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Further golf resorts in North, Central and Southeast Europe

24 March, 2023
Jim McCann

Further golf resorts in North, Central and Southeast Europe

When we embarked on our resort golf write ups fifteen months ago, the original intent was to cover all the usual sun-kissed suspects such as Portugal and Spain then maybe France and Italy. Well, we’ve written about all of those places but we then decided to venture a little further afield to even hotter spots like Cyprus, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.

Back in mainland Europe, we’ve also reported on resorts in the likes of the Nordic nations and Germany. Now, with the 20th edition of this resort golf feature, we’re concluding with a round-up across nine different countries in North, Central and Southeast Europe, starting off in Norway then working our way south to end up in Bulgaria.

Norway – Losby

Located 20 kilometres east of Oslo city centre, Losby Golfklubb lies on the edge of a densely forested area, with the Østmork 18-hole course the championship layout at an impressive 27-hole facility. Designed by Swedish architect Peter Nordwall in the late 1990s, the course hosted the third edition of the short-lived SAS Masters tournament on the Ladies European Tour in 2007, with home favourite Suzann Pederson winning by nine shots from nearest competitor Nikki Garrett.

The on-site Losby Gods hotel has 70 guest rooms, comprising 45 standard rooms (30 with a double bed and 15 with two single beds), 20 deluxe rooms (with balcony views), four suites on two levels and the special Haakon Suite which is the only room in the old part of the original hotel dating back to 1850. Traditional Nordic cuisine is served in a restaurant that’s divided into four separate dining areas, each of which is decorated in a manor house style.

Sweden – Barsebäck

A 6-hour drive south of Oslo will bring you to Barsebäck Golf Resort on the southwest coast of Sweden, featuring two 18-hole layouts: the Ocean course (formerly called Masters) and the Pine (previously named Donald Steel). The club has hosted many top amateur and professional competitions in the modern era, with the pick of these probably the Solheim Cup matches for Team Europe against the United States in 2003, when Swede Catrin Nilsmark led the home side to a 17½-10½ victory against their transatlantic opponents.

The recently renovated hotel at Barsebäck offers 18 standard double rooms on the first floor and 18 deluxe double rooms on the second floor. All of these air-conditioned rooms are furnished with a comfortable seating area for relaxation and a work area with a desk. There are also a number of 2-bedroom villas available which have a kitchen, dining room and separate living area.

Denmark – HimmerLand

The HimmerLand resort is positioned 470 kilometres northwest of Barsebäck, near the city of Aalborg on Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. The Old course opened in the late 1970s, with the New course arriving in the early 1990s. Redesigned by Philip Christian Spogárd and Michiel Van Der Vaart a decade ago, the New course has staged seven of the eight editions of the DP World Tour’s Made in Himmerland tournament since it was introduced on the men’s professional circuit in 2014.

In 2020, the previously named Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort changed its name to HimmerLand and it expanded its activity options by opening a sports hall to offer guests tennis, football, bowling and padel facilities. A new spa area was also opened and a hotel wing was brought into operation, bringing the total number of guest rooms up to 86.

Poland – Modry Las

Modry Las Golf Resort is situated in northwest Poland and this 27-hole facility also now carries the prestigious PGA National Poland designation. Designed by Gary Player, the main 18-hole Modry Las course is laid out next to Raduń Lake, with the opening three holes and the 18th hole routed beside the lake shores. Be sure to also play the lovely 9-hole Orli Las short course when you visit here.

The accommodation options at Modry Las include eleven double rooms in the new clubhouse (inaugurated in the summer of 2020), together with six 1-bedroom Garden Suites and three Woodland Cottages (each with two double bedrooms) which nestle in woodland between the par four 8th and par five 16th holes. Additional cottages are currently being built.

Czech Republic – Panorama

A 6-hour drive south from Modry Las takes you to another 27-hole complex at the Panorama Golf Resort near the small market town of Kácov in the Czech Republic, where three 9-hole circuits (Meadow, Forest and River) are set out on a rather hilly property overlooking the Sázava River.

There are ten double rooms and four suites in the upper level of the clubhouse and next to this building there are bungalows which offer twelve double rooms and six suites. All rooms come with an outside terrace overlooking the course. The wellness centre has an indoor pool and whirlpool, sauna and steam bath, while the Panorama Restaurant serves Czech cuisine with a modern touch.

Slovakia – Tále (Gray Bear)

The 27-hole operation at Tále Ski, Golf & Hotel Resort is located in the Low Tetras National Park (a good 2½-hour drive northeast of Bratislava) with an 18-hole championship-standard course called Gray Bear and a 9-hole bi-directional layout named Little Bear. Opened for business in 2002, the golf centre was literally carved out of dense woodland in a mountain valley by American architects Bob Walton and Skip Malek.

The 3-star Stupka Hotel extends to 41 guest rooms. comprising apartments, twin rooms, deluxe double rooms, suites and a presidential apartment. The spa and wellness centre includes a saltwater pool, Finnish sauna, two steam saunas and a hot tub. The Koliba Stupka restaurant sits up to 100 people and serves chicken, pork ribs and other typical Slovak dishes grilled in a traditional style on charcoal.

Hungary – Old Lake

Continuing south towards Budapest, the Old Lake Golf Club & Hotel sits less than an hour’s drive outside the capital, within the former hunting grounds of the noble Eszterházy family. Launched in the late 1990s, this 18-hole layout has hosted several international ladies and senior tournaments under the auspices of the European Senior Golf Association, the European Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour.

The 4-star on-site hotel at Old Lake boasts thirty-four air-conditioned guest rooms (29 standard, 5 suites) and the Esterházy Restaurant serves both Hungarian and international food. The Bowling Bar is a great place for groups with a two-lane bowling alley, dart board and billiards table for relaxation. The wellness centre features a jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, steam cabin, fitness room and a couple of massage rooms.

Slovenia – Grad Otočec

Continue 500 kilometres southwest from Budapest and you’ll arrive at Golf Grad Otočec, which lies halfway between the Slovenian capital Ljubljana and Zagreb in neighbouring Croatia. Howard Swan was the architect behind this project, working with a local student architect, and they set out the course across a hilly, heavily forested landscape above the Krka River.

Positioned on an island in the river, 1½ kilometres from the golf club, the 5-star Otočec Castle Hotel has 16 guest rooms available for visiting golfers, consisting of ten double rooms and six suites. The Castle Restaurant is a member of the renowned Chaîne des Rôtisseurs gastronomy association and guests can also enjoy the extensive spa facilities in the nearby 4-star Hotel Šport (which has another 88 rooms).

Bulgaria – Pirin

Our final destination lies a thousand kilometres to the southeast of Slovenia near the ski resort of Bansko in Bulgaria at Pirin Golf & Country Club. Designed by Gary Johnston of European Golf Design, in conjunction with Ian Woosnam, the main 18-hole layout is laid out around several lakes and a mountain creek which winds its way through the property. Built by the Balkanstoy construction company, it’s a sister course to Lighthouse on the Black Sea.

The 5-star Pirin Golf Hotel and Spa contains 62 guest rooms and 9 suites and the apartment complex (spread out over five districts) provides many more one-, two- and three-bedroom self-catering options, along with three luxury chalets for large groups. There are eight restaurants offering a wide choice of cuisine – everything from local dishes to Asian food. The wellness centre has seven pools, thermal and therapeutic zones plus treatment and massage areas.

If you have any comment to make on the above article then please use the “WRITE A RESPONSE” link at the bottom of this page.

Jim McCann


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