Unveiled in 2007, the course at Hirsala is a David Jones design that lies a half an hour’s drive to the west of Helsinki. Such is the regard it’s held in by the national golf authority, it was chosen to host the Finnish Open four years after it first opened for play.
Architect David Jones commented exclusively as follows:
“Maybe the toughest site I’ve ever worked on, but one of the most rewarding. I went for a totally natural heathland sort of look, blowing up all the big rocky outcrops and digging out the swamps when they were frozen solid in Finland’s icy winters. I kept all the protected areas intact and wove the course into the woods.
The toughest hole at Hirsala is probably the 17th. It requires the tight tee shot to be accurately placed between three huge aspens on the left and the lake on the right. The second shot is then a longish iron or hybrid to a green with a stream on the left and the lake still lurking on the right. The biggest hitters can try to drive across the corner but disaster lurks for those who fail… the swamp!The signature hole on the course is definitely the 18th. There’s lovely Hirsala forest on either side of the fairway, up to the brow of the hill, then the tee shot is followed by a mid-iron second to a multi-level green. Look out for the subtle run-off into the lake on the left, with beautiful trees all the way along on the right… very characteristic of the site.”