- Top 40 Golf Courses of Norway 2022
Top 40 Golf Courses of Norway 2022
Top 40 Golf Courses of Norway 2022
This is the third of five Nordic chart releases that we’ll produce during our latest biennial revision exercise for countries in northern Europe. We’ve just published new listings for Iceland and Finland, with Denmark and Sweden to follow shortly. Norway has more than 100,000 registered golfers playing on 150 courses so the country’s ranked 12th in Europe, immediately behind Austria, according to the last KPMG Golf Participation Report that was published before the covid pandemic hit two years ago.
We’ve recruited new panellists in all five of these nations and their input has informed us of additional courses that will now be included in our tables, allowing us to expand our coverage across the entire region. In fact, when the process is completed, we’ll feature more than a quarter of all the 970 courses that exist in the northern reaches of the European continent. Norway has had another ten courses added so this is our inaugural Top 40 for that particular county.
We start this reappraisal with one of seven chart non-movers, Lofoten Links, which remains in the #1 slot. Not only did it become our Norwegain number 1 in 2018, it also entered our Continental Europe Top 100 that same year and has since risen into the top half of that illustrious listing. Developed in phases over a number of years on the rugged coastline of the island of Gimsøya, Lofoten isn’t the easiest of places to get to but, as photographer Kevin Murray has said: “it really is out of this world… built on an old Viking burial ground, there’s a spiritual element to Lofoten… it is truly, truly magical.”
Regular contributor Peter Wood has described it as “destination golf personified” and a recent reviewer wrote: “visually this is one of the most stunning golf courses I have ever played… the course was in very good condition given it is in the Arctic circle and probably under snow for a fair proportion of the year... lots of interesting holes next to the water and amongst the rocky outcrops, the 2nd hole playing to an almost island green was simply breath taking.”
The course at Miklagard Golf rises two places to #2, a position it last held in 2018 (having been #1 for the previous five chart editions). It’s an early new millennium offering from Robert Trent Jones Jr. that was recently redesigned following the construction of a new hotel on the old practice area in 2018. A new practice area was laid out, the opening hole was remodelled and five new holes introduced with the assistance of Bob Harrington, one of the original shapers from almost twenty years before.
Five courses make substantial 4-place upward moves in our new Norwegian Top 40 table and they’re each worthy of mention.
The Seasidebanen course atLarvik Golfklubb(up to #10) is an early 1990s Jan Sederholm design that has hosted professional events on both the European Challenge Tour and the Ladies European Tour. Unusually, it’s configured with six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, with the same par played consecutively only once, at the par five 7th and 8th holes. The left doglegging 385-metre 5th is a feature par four hole here and the usual advice on how to tackle it is to lie to the right of the forest at the turn – not so for John Daly when he played here as he drove the green from the tee!
The 18-hole Østmork course at Losby Golfklubb (rising to #13) is a Peter Nordwall design that opened in the late 1990s. Laid out on the flood plain of the River Losby, the course brings the flowing waters of the river into play at quite a number of holes, especially on the back nine. The third edition of the short-lived SAS Ladies Masters was held here in 2006, when Laura Davies was going for a hat-trick of victories in the competition. Unfortunately for her, local favourite Suzann Pettersen had other ideas, winning the event by an incredible nine shots from the runner-up, Nikki Garrett.
The course at Gamle Frekrikstad Golfklubb entered our Norwegian rankings at #22 in 2016 and after climbing a couple of places to #20 in 2020, it now continues in the right direction to #16. Situated across the river from the Old Town of Fredrikstad, the course is only ten years old, having been fashioned on a fairly flat site by Rolf Jensen and Paal Midtvaage during 2011. Water comes into the reckoning at more than half the holes, most notably on the closing stretch from the short par four 15th onwards.
The Borre Golfklubb course (now at #20) started out with a Tommy Nordstrøm-designed layout in 1991 and this was extended in 2005 with the introduction of another nine holes between the original 5th and 6th holes. However, the new circuit only lasted for nine years until it was discontinued and the club then reverted to its initial 18-hole course which remains in place today. Stretching to between 4,931 and 6,121 metres, the layout plays to a par of 73 (36 out then 37 in) with water hazards prevalent at the par four 6th, par four 12th and par five 16th holes.
The Gul and Rød nines at Haga Golfklubb course entered our chart at #30 in 2018, moving up one place in our last edition, before progressing to #25 in this update. Situated in the northwest outskirts of Oslo, the club was formed just twenty-one years ago but the original Henrik Jacobsen-designed layout received an upgrade a few years back from Johan Benestam, who focused on improving fairway drainage and bunkering. The Gul and Rød combination measures 6,045 metres from the back tees and plays to a par of 71 (36 out then 35 in).
The Solastranden course at Sola Golfklubb is the highest of ten new entries, making an appearance at #24 in the new standings. It may be slightly overshadowed by the Forus course at the same venue but many golfers actually prefer this shorter track which plays to 5,001 metres from the back tees, with par set at 69 (36 out then 33 back). Feature holes on this layout include the left doglegging par four 2nd (rated stroke index 1) and back-to-back par threes at the 13th and 14th holes.