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60 miles N of Helsinki
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European Golf Design / Tim Lobb
Linna golf course opened for play in 2005 and it’s routed through a pine and birch forest adjacent to the famous and historic Vanajan Linna Hotel.
Linna was originally nominated as a Gem by Petri and was added to the Top 100 website in May 2008. Since then Linna has become not only a nationally ranked course, but also a track that regularly features in our European Top 100. Petri’s original nomination article follows:
Even if I might be considered biased, Linna Golf is by any national poll regarded as either the No.1 or No.2 ranked course in Finland (Golf Digest Finland, www.golf.fi, Finnish Golf magazine). The course was designed by European Golf Design / Tim Lobb and was completed with highest criteria of design and construction (USGA specifications). It is part of the European Tour Courses group and has already since its inauguration since 2005 been rewarded a Challenge Tour event for 2009, European Amateur Championships in 2010 and the goal is to host a European Tour event shortly after.
The course itself goes through beautiful mature forested land with quite a few water features and has beautiful views to neighbouring Lake Katuma. The holes are designed so that while the back tees provide a stern test to the best of professionals, the club golfers tees provide players with a good chance of avoiding traps and enjoying their round to the fullest. Linna Golf has huge greens that are maintained at highest level – normally the greens are between 10-12 on the Stimpmeter.
Golf legend and five times Open Champion Peter Thomson said of the course when he visited Linna Golf: “I doubt there is a better course in Scandinavia. The terrain is excellent and has been used in the best way possible to create a course with a great variety of holes which will challenge all standards of golfers. In time, I believe Linna Golf will become a national treasure.”
In June 2017, Linna Golf hosted the inaugural European Tour Properties Senior Classic, which Spain's Santiago Luna won by one shot to claim his third European Senior Tour title.
I was privileged to play four rounds at Linna while staying at a lake house on the very beautiful Vanajavesi, back in May of this year. Linna is a beautiful and very hilly woodland, parkland layout. For so early in the season (I was told that the course just opened the week prior to my visit), the fairways and greens were in excellent condition. The course plays to 6500 yards from the men's tees, though often the approach was quite uphill to a green well guarded by front bunkering. Quite a challenging layout! I was pleased to see very few power carts; almost all players were walkers. And cool to see Mikko Ilonen's locker in the men's locker room! I would be very happy having Linna as my home course; it's one I could play over and over again. Fun golf, lovely setting, and friendly, helpful staff. Highly recommended when in the area.