Göteborgs Golf Club, or Hovås as it is called locally, is Sweden’s oldest golf club, established in 1902. The club decamped to its present location two years after it was formed, with Victor Setterberg – founder of the Swedish Golf Federation – instrumental in the move. At the centre of the property is the characteristic, old, anvil-shaped clubhouse that sits perched overlooking the course, signalling that golf has been played here for a long time.
English architect Andrew Persson is the man responsible for the current layout, following a redesign in 1932. Christian Lundin instigated a renovation program in 2012 aiming to improve many of the holes over a number of years.
The course itself is a very pleasant parkland track that meanders alongside residential gardens (sometimes alarmingly close), and, as many of the members are local residents, there might be a knowledgeable comment on your shot from someone enjoying afternoon tea in their garden. A few brilliant holes towards the sea adds to the variation, particular mention to the fabulous 6th, a long downhill par four lined with tall trees, your tee shot needs to be precise both in length and direction to open up the green, and your approach needs to be dead straight as the green sits surrounded by water on three sides. It’s a cracking two shotter.
The Göteborg course is not long, but demands excellent course management. The 8th, for example, is a short par four of 310 metres from the club tees and a slight dogleg right. Your tee shot needs travel 200 metres to find the left side of the fairway leaving a clear shot to the green. If you are longer, you will find yourself in tricky rough and with a lone tall hackberry that might block your approach, any shorter or on the right side of the fairway and you will find the entrance to the plateau green guarded by trees and, as the left side of the green is guarded by three well placed bunkers, a blind approach is not particularly preferable.
Hovås is a classic track, and should be savoured by anyone that enjoys a fair and fun test of his or her golfing abilities.