryside.
Located just 12km outside Stockholm, and bestowed a glorious lakeside position, Lake Ullna is one of Sweden’s most popular golf clubs. Water is the buzzword for this picturesque layout. Meandering along the banks of the lake, which doubles in the winter as an ice skating rink, water features on almost every hole.
Founded in 1981, Ullna Golf Club features a collection of truly exceptional holes, particularly those pressed hard against the water’s edge. A tight and challenging layout, it’s worth remembering to bring plenty of balls. You might need them!
Fågelbro Golf & Country Club is a popular retreat for Stockholmers. Situated 35 minutes from the city in a beautiful archipelago, the course is a charming mix and of forest and parkland.
The course features many of the idiosyncrasies more commonly associated with links golf. Rocky outcrops, sleepered bunkers, and fast and sloping greens. Meanwhile, the back nine features plenty of water, particularly on the signature 17th where a narrow fairway weaves its way between water left and right.
Be sure to stop off at the halfway hut, which is among the best you’ll find anywhere.
Bro-Balsta Golfklubb is a picturesque parkland course with a unique claim to fame. Annika Sorenstam, the greatest female player of all time, would grow up learning to play on the course. The greens at Bro-Balsta are some of the trickiest in Sweden which may help explain why Annika was such a great putter.
Annika and sister, Charlotta, would return to the club in 2006 to play in the Scandinavian TPC, a tournament that Annika would fittingly go on to win.
Just 20 minutes from the capital, Kungsgangen Golf Club, formally known as the European Tour Club, has two championship courses and some fantastic practice facilities. Set in a beautiful forested landscape, the venue has hosted the Scandinavian Masters on no fewer than four occasions.
The Kings course has been designed with tour professionals in mind and with the majority of the holes carving their way through tree-lined funnels, there’s no doubting the course’s ability to test your game.
With plenty of water also coming into play, good course management is essential on both courses to score well.
The Kings course built two years after the Queens is comfortably the better of the two layouts. The course will only get better with age as the trees continue to mature. A must visit on your trip to Stockholm.
The location of the Swedish Royal Family’s beautiful palace, Drottningholm is better known to golf fans as the home of one of the area’s top golf courses.
The 18 holes at Royal Drottningholms are situated on the crown property, and golfers can enjoy both the beauty of the surrounding nature and the nearby royal palace.
Excellent transport links to the capital ensure Drottningholm has played host to some of Sweden’s biggest tournaments, including the Scandinavian Masters. The course also hosted the Volvo Open in 1970. The event drew a world-class field, including Jack Nicklaus.
Österåkers Golfklubb has two 18-hole moorland courses. The Västerled, which has recently been redesigned by Henrik Stenson, is a championship course. Meanwhile, the Österled is a more forgiving but still technical course.
The par-72 Västerled is comfortably the toughest of the two courses and has welcomed the Ladies European Tour on three occasions. Moreover, the club has hosted many major national championships as well as the European Amateur Championships.
Henrik Stenson Designs is currently in the process of remodelling both the golf courses. A 9-hole par 3 course and state-of-the-art practice facility will also open this year.