Southern and western Sweden has the best climate for golf, with relatively mild winters. Historically, this region has been the natural point of contact with the Anglo-Saxon world. The city of Gothenburg has long established contacts with Scotland so it’s perhaps no surprise that the sport came here first at the start of the 20th century.
Members at the country’s oldest club, Göteborgs Golf Klubb have been playing golf on their course at Hovås in the southern suburbs since 1904. While Göteborg is still good enough to make our Swedish Top 100 list, it has been eclipsed in recent times by two modern creations, one by Martin Hawtree at Vallda Golf & Country Club and the other by Arthur Hills at the eponymous Hills Golf Club.
Whereas the rocky coast north of Gothenburg is regarded as a paradise for sailors with its vast archipelago, Halland, the province to the south, is characterised by its long sandy coastal stretches. Unfortunately, beach tourism arrived there before golf, so there are no true links courses, but the North and South courses carved out of the coastal forest at Halmstad are built on sandy soil and boast excellent playing surfaces.
The highest concentration of top golf courses in Sweden can be found in Skåne in Sweden’s far south, close to its main city Malmö. The traditional links layouts at Falsterbo, Ljunghusen and Flommen are all found in close proximity in the far southwest some 30 minutes away from the city centre. To the north you’ll find Henrik Stenson’s home courses at Barsebäck, and the 54 holes at Vasatorp, whereas the two 18-hole Kyle Philips-designed courses at PGA of Sweden National (Lakes and Links) are located west of the city close to the Malmö Sturup airport.
Finally, it would be wrong not to mention Sand Golf Club, outside Jönköping, a very special creation by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, routed on pure sandy soil but at an inland location in the forest, which once played will not be forgotten.The seven regional golf associations of Skåne, Blekinge, Halland, Småland (incl Öland), Göteborg, Bohuslän-Dal and Västergötland organise 210,000 golfers across 208 clubs.