“Water, water everywhere” could easily be the slogan of Ullna Golf Club where there are many holes set hard beside Lake Ullna (which doubles up in the winter as a huge skating rink). Its location, a mere 12 miles from the centre of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, makes Ullna one of Sweden’s more popular clubs.
Founded in 1981, Ullna was designed by Sven Tumba and it’s set out on flat ground in an American target style. This is not a course for the high handicapper, with its compact, tight and challenging layout and, if more land had been available, no doubt Tumba would have created Sweden’s finest course. Unfortunately Ullna was unfairly branded “the best 17-hole golf course in Sweden”, but it can hold its head up high because there are few – if any – golf courses in the world that are free of any weak holes.
Ullna actually has some truly great holes, most notably those set alongside the bank of Lake Ullna. The real action starts at the 4th, a short par five which doglegs around the lake, enticing you to cut off as much as you dare. The 5th is a tremendous par three, played to a semi-island green and the short par four 6th is also another watery teaser.
And so it goes on, hole after hole of varied and amusing golf. The only advice we can offer is to make sure you take enough balls... every hole at Ullna is worth playing more than once.
The four-man Great Britain & Ireland team won the prestigious Eisenhower Trophy for the third time when the biennial world amateur team championship for men was held at Ullna in 1988.
Ullna Golf Club closed its tees for play in 2011 and reopened almost two years later in June 2013 following an extensive Nicklaus Design renovation. Ullna retains Sven Tumba’s original routing from the early 1980s, but new tees, re-shaped fairways, new bunkers and green complexes at all holes has propelled the rejuvenated Ullna to the upper echelons of the Swedish rankings.
The course took me by surprise and I must give it credit for being one of the best courses i’ve played in Scandinavia. Sweet, “petit” and majestic - all at once, with few weak holes. It’s in general all about target golf meaning a long hitter should leave his driver home and swap it with something short. And do not misjudge it’s ability to fight back bad shots and ruin your score.
The third hole is in fact epic, the par fives twelve and thirteen is the weakest link on the course.
And the highway noise is a little disturbing considering the visual ambience being close to perfection!
The green fee is somewhat overpriced. And they don’t have a range.