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Fågelbro

Värmdö, Stockholms län
Värmdö, Stockholms län
Rankings
  • AddressFågelbrovägen 11-15, 139 60 Värmdö, Sweden

The project of creating another golf course in the Värmdö part of the Stockholm archipelago got started when architect Tomas Hagman purchased the Fågelbro property in 1984. Just like nearby Wemdö G&CC, established in 1966, the idea was to create a country club, where it would be just as natural to arrive by boat as by car and which would be about more than golf. This is why Fågelbro has tennis, padel and squash courts, a heated swimming pool and a large stable in addition to the golf course.

However, by the time the course was ready, in 1991, Sweden was in a full-scale real estate and financial crisis, which subsequently brought down more currencies than the Swedish one (Brits of a certain age might remember the fruitless defence of sterling in 1992) so there was some time before all memberships were taken up and all the green houses by the adjacent marina were sold. Today, however, Fågelbro is flourishing with many well-to-do members with weekend houses in the vicinity. Like all Swedish courses it is also open to visitors, although often very busy during the Swedish summer holiday period 10 July – 10 August.

The rocky landscape of the Stockholm archipelago is evident when you walk up to the first elevated tee and consider the semi-blind tee shot on this short par four. On the following holes you will realise that finding the fairway and navigating the quick greens is key to building a score here. Sometimes being below the hole is the only safe way to make a par. You will probably also remember the 8th green which is surrounded by sand. Whether you will like that bit of the design is another matter.

The back nine is laid out on lower-lying land, some of it a former inlet of the Baltic Sea which post-ice age uplift had transformed into wetland. Drainage required water hazards and those in the line of play on holes 10, 14, 15 and 16 swallow many shots, especially from higher handicappers and first-time visitors, who have yet to learn to play safely or with precision on these holes. Some of these fairways also have a springy feel to them, courtesy of the Styrofoam construction used to overcome the marshy ground. It is said that the 10th hole alone cost as much to build as the entire course at Mälarö which was built at the same time.

The original layout from 1991 has had one notable change. The 11th was shortened from a par five to a par four, no doubt for safety reasons as wayward drives not only threatened play on the adjacent par three (which used to be played as the 11th, but is now the 17th) but also players on the 10th tee. The result is a slightly awkward walk before the home hole takes you back to the clubhouse and the double green shared with the 9th.

The project of creating another golf course in the Värmdö part of the Stockholm archipelago got started when architect Tomas Hagman purchased the Fågelbro property in 1984. Just like nearby Wemdö G&CC, established in 1966, the idea was to create a country club, where it would be just as natural to arrive by boat as by car and which would be about more than golf. This is why Fågelbro has tennis, padel and squash courts, a heated swimming pool and a large stable in addition to the golf course.

However, by the time the course was ready, in 1991, Sweden was in a full-scale real estate and financial crisis, which subsequently brought down more currencies than the Swedish one (Brits of a certain age might remember the fruitless defence of sterling in 1992) so there was some time before all memberships were taken up and all the green houses by the adjacent marina were sold. Today, however, Fågelbro is flourishing with many well-to-do members with weekend houses in the vicinity. Like all Swedish courses it is also open to visitors, although often very busy during the Swedish summer holiday period 10 July – 10 August.

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