To find a good golf course in Sweden is not hard – in recent years golf courses have multiplied, and most of them provide a decent place to send the little white ball into its hole. But where to find what is really the best? Well, the Swedish golf business ranks existent courses, so you could always start by checking their list on the Internet at golfbranschen.se.
Nr. 1 is the Golf Club of Halmstad, situated at Tylösand – a small town on the west coast, just by the sea and with a fabulous 7 km long beach. No wonder this is one of the earliest places where bathing really took off in Sweden! The golf sport didn´t lag far behind though, and already in 1938 the first 18-holes-course was built. Nowadays there are two, the North and the South course. The North Course has become a legend and stands out as Sweden’s finest example of park-like beauty and golfing challenge. The South course is slightly less challenging, but just as picturesquely situated, so try them both while you are there! The Golf Club also offers customized packages for groups, with overnight accommodation and meals if you are planning a really serious golf holiday. (website: hgk.se)
Nr.2 on the list is Barsebäck Golf & Country Club (website: barsebackresort.se), further south along the same coast. Here you’ll find three top courses and excellent practice facilities, all set in a wooded landscape near the sea. This club too offers different golfing packages, and the restaurant is a gourmet venue with panoramic windows – you won’t miss it when your friend makes a hole-in-one. It’s not far to good beaches either when you need some relaxation after walking the green, and culture abounds in Skåne, this most southerly of Sweden’s landscapes.
Actually, being in Barsebäck a visit to the nuclear power plant in this town might interest you. Book a visit to their environment and energy exhibition (website with English text at barsebackkraft.se).
If you want a golf course that is not on the west coast, you have to skip to Nr.7 and go to Visby Golf Club on the island of Gotland (website: visbygk.com). This is golf with a history twist – you’ll be walking in a landscape where the Vikings walked centuries ago, and the medieval walls of Visby town form a splendid backdrop. The club has one of the longest golf seasons in Sweden, you can enjoy golf from early spring to late fall. There are no ready packages on offer, but if you get in touch with the Visby Golf Club they will help you find accommodation according to your budget – not bad for this gentleman’s sport! Should you eventually tire of golf, there is a whole island with fantastic cliffs, dotted with medieval churches and ancient remains to explore – and it is easy to get there. Daily ferry services to Gotland go from Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm, and from Oskarshamn on the east coast of Sweden. The high-speed ferry brings you from the Swedish mainland to Visby in 3 hours.
Well, what about the big cities of Sweden? Don’t their golf courses get on the list at all, so that you could combine a city holiday with your favorite hobby?
The Gothenburg Golf Club actually makes it into the list as Nr. 18, with the oldest golf course in Sweden – a fairly short but tricky experience that is alleged to take complacent golfers by surprise with its difficulties. For the environmentally minded this golf course should perhaps rank as the first choice, though, since the Golf Club has identified four unique botanical environments which are carefully managed to preserve biological diversity. This systematic work makes the golf course a positive environmental asset and enhances the pleasure of the players. Enjoy the biotopes of Heath, Coastal cliff and heath, Meadow and Grove, and listen to the birds (50 birdhouses have been put up) attracted by the insects that live in the flowery biotopes. (website: goteborgsgk.org)
If in Stockholm, you could play golf at Bro Hof Castle with its aptly named Castle course and Stadium course. You’ll find the place just west of Stockholm, travelling on road E18. It didn’t make the golf business list, but then it is rated as Nr. 1 by the Golf Digest magazine, which is just as fine, and maybe even better. The golf courses are designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, the ultimate name among golf course architects, which alone should merit you trying it out. The renovated castle Bro Hof is the head quarters of the club, with a luxurious restaurant and a state of the art gym. Its surroundings are unbelievably beautiful, a smiling, rolling landscape where the golf course is just beside the glittering waters of Lake Mälaren. Here too environment is important, and the club has taken over responsibility for a new wildlife preserve that surrounds the golf course. Paths lead you through the forest to the water and there is a bird watcher’s tower, so bring binoculars as well as putters! (website: brohofslott.se)
But of course, to find the golf course of your dreams you shouldn’t rely on lists – you should ask yourself what your holiday is all about. Is it to be an all-in golfing experience, or is golf just a fun break from visiting the sites of the capital? Do you want to combine exercise with relaxing and look for a golf resort that offers spa treatments as well? Or are you looking for the exotic, like going to the Björkliden golf course in Lapland, the most northerly golf course in Sweden? Maybe even try some winter golfing in the snow at Piteå Golf Club? On the websites golfsweden.com or sverigegolf.se you can check out what is on offer in every Swedish region – golf courses, golf packages, combination packages and lots of interesting experiences!