- Top 100 Golf Courses of Sweden 2022
Top 100 Golf Courses of Sweden 2022
Top 100 Golf Courses of Sweden 2022
This is the last of our five Nordic news releases for 2022. Having recently reappraised and expanded the ranking charts for Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark, it’s now time to present our new standings for Sweden. In a country with 440 golf courses (and close to half a million registered golfers) it was listed as third in Europe – behind only England and Germany – when the last KPMG Golf Participation Report was published a couple of years ago. Sweden also boasts an agreeably high percentage of female players, with women comprising around a third of all affiliated golfers.
Let’s not dwell any longer on those statistics as it’s time to take a closer look at the numbers relating to our new Swedish listings, where we’ve added thirty new courses to produce our first Top 100 for Sweden. This acknowledges the fact that the country deserves the same golfing recognition as France, Germany and Spain in continental Europe, which have each profiled a hundred courses for some time now. Not only are we publishing a new Top 100 for Sweden, we’re also announcing a new #1, which means it’s the first time in six biennial editions that the Stadium course at Bro Hof Slott has not led the way.
So, rising two places to #1, the course at Visby Golfklubbon the island of Gotlandtakes over at the top, having slowly worked its way there over a number of years; starting at #5 in 2012, moving to #4 in 2016, then #3 in 2020. Nils Sköld was the architect who designed the original layout in 1958 then Peter Nordwall carried out some upgrade work during the 1990s. Pierre Fulke and Adam Mednickson developed a masterplan for the club in 2007 and all twenty-seven green complexes on the course were rebuilt in time for the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations a year later. An ongoing program to renovate all the bunkers (and introduce two new holes at the 3rd and 4th) has almost completed.
Favourable review comments include: “Visby has that mysterious quality, you simply know you have played a great course… there is the location on the seaside with magnificent views of Karlsöarna, far from the major roads or cities… you will leave this place with a smile on your face… it is nothing short of fantastic, and offers new challenges every day pending wind, weather and flag placement… stunning golf course that will test you and your ability as a player on all aspects of your game… from a rough, but scenic, seaside character to a more flamboyant forest park character, I would recommend it in a heartbeat!”
The Åhus Östra (East) course at Kristianstad Golklubb entered our Top 10 for the first time two years ago and it now rises another five positions to #4. The club goes back almost a hundred years to 1924, moving to its current location fourteen years later. A 9-hole layout was brought into play then another nine holes were added in 1969 to form what is now the East course. This layout was renovated in the early 1990s then a second upgrade was conducted by Pierre Fulke and Adam Mednickson in 2016.
The Åhus Västra (West) course at Kristianstad Golfklubb also makes a big leap up the standings, climbing seventeen spots to #49. In 1980, the club added another 9-hole loop as the predecessor to the West Course and in 2006 the current 18-hole layout made its debut. Like the East course, the West has just undergone an extensive makeover from Pierre Fulke and Adam Mednickson, with the revamped holes reopening for play just last year.
Soaring a fantastic thirty-three places to #7 in the new Top 100, the Öster by Stenson course at Österakers Golfklubb is most definitely the rising star in our new Swedish rankings. The parkland-style course was designed by Henrik Stenson in partnership with architect Christian Lundin, who previously worked with Jeff Howes in Ireland before setting up his own design business in 2008. The new course incorporates fairway mounding, created from over half a million cubic metres of landfill, with four large lakes coming into play on half the holes to increase the risk/reward strategy. Irish contractor Sol deserves enormous credit for managing to fashion such an attractive array of holes on a very flat landscape.
Rising a creditable eleven places to #21, the course at Skövde Golfklubbis a late 1980s Peter Nordwall design which occupies hilly terrain to the southwest of the garrison town of Skövde, next to a large nature reserve. The club closed the course in 2016 to allow architect Christian Lundin from reGolf and David Nelson from contractor Nelson & Vechio to rebuild the layout, using fescue grasses to encourage the ground game wherever possible. The result of their work has certainly surpassed the high expectations of many observers.
The Pine course (until recently known as the Donald Steel course) at Barsebåck Golfadvances twelve spots to #31 in the new listings. The older Ocean course gets all the attention at the resort due to it hosting numerous national and international championships (such as the Solheim Cup in 2003 and the Jacques Léglise Trophy in 2014) so the Pine course, designed by Donald Steel and inaugurated in 1989, gets largely overlooked. Extending to just under 5,900 metres and playing to a par of 71, this shorter course is a wonderful complement to its older championship-standard sibling.
The course at Slite Golfklubbclimbs a remarkable twenty-seven places to #43. Located close to the east coast of Gotland, this 18-hole layout is another Peter Nordwall design that is currently undergoing an extensive renovation by Christian Lundin of reGOLF – expect this track to rise even further in the rankings once the work is finished!
Christian Lundin told us: "This wonderful island venue is going through a long term renovation plan where work has just finished on six holes. A brand new 10th hole has been created with the green relocated for a much higher risk/reward value. Our work also includes a complete re-bunkering of the course where the small pot bunkers are being replaced by larger, more natural-looking sand hazards. When finished, this will be one of the most strategic courses in Sweden."
The Old course at Kalmar Golfklubb rises an impressive ten places to #50. Located a short distance north of Kalmar, the club overlooks the Kalmar Strait which separates the island of Öland from the province of Småland on the mainland. The 18-hole Old course was completed in 1966, twenty years after the club was formed, with the New course arriving in 1992. Pierre Fulke oversaw a renovation of the greens in 2009 and a new clubhouse has since been built to cater for the increasing numbers who play here on a regular basis.
The course at Askersunds Golfklubb is our highest new entry, arriving at #39. Situated next to an inlet of Lake Vätterns, this golfing layout started out as a 9-hole track back in 1984 but within five years an 18-hole course was in operation. In such pleasant rural surroundings, it’s hard to imagine this was once a heavily industrialized zinc mining region. The construction company Nelson & Vecchio is currently installing new tees as part of a general course upgrade.
Consulting architect Caspar Grauballe told us: "The new tees will be re-positioned with more variation of playing angles and distances to bring features and views into play in a new way and make the course play more strategically. A new set of forward tees will make the course more fun for the players who hit the ball shorter distances and players new to the game."