Bro-Bålsta was the first “modern” golf course I played as a young golfer in Sweden in the late 1980s. The greens felt positively huge and very undulated compared to traditional Swedish woodland and parkland courses with small, flattish greens. Still remember having more than 40 putts without having a bad day on the greens...
Thirty years later, the design no longer stands out and most visiting golfers have played similar greens elsewhere. In my view, however, the good aspects of the design remain: (1) it presents a great test for your iron play without having overly difficult green-sites, (2) it is about placing your shots and thinking your way around the course, yet the penalties for not doing so are not severe. One key aspect of good golf course design is that the game can be enjoyed by golfers all over the skill spectrum. Here, B-B scores very highly.
Now, does this mean that you should shelve all plans to play Bro Hof and pick Bro-Bålsta instead? The answer to that question really depends on who is going to play. If the plural you is a group of hard-hitting, single-figure golfers with no budget restriction in sight....probably not. If your party is a more diverse group when it comes to skills and/or money and you do not particularly mind the kind of design B-B represents, why not?
There are around 60 golf courses in the Stockholm region. This website currently lists 12 of them. For me, there is no question that the two courses at Bro Hof, Ullna and Royal Drottningholm are the best. Bro-Bålsta is a quality course in the group just below. Your taste in golf course design will determine whether it belongs in your personal Stockholm Top 10 or not.
Date: May 15, 2019