Valdres is a charming 9-hole golf course set in the mountains midway between Oslo and Bergen. Designed by renowned architect Jeremy Turner, this forest course offers a very pleasurable golfing experience.
The first three holes are located on a long and narrow island that stretches out into the Aurdal Lake. The remaining six holes are in the forest, but water, in form of small streams, add to the fun.
The 2nd is the signature hole at Valdres, and probably one of the prettiest in Norway. It’s a 350-metre par four that plays out on an island peninsula with Lake Aurdal guarding the right hand side. It’s an exhilarating tee shot, which plays over a small mound; the landing area is not visible and, despite the marker post, it’s a pressured drive.
The 6th hole is a challenging par three measuring between 160 and 190 metres where the green sits framed beautifully by the lake. The water may not be in play, but it adds real character to this fine hole.
You need a clear plan for the medium par five 8th that doglegs left. There’s a generous fairway for the tee shot but it drops quite sharply down towards the green. A stream lies some 140 meters from the green leaving a challenging second shot from the downhill sloping fairway. The stream also guards the front of the green, forcing the big hitters to think twice about their strategy.
There are alternate tees that make up a full and varied 18-hole course. For example, the 2nd (11th) becomes a superbly challenging 400-metre par four.
Valdres comes highly recommended and should be included on your itinerary should you happen to be in this lovely part of Norway. It’s a very good course with a number of memorable holes.