Despite enduring long winters, Sweden is home to an array of fantastic golf courses, including several of Continental Europe’s finest layouts. The beautiful country has also produced some of most recognisable golfers on the planet, including former Open Champion Henrik Stenson and the greatest female golfer of all-time, Annika Sorenstam.
In fact, anyone who has travelled to the Scandinavian nation will know that Swedes are among the golf-mad people on the planet. As a result, there are a plethora of world-class courses to discover. Given the country’s topography, these layouts are as varied as you will find anywhere. From authentic links, to wooded gems and championship masterpieces we count down the finest courses in Sweden.
10th. Vallda Golf and Country Club
Vallda Golf & Country Club was inspired by the traditional heathland courses on the Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt. It was perhaps little surprise then that Martin Hawtree was charged with designing the layout, which opened to much acclaim in 2009. Located just outside Gothenburg, the springy and firm turf at Vallda makes for a totally unique experience in Sweden. Open and relatively flat, the course is playable for all ability levels. Nonetheless, bold bunkering and undulating greens make for an exciting and unforgettable challenge and ensure Vallda is ranked among Sweden’s finest tests of golf.
9th. Ullna Golf Club
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’re going to need them!
8th. Vasatorps Golfklubb
With 54 fantastic holes of golf, Vasatorps Golfklubb is one of Sweden’s most exciting clubs. The venue has long been considered one of Sweden’s best courses and has been hosting championship golf as far back as the 70’s. In fact, Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman are among several top players claim European Tour titles here
Located just east of Helsingborg, the opening of the TC course in 2008 has elevated the club to a whole new level. Built with tournament play in mind, the new layout features nine new holes and is the crown jewel in 0the resort.
While the TC is now ranked as one of Sweden’s best courses, the Classic is a more traditional test, with water featuring prominently throughout.
7th. Sand Golf Club
From humble origins, Sand Golf Club has become one of Sweden’s best golf courses. Built on the site of an old potato farm, the course opened in 2006 with the aim of becoming the country’s best inland links. Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest were behind the design, which features heavy bunkering throughout. In fact, sand hazards characterise the course, with large traps looming off the tee and pot bunkers strategically placed to catch the wayward approach shot. There is also plenty of water, including on the signature finishing hole.
6th. PGA of Sweden National
Kyle Phillips involvement in a course’s design is normally a sure sign of its quality. This is certainly the case at the PGA of Sweden National, which after ten years in the planning process, opened to much acclaim in 2009. With 45-holes of Phillips’ design at the resort, just outside Malmo, it’s little surprise that the PGA of Sweden is one of the country’s premier golf resorts.
The original design, the Links, is more reminiscent of a Scottish seaside course than a layout typically found in Scandinavia. Nonetheless, despite the huge amount of earth moved in the building process, it retains an extremely natural feel.
The acclaimed designer was also the mastermind behind the Lakes course, which opened for play a year later and rivals the Links as the resort’s best layout. Ranked among Europe’s top 100 courses, the designs look set to rise further as they mature.
Located just outside Malmo, the acclaimed complex is easily accessible from across Sweden and Denmark, as well as Northern Europe.
5th. Barsebäck Golf and Country Club
Barsebäck Golf & Country Club has plenty of championship pedigree, having hosted the Solheim Cup and numerous Scandinavian Masters.
The course is situated on the west coast of Sweden, just 20km north of Malmo. The venue is the home club of 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson and boasts two fabulous courses.
The Masters course, which would be the scene of a dramatic European victory back in 2003, is a varied and challenging affair. The course begins by carving its way through dense woodland before opening up on the back-nine to offer some fabulous sea views. As well as some seriously tough holes pressed hard against the Oresund.
The shorter Donald Steel course may not have the championship pedigree. Nonetheless, it is a charming course that should not be overlooked on a visit to the resort.
4th. Halmstad Golfklubb Tylosand
This 36-hole gem is located west of Halmstad in beautiful Tylösand on a promontory that juts out onto the Kattegat Strait. Halmstad Golfklubb currently has an extensive waiting list, a testament to what is undoubtedly one of the finest courses in Sweden. Formed in 1930, Frank Pennick and Donald Steel have both had a hand in the design.
Despite being so close to the sea you can taste the salty air, both layouts carve through avenues of mature trees. It is a heady combination that has brought some of the finest golfers to pit themselves against Halmstad’s glorious test. The Solheim Cup was staged here in 2007, while the venue has also hosted some of Europe’s best amateurs over the years.
3rd. Visby Golfklubb
Visby is a glorious place to visit. The largest city on the island of Gotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Visby is considered the best-preserved medieval town in Sweden. For golfers, however, a visit to Visby is all about the city’s fabulous golf course. Long considered one of Sweden’s best layouts, Visby Golfklubb is a classic combination of seaside and parkland.
The highlight is the 6th hole, a beautiful par-5 which runs along the edge of the water and made all the more challenging by the Baltic Winds which rarely let up. The views back across to the sea are truly outstanding.
The course underwent a significant renovation in 2007 and has since hosted a number of professional events.
2nd. Falsterbo Golf Club
Founded in 1909, Falsterbo Golf Club is the third oldest club in Sweden. Afforded an unparalleled location in an area of natural beauty on the Falsterbo peninsula, the course is one of the most authentic tests of links golf in Scandinavia.
With the Baltic Sea on three sides, the wind is always a factor. The regular gusts exacerbate the challenge posed by the penal rough and white sandy beaches.
In fact, the beaches come into play on a number of holes. Nowhere more so than the par-5 18th, where golfers must avoid the dazzling white sand which runs along the entire length of the hole.
1st. Bro Hof Slott Golf Club
The Stadium Course at Bro Hof Slott has recently welcomed Europe’s best players for the Scandinavian Masters.
Robert Trent Jones Jr designed the championship layout, which within months of opening was being posited as Sweden’s best layout. With the addition of the Castle course two years later, Bro Hof Slott has since cemented itself as Stockholm’s must-visit golf destination.
The course at Bro Hof Slott is enormous, measuring over 8,000 yards from the back tees. In fact, everything at Bro Hof Slott is built on a grand scale. With huge swaths of bunkers covering many of the fairways. The glorious course meanders its way around a series of lakes with some holes flanked by water on both sides. It is a daunting proposition, but one that arguably makes the most fun-filled test of golf in Scandinavia.
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.