It’s reckoned the Swedish PGA complex just outside Malmö took over ten years of planning and construction before the new 18-hole PGA National Links course emerged in the summer of 2009. On first impressions of the new course, such an inordinate amount of time looks worth every single one of the many days that it took to bring the project to life.
Strategically located on a site of nearly 700 acres that belonged to Malmö city council, the 45-hole PGA golf development is easily accessible not only to many golf-mad Swedes, but to golfers from Germany, Denmark and Norway too.
The Links was designed by architect Kyle Phillips and built by his lead shaper Peter Scott in a style reminiscent of a traditional Scottish links – complete with fine fescue greens – and this first course at the PGA was followed in 2010 by a more parkland layout when the Lakes course opened for play.
Built with tournament play very much in mind, the Links plays to nearly 7,500 yards off the back tees and its modern configuration of two nines containing a couple of par threes and par fives contributes towards a very well-balanced routing.
Only one of the four short holes – the 5th – plays to less than 200 yards from the back markers and already some believe this 120-yard little beauty could become the Scandinavian version of the world-famous “Postage Stamp” in years to come.
I have had the "pleasure" of playing both courses twice over the past 5 years. In 2015 and in 2017 - both times with business partners from Denmark. Both times we were severely disappointed............ After the round in 2017; quick beers inside the clubhouse and goodbye.
We simply couldnt remember or recall 12-15 holes from the 18 we played on each occassion. Somehow, they managed to escape our memories - thats quite scary, when you think of it.
I cannot understand how anybody could rate this course to be inside the TOP 25 in Sweden.
Just a few kilometres down the road, you will find another golf club (no name mentioned here) with 2 excellent and charming golfcourses - much more our style in the future.
Sorry, but I have to completely contradict this review. Just to compare a place of international class with the average courses in Bogskogens is a joke. The PGA Links is a top class course with extremely good greens, a perfect design and a lot of fun. Yes, you have to have the ability to hit the ball 200m, but there is a lot of variety and challenge. 5.5 Balls for PGA Links is justified.
Maybe something is wrong with the memory of the reviewer. Now that's quite scary, when you think of it.
I didn’t get the chance to play the Lakes course at PGA Sweden National when I visited recently because it was closed for maintenance. No disrespect to the other layout, but I believe I managed to play the better of the two courses, even if current national ranking positions would suggest otherwise, and this layout proved to be the biggest surprise of a recent 9-course visit to the south of Sweden.
I don’t like the term inland links because there’s no such physical entity so to name this course “Links” when it lies more than ten miles from the sea might be regarded as something of a misnomer. Then again, when tees, fairways and greens are designed in a links style and grassed throughout in fescue to recreate the type of ground conditions found along the coast, then you’re onto a winner in my book.
There’s obviously been a fair amount of earth moved to shape the holes (and presumably the fairways were sand capped to help promote the firm and fast playing conditions) but the result is a remarkably natural looking layout that reminded me in places of Gullane No 1, such were the climbs and the drops in elevation between some of the holes.
Both the par three holes on the front nine are stunning: the 5th, a reverse Redan, plays to a shallow green that’s protected by bunkers to the front of the left to right tilting green whilst the 7th plunges sharply downhill to an outrageous Biarritz green – the architect’s favourite on the course – which is largely responsible for its strong stroke index 4 rating.
A creek crossing the fairways at the 8th, 9th, 11th, 13th and 18th affects either the drive, the second shot or the approach on these five holes. This type of hazard is often only used in a rather one dimensional manner to hamper the golfer immediately in front of the green so credit Kyle Phillips for incorporating this feature in such a creative fashion across several holes.
One small gripe about the conditioning in relation to the bunkers: I could be wrong, but they looked as though they were maintained by machine, which detracted from their presentation (and their playability) in my opinion. I always prefer to play from sand that has been tooth raked by hand, as opposed to being flat raked or machine smoothed. It’s a small detail, I know, but one that seems to matter more once you’ve been in a few traps – and still not reached the turn…
PGA Sweden National has a very corporate feel to it around the clubhouse and it’s a very contemporary facility that will not appeal to everybody, especially golfers who value older clubs with traditional clubhouses and long-established courses. If you can overcome such an aversion to golfing modernity then you’ll love this course as it’s as near to the real deal as you could hope for, without the seaside location, of course.