Vallda - Sweden

Vallda Golf & Country Club,
Vallda Golfväg 55,
434 90 Vallda,
Sweden


  • +46 (0) 300 404 000

  • Peter Teiffel

  • Martin Hawtree

  • Rikard Fors & P O Dahlman

Vallda is located in Kungsbacka just south of Sweden's second largest city Gothenburg. In the Göteborg area you will find some 30 quality golf courses, amongst them Sweden's oldest course, Göteborg Golf Club and the modern Hills Golf Club. Making its mark in such a fine company is a tall order, but the team at Vallda Golf & Country club has managed to deliver against the promise.

The vision was to create a course with the playing qualities of the classic heathland courses and renowned architect Martin Hawtree has created a course that although not particularly long is a fair test for both the low and high handicap player. It is generous from the tee for the long handicap player, and for the short handicap player the tricky green areas present an exhilarating challenge.

Vallda is quite open and relatively flat and with the wavy tall fescue contrasting the green fairways it is particularly visually pleasing. Although the course is still relatively young, the playing surfaces already exhibit the firm qualities one would expect to find on a quality heathland course.

The secret behind the club’s unusually firm and fast playing surfaces lies in the environmentally conscious maintenance practices – minimum fertiliser and irrigation and generous applications of sand, which encourages a deeper grass root zone. As a result the club has been able to retain the red fescue sown all the way from tee to green a decade ago despite not being blessed with naturally sandy soil throughout the property.

What makes Vallda such a fun course to play is without doubt the green areas. Boldly bunkered and craftily undulated demand excellent course management, and depending on the pin placement, a number of approach options are available, from the high pitch, to the classic bump and run. Regardless of the choice it will require crisp execution as the greens are quite firm where a misjudged shot will quickly leave a tricky chip to save par.

In an area with many fine courses, Vallda is surely one of the finest.
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Description: Opened in 2009, the course at Vallda Golf and Country Club was fashioned by Hawtree Design in a classic British style, inspired by London’s heathland. With fescue seeded playing surfaces, Hawtree has created the feel good factor. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 2

We went back to Vallda twice in July this year. I liked all the things I enjoyed about the design last time (see review below), but regret to admit that the speed of the bone dry fairways, and some greens, caught me out a few times more than I would have liked. Note to self: be more careful about club selection, in particular let the big stick stay in the bag if not able to hit it exactly where you want it on the day. Members point out that the course is greener, and therefore plays a bit easier in spring and autumn, so keep this in mind when planning to visit the course.

The firm and fast playing surfaces are a result of a conscious maintenance regime (minimum water and fertiliser) which is still far from usual in Sweden. Hills Golf Club, the rival for the local top spot in rankings with a more American style profile and (probably) a bigger budget, had to relay greens ahead of hosting the Scandinavian Masters this year.

Another benefit of this low input regime seems to have been to survive the unusually hot and dry summer this year without significant damage. It must have been a close shave though, because strict hosepipe bans were in full force and water levels in the ponds were very low. Again, Hills had to concede defeat by taking the ignominious step of allowing placement of balls on fairways (preferred lies) during the Scandinavian Masters in mid-August.

Vallda is also the place to choose in the Gothenburg region if you like to combine your golf with really good food, but remember to check kitchen opening hours before booking your tee-off time to avoid disappointment.

5 / 6
Vallda
November 18, 2018


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It is very rare to be able to play a real game on the ground in Sweden as most courses are too extensively watered and Mother Nature normally sprinkles liberally herself in July. Vallda naturally has sprinklers, but sensibly leaves Nature to have its course, while no doubt watering to keep the grass alive, but no more. The result in August 2013 was a really fast-running course, all the way from tee to green. This is surely a delight both for the short hitter/high-handicapper (all that roll on the fairway) and the better player (all the options around the green) and so it proved for our little party with handicaps from 8 to 36+. So, if you are an international visitor looking for a traditionally Swedish woodland course, go elsewhere. Most Swedes will however find Vallda a novel* experience. *) PGA Links is the closest Swedish proxy I can think of, although many courses in Sweden now aspire to develop in this direction. Few, however will have the soil conditions, the budget or the membership to take them all the way
5 / 6
Vallda
August 23, 2013


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