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Landeryd (Vesterby)

Rimforsa, Östergötland County
Rimforsa, Östergötland County
Rankings
  • AddressRimforsa, Sweden

Vesterby, the first new course designed by Johan Benestam, was a bit of an oddity among Swedish golf courses when it opened in 2006. The built-up greens were fast, rock hard and surrounded by equally firm large run-off areas, which meant that Swedish golfers, used to hitting approaches to the pin on soft, parkland greens and lofted clubs for their rescue shots from sand or rough, had to adjust their game significantly to card a decent score here.

The original Vesterby club was aimed upmarket with an exclusive concept. It did not manage to attract members fast enough and went bankrupt within two years in the financial crisis of 2008. The board of nearby club Landeryd, which already had two 18-hole parkland courses some 15 minutes away from Vesterby, saw the potential, however, and managed to persuade the majority of its 1,000-odd members to acquire Vesterby from the receivers. By paying 22.5 million SEK (€2.2 million) you could argue, at least with hindsight, that they got a bargain.

Today, the greens and indeed the whole course still play firm and fast. This is due to very low water and fertiliser input rather than scalping the greens to get speed. According to Vesterby’s head greenkeeper, Peter Isaksson, the fescue greens are never cut below 4 mm and overall fertiliser input is about a tenth of what normal Swedish parkland courses use, with almost no fertiliser used on the fairways. This puts a major premium on the running game, just like at Vallda south of Gothenburg.

The first nine holes are routed back and forth through an open, rolling landscape while the neighbouring mature woodland gets much closer to the line of play on the second nine, routed in a loop alongside the south-eastern end of the property. The stands of mature oaks inside the back nine are part of a local nature reserve and conservation issues explain the long, but scenic walk between the 13th green and the 14th tee.

Vesterby’s past as a stately home and most recently a vocational college also explain the large ponds on the 10th and the 17th (used as a fish farm at some point) and the fact that the old manor house not only functions as a club house but also doubles as a conference venue. This means that you and your friends can also book in to stay over at the club.

Vesterby, the first new course designed by Johan Benestam, was a bit of an oddity among Swedish golf courses when it opened in 2006. The built-up greens were fast, rock hard and surrounded by equally firm large run-off areas, which meant that Swedish golfers, used to hitting approaches to the pin on soft, parkland greens and lofted clubs for their rescue shots from sand or rough, had to adjust their game significantly to card a decent score here.

The original Vesterby club was aimed upmarket with an exclusive concept. It did not manage to attract members fast enough and went bankrupt within two years in the financial crisis of 2008. The board of nearby club Landeryd, which already had two 18-hole parkland courses some 15 minutes away from Vesterby, saw the potential, however, and managed to persuade the majority of its 1,000-odd members to acquire Vesterby from the receivers. By paying 22.5 million SEK (€2.2 million) you could argue, at least with hindsight, that they got a bargain.

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