Uppsala University is the oldest in the Nordics and fittingly Professor Gregor Paulsson was one of the founders and the first chairman of Upsala Golf Club, which was inaugurated in 1937. Paulsson was also responsible for laying out the 18-hole course… obviously a man of many talents.
The original 18-hole course was completely renovated by Canadian architect Robert Kains and reopened in 2010.
The Upsala course is an eclectic mix of forest and parkland with a little bit of spice for every player – the shot-shaper, the long hitter and the thinker. There’s a friendly start on the 1st with an elevated tee looking down on the wide and inviting fairway, which promotes a relaxed opening swing. The 3rd is the signature hole, a short par four where the elevated tee offers a splendid view of the beautiful pond bordering the left hand side of the fairway and the beckoning green in the distance.
The stretch from the 5th to the 8th is forest in character and from the 9th to the 15th the routing flows through some pretty parkland before closing with three forest holes. Most holes offer good visibility of the challenges presented, but on a few of the holes, namely the 5th and the 16th, we recommend close scrutiny of the course guide to get the lines just right.
Upsala also has a 9-hole short course and a full-length 9-hole layout designed by the prolific architect Peter Nordwall, so there’s plenty of golf to be enjoyed at Upsala. The club will host the 2020 European Ladies' Team Championship in September.
To do Upsala justice the first time you play I think you team up with someone who knows the course intimately and plays the game roughly at your level. We were not so lucky with our company during our first visit and came in feeling that we had easily left at least half a dozen shots out there by placing tee shots wrong and aiming putts incorrectly. Nothing wrong in a course not revealing all its secrets at once, but good to know.
So just guessing: will I like it a lot more after, say, five plays?
While I am sure I will continue to enjoy the varied terrain and be happy when I sometimes manage to place my drives and aim my putts correctly, I am equally sure that I will still struggle to like the white crushed marble in the large, flattish bunkers or having to use the lob wedge for (too) many of my recoveries, even when just off the green. But hey, I am happier creating shots on heathland and links courses than playing target golf on Florida-style parklands. Each to his own.
Not more than 15 minutes drive away from central Uppsala, so if your academic or professional career takes you there, by all means give it a couple of chances to see what you think. But I would not recommend spending an hour in the car from Stockholm just to play here once.