- Top 50 Golf Courses of Finland 2022
Top 50 Golf Courses of Finland 2022
Top 50 Golf Courses of Finland 2022
This is the second of five Nordic chart updates we’re publishing over the next few weeks. Having recently extended our panel of raters in this region, we now have enough data to warrant the extension of our Finnish chart to a Top 50. Golf didn’t get going in Finland until 1932 when Helsinki Golf Club was founded (and the Finnish Golf Union was only established in 1957) but the sport has grown in popularity ever since, with around 180 courses spread around the country.
KPMG’s last Golf Participation Report for Europe (which was issued before covid hit the world) showed Finland ranked at #10 for the total number of registered golfers but if you look at the number of golfers per golf course then the Netherlands is #1, followed by Finland with 1,112 golfers per course – so it could be argued there’s an under provision of courses for the numbers who play the game nationally.
The golf season doesn’t last for very long in this country – six months from April to September usually – but during the summer months it’s possible to play until well into the evening as the sun sets late in this part of northern Europe at that time of year.
We have a new #1 for Finland, with the 18-hole layout at Linna Golf rising one position from the runner-up spot to take over at the top. Designed by Tim Lobb when he worked with European Golf Design, the course is routed through a pine and birch forest next to Lake Katuma, with water coming into play on several occasions. A member of the European Tour Destinations network, Linna also hosted the European Amateur Championship in 2010 then the European Amateur Team Championship four years later.
The Castle course at Ǻlands Golfklubb rises ten places to #2 in our new listings, following a spectacularly successful renovation by Philip Christian Spogárd of Spogárd & VanderVaart. The club operates two 18-hole layouts (the Castle and the King’s), both originally designed by Jan Sederholm, along with a 6-hole course called the Princess. The Castle revamp lasted almost two years, with a number of holes repositioned closer to the sea, greens rebuilt to USGA standard, and bunkers re-edged from Durabunker.
The course at Aura Golfclimbs four places to #9, re-entering the national Top 10 for the first time since 2014 (when it was also placed at number 9). Situated within a Nature Park on the island of Ruissalo, outside the city of Turku, the course has been in existence since 1958, when it first opened for play. The layout was upgraded in 1980, subsequently staging the European Amateur Championship in 1994, the European Challenge Tour in 2015 and then the Ladies European Tour in 2021 so it’s more than capable of testing elite amateur players.
The Seaside layout at Pickala Golf rises ten places to #13 and it’s just one of three terrific 18-hole layouts on offer at a fantastic 54-hole golf facility located less than an hour’s drive from Helsinki city centre. The Seaside was the first of the courses to appear here in 1987, followed four years later by the Park, with both tracks designed by Reijo Hillberg. The Forest course was last to arrive in 2004, designed by Jan Sederholm. Don’t let the “Seaside” name fool you though as it’s wooded parkland golf all the way from 1st to the 18th.
The course at Kalajoki Golfsoars an incredible twenty places to #18 in our revised Finnish listings. A Pekka Sivula design which debuted in 2002, this par 73 course is set out across a sandy, pinewood forest close to the shoreline on the west coast of the country in the popular tourist destination of Kalajoki Hiekkasärkät. There’s also a short par three course on offer for beginners and for those who’d like to warm up for the main event – and, intriguingly, visitor green fees for the 18-hole course include a golf cart and sauna with towel!
Moving ten rungs up the ladder to #26, the course at Helsinki Golf Club (or Helsingin Golfklubi to use its proper name) dates back to 1932, making it the oldest golfing layout in the country. With fairways laid out inside the grounds of Tali Manor – which now doubles up as a rather grand clubhouse – the course is a rather splendid parkland track which has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments down the years, and is probably best known for staging six editions the Finnair Masters on the Ladies European Tour between 2006 and 2011.
There are thirteen new entries in our extended Finnish standings and they’re headed at #15 by the 18-hole Eversti course at Aulanko Golf. The club has existed for over eighty years now, with its original 9-hole Hugo course dating back to 1940, making it one of the oldest golfing grounds in the country. The Eversti is a Lassi Pekka Tilander layout that was unveiled in 2006, hosting the Finnish Amateur Championship in 2012. More recently, the European Senior Golf Association held its Team Championship and Cup for Senior Men here in 2018.