Stockholm, the country’s dynamic capital, acts as a magnet for business and finance and also has a vibrant cultural scene. The first 18-hole course in the country was built here in 1927.
Sweden punches above its weight in golf and this is in no small measure thanks to local sporting legend Sven Tumba (1931-2011), who turned his considerable energy towards popularising golf after having represented Sweden at an international level in three sports: ice hockey, football and lastly golf.
If you decide to play Royal Drottningholm, to the west of the capital city, you will find on the clubhouse wall a collection of black-and-white photos of the all-time golfing greats as they walked the club’s fairways when it hosted the Scandinavian stop on the European Tour on several occasions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The course is now judged too short for men’s professional golf, but has regained much esteem after a complete 2011 rebuild designed by architect Johan Benestam.
Tumba’s legacy not only includes bringing the biggest golfing stars to Sweden and making the sport popular, but he also laid out the scenic lakeside course at Ullna Golf Club, which was redesigned by his personal friend Jack Nicklaus after Tumba’s death in 2011.
In recent years professional tournaments have been held at the Robert Trent Jones Junior-designed Stadium course at Bro Hof Slott. This layout, which can be stretched to over 8,000 yards if needed, has been widely regarded as the top course in the country since it opened for play in 2007.
However, many would still argue that the country’s most scenic course is at Visby Golfklubb on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, reachable by ferry or plane from Stockholm. Opened in 1958, Visby has been ranked near the top of the Swedish charts since its complete redesign in 2008 by former Swedish Tour players Pierre Fulke and Adam Mednickson.The 13 regional associations of Östergötland, Södermanland, Stockholm, Uppland, Västmanland, Örebro, Värmland, Dalarna, Gästrikland/Hälsingland, Medelpad, Jämtland/Härjedalen, Ångermanland and Norrbotten/Västerbotten organise over 250,000 golfers in 240 clubs.