Review for Bokskogen (Gamla)

Reviewer Score:


In farmlands of southern Skåne (Scania) you normally only find deciduous forest on land historically owned by nobility, as is also the case here where you drive past the 16th century Torup castle a kilometer before the narrow tree-lined entry road to the Bokskogen golf course.

Of the 36 holes the better 18 is the Old course, a parkland track right next to the birch forest from which the course takes its name (Bokskogen = the Birch forest, yes, naming forests is perhaps not the Scanian strong suit). Some holes takes you right to the edge of the forest, where some huge specimen trees tower over you, both birch and, especially on the 16th, oak.

The course can play very long indeed, 6500 m from the back tees, but you have six tees to choose from so there is a tee for everyone. Playing from the regular tees (5800 m) the major difficulty is the greens, large, often multi-tiered and/or sloping. Many greens are angled to the fairway with one or two bunkers covering one half of the green, allowing a safer play onto the putting surface, but it may leave a challenging put indeed if the pin is tucked away, you need to have a good feel for pace!

Unfortunately during my visit, while pretty fast, the greens were a bit bumpy and ragged looking, rest of course was in beautiful nick though. According to my playing partners the greens usually are better, but it's a bit worrying that they had this quality for their own club championships just a few days prior to my visit.

Best holes, par 3 second, 160 m from men's regular tee, almost 40 yards deep elongated green with water short and right and a bunker mid-left. Intimidating but beautiful.

Par 5 fifth, dogleg right, if you're long enough you can try to get up to the green complex on your second, either by trying to get over the tall trees covering the corner, or by fading it around the trees. My attempt, a good struck 3 wood, just caught the trees and fell down into the hazard at they stand in. Next time I'll try the fade...

Tenth, a short par three from an elevated tee right by the club house. Carrying the pond and sticking it close to the pin with people watching you from the restaurant and putting green is very satisfying. My only birdie of the day.

I also liked the 11th, a winding long par 4 (400 m, index 2) where a tee shot over the bunker on the left edge of the fairway at 190 m will give you a much better angle for the long second shot toward the green with bunkers right, make a par and you've done well!

The 16th is a lovely hole, par 4 dogleg right, where you need to place your tee shot in the correct spot so you can thread the second between the great birch tree to the right and the fantastic oak to the left.

I have conflicted feelings about the 17th, playing over two old stone walls up the hill onto a green surrounded by the forest on three sides is a great second shot. Unfortunately the tee shot needs to be no less than 190 m to get a clear shot at the green since it's an almost 90 degree dogleg left. Too short or on the left side of the fairway and you're blocked by trees, too far you risk running through the fairway or being blocked by another tree. The 16th also requires a precis tee shot, but there you have recovery options if you miss, punch under or go around the trees to get at the green, here you need a long wild hook to have any chance if you're in the wrong spot.

Overall, it's a good track, #20 in Sweden might be a tad high, at least on the day I visited. Four balls.

Date: August 28, 2016

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