Thursday, February 28, 2008
Golf in Skåne
Tee-off for a memorable golfing experience in southern Sweden.
Skåne is one of the best golfing destinations in Northern Europe with over 70 courses to choose from all within a travelling time of 90 minutes. A remarkable range of courses – from scenic links courses, to beautiful park and even forest courses – together with a professionally maintained range of on-site meeting and conference facilities makes for an irresistible golfing and meetings destination
A meeting or conference combined with a golfing break is a great way to merge business, pleasure and, let’s not forget, exercise. Skåne has one of the highest densities of golf clubs in Europe with 75 courses – all of them within an hour and a half of the fixed link connecting Denmark to Sweden.
Sweden has long golfing traditions dating back to the late 19th century and today those traditions are well maintained with some of the best – and best value – courses in Northern Europe. The green fee is normally between SEK 250 ($39) and SEK400 ($62) for a whole day. Many clubs cooperate with hotels and can offer golf packages with reduced fees.
Golf is a year-round past time in this part of Scandinavia as the weather is moderate, generally comparable with much of the rest of Northern Europe, and less given to extremes than Scotland, for example. And there is an added bonus: during the summer it remains light until as late as 10.30pm and many courses stay open until then during these times.
Virtually all clubs welcome non-members. This openness is typical of Scandinavian clubs, setting them aside from the, dare we say, more elitist clubs elsewhere in Europe.
There are courses to suit all handicaps –including the renowned Barsebæk Golf and Country Club, ranked Europe’s third best course, and Falsterbo, Sweden, Europe’s seventh best course.
Barsebæk uniquely combines links, parkland and woodland in its 36 holes. It is rated the finest club in Sweden and is a regular host of international tournaments for both men and women – this was the scene of the 2003 victory by the European women’s
team over the USA in the Solheim cup, for instance. The renowned golf course architect, Donald Steel, has been the consultant for the recent re-design of Barsebæk’s original nine holes.
Meanwhile, Falsterbo boasts Sweden’s only 18-hole links course, comparable in style to the classic Scottish links courses.
Other notable clubs include Båstad, one of the best parkland courses in Sweden with lovely views across the bay of Laholm and a new, challenging course designed by Tommy Nordström; Kristianstad, a park and heathland course that is one of the oldest in Sweden; and one of the most difficult courses in the region, Tomelilla, an 18-hole wood- and parkland course which has twice been host to the Swedish Matchplay Championships – its club house has a spectacular panoramic view over the course and is an excellent meetings venue.
The comparatively new Öresunds Golf Klub has a short but demanding course designed by Jan Sederholm. Its unique clubhouse was once an eel processing factory but its upper floor rooms overlooking the sea now boast a fully equipped dedicated meeting area. Meanwhile, Ljunghusen Golf Club, on the coast south of Malmö, has in recent years welcomed corporate clients including Audi/Volkswagen and Öhrlings Price Waterhouse with tailor made Golf packages for up to 100 delegates. Ljunghusen is regularly ranked among Sweden’s top five courses and has a wealth of experience in organising corporate golfing events with a top class restaurant, beginner’s courses and professional golf clinics.
Rya Golf Club is one of the oldest in Sweden. It is located in an area of great natural beauty around 10 km south of Helsingborg, offering stunning views of the Sound and Denmark. The course is a park and seaside course, and several of the holes are said to be among the best in the country.