The Sundberg family, owners of the Royal Golf Club, commissioned Ron Kirby to set out their golf course in 2008. Two years later, having incorporated many of the property’s old trees and wetland areas into the routing, the architect delivered a delightful 18-hole layout to the client.
The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Challenge on the European Challenge Tour was first hosted by the Royal course in 2012 – when the par five closing hole was played as a long par four – with Swede Kristoffer Broberg winning the event by three strokes from nearest challenger Simon Wakefield.
Course architect Ron Kirby kindly provided us with the following comments:
The site for this fine golf course was a target shooting range for many years, so to be able to proceed with the grading the property had to be cleaned by special forces of all buried munitions.
Limits for the proposed elevations had to be strictly obeyed. Shaping of all the features became a very delicate phase during construction so "A Shaper Casey " deserves a lot of praise for blending the course to the site so naturally.
The Royal Golf Club has many tee positions and I feel very strongly that this allows players of all categories to play the length of course that lets them enjoy a fun game of golf whilst still experiencing this super, challenging layout.
ROYAL is a fairly new club. Not many courses are so well placed living in the center of Copenhagen. Taking the metro to a golf course is somehow unique. Especially considering that when playing the course you don't feel to be in/near the city, except for a few towers placement close by. Especially the BELLA SKY hotel is noticible. It is however built in a unique style and you come to appreciate it.
On arrival, you notice the signs of the golden age for golf clubs. It had a VIP access on the parking, today just grocely managed by a rigid parking company hiding in the bushes to fine you! Now, if you just remember to pay your parking, you will have a blast at this golf course.
The driving range is well, but a bit worn down already. A shame, given it is not that old. Somehow, it is also built a good way away from the starting tee. Never really understood that. But hey, fascilities are good there. Don't use the chipping green near the driving range as the one near the clubhouse is the real deal.
The clubhouse seems to have been built for business. Stylish, but no real charm. A shame for such a great golf course.
It is fair to say that you need to bring your A-game to conquer this golf course. It is narrow, greens a tough (holds the line beautifully) and the hazard areas are MANY. There have been ammentments over time to make it more playable, but it is in fact difficult. It is in GREAT condition.
You will need to keep focus as the greens and hazards will steal your shots quicker than you can count them. I mistakenly (and so did my Garmin watch) consider the big wasteland before the greens as water :D Just for your info; it is longer than you think, don't try and hit the green if you are not in a good position! The par 3 hole 4, I probably would have been better off just playing with the putter. It seemed easy, but still tricky.
hole 17 is a great driver challenge. if you are passing the back-tee and with no pressure from behind. Stop and try and pass the water with a trial shot - you need lenght and control to end up in a good spot. Loved the challenge (my ball not so much, as it got a little wet!).
Hole 9 and 18 towards the clubhouse are also nice settings.
Don't cheat yourself for a round at this course. It is obviously pricy compared to any other courses in Denmark but worth the go. Don't loose confidence in your game after playing here - it has certainly stolen a lot of strokes from even good players.
Difficult golf course! Properly the most challenging course I've ever played. The holes are long and narrow, there's more less no rough, but faiway and hazards. So are you off from the tee box, your one shot behind already. I know the club are trying the make the course a bit wider, to make it more playable for the average golfer.
Besides that the condition of the course is world class. Fairways spot on and perhaps the best greens in Denmark. So true to putt on, really enjoyed that part. I think the green fee is slightly over priced (1000 dkr)
I don’t know what the design brief was when Ron Kirby was asked to fashion the fairways at the Royal – for sure, it wasn’t “set out a nice, easy run-of-the-mill layout to casually engage the masses that will flock to play from the city of Copenhagen”. This par 72 track from the regular “54” tees (that’s 5,400 metres or 5,905 yards) plays to a rating/slope of 77.5/150 or, as my course notes state, “insanely tough!!”
Not only are the holes extraordinarily narrow, they’re peppered with a myriad of wetland areas and sand hazards designed to make life as hard as possible for even the straightest of hitters. The course is set within a nature reserve, not too far from the international airport, but forget about enjoying a walk in the park if you plan to play here because it’s as difficult a golfing test that you could ever hope to face, no matter which tees you choose to play from.
The green on the par five 3rd is fronted by the widest, most penal wetland area I’ve ever seen on a golf course. And just when you think you might be recovering from that particular design feature, it’s repeated just two holes later at the par four 5th (rated with an incredible stroke index 12). The front nine concludes with a right doglegged par four where the fairway skirts around another enormous wetland area on its way to the two-tiered green.
The par three 13th is the least visually attractive of the four par threes on the card but the three-tiered design of its green was of great interest. The putting surface on the par three 16th sits behind water (like the short 7th), with the green buttressed by wooden sleepers, and it’s probably the best of the one-shot holes. The right doglegged par five 17th which follows is a terrific Cape hole and there’s water in play all along the right side of the hole before another menacing wetland area slashes across the fairway in front of the green.
The clubhouse is über modern – if a little bit on the “corporate” side – with a very helpful young man named Rougvie handling front of house operations. Out on the course, an amiable Irish fellow named Paddy acts as a marshal at the weekends – though I’m sure a large part of his job must be to offer on the spot counselling to unsuspecting beaten and bloodied golfers as he drives up in his buggy with extra sleeves of golf balls to replace those that have been lost in the rough or the reeds.
The Royal was immaculately presented so I’ve absolutely no qualms about its conditioning. I just wonder how many of its 435 members (and visiting guests) actually ENJOY playing such a challenging course on a regular basis because it’s such a serious test for serious golfers. If, for some perverse reason, you prefer your golf to be on the wicked side of demanding then this is just the place for you. I can understand why it’s been chosen in recent years as a stern examination for professionals on the European Challenge Tour but it’s a wee bit too taxing for the average handicapper like me.