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Clic below for information from my US. Study Tour September to October 2012. (Text only in Swedish.)
I recently visited Scotland to study some new courses. The Renaissance Club is just outside of Edinburgh, close to Mudfield. The course is designed by Tom Doak, he might be one of the most noticed golf course designer in the world at the moment. I had the pleasure to meat Tom when I was holding a lecture in Co Louth earlier this year, and he is in many ways an interesting person. His "philosophy in design" and his way to carry out a golf course project is inspiring and gives impulses for new ideas.
The course at The Renaissance Club contains all the values that Tom Doak stands for. The course is challenging and variated with a beautiful adaptation to the surrounding landscape. He has in a very good way created a course that has the characteristics of a links course, which is suitable with the surrounding courses in the area i.e.Gullane, Murfield, North Berwick among others.
Hole 11 on the Renaissance Club.
Leafs from a adjoining tree made the bunker shot even more challenging...
Machrihanish Dunes is a new course designed by David Kidd, the same man that created The Castle Course at St Andrews. The course in Machrihanish will be opened for players in May 2009 and after a three hour long walk around one can establish that the Dunes will be something special. Just the fact that they have been given the permission to construct a new golf course in a dune landscape is unique and has not occurred before in Scotland since the end of 17: th century!
One of the green areas on Machrihanish Dunes.
Kidd has found suitable places for tees and greens and shaped the surroundings with great care taken to the dunes. No constructions has been done to the fairways, they were only lawned down. The bunkers were created directly in the dunes. My guess is that Machrihanish Dunes will get extremely much attention during the next year and that it will be a ”must play” for all that loves links courses.
Dundonald Links has been finished since a couple of years and was only opened for members in Loch Lomond GC before; now green fee guests are welcome. Dundonald Links course is worth a visit. Kyle Philips has designed a course which in many ways fulfils the criteria we mean with a links course. Some of the holes are fantastic, like holes 11 and 12. Philips has on many holes used the ditches which reinforces the strategy. It’s refreshing that this classical obstacle is used on a modern links course.
The fifth hole on Machrihanish Dunes. A short hole with the sea in the background.
In the begining of august the new golf course in Vågårda opened. The visitors to the course has been many and the many opinions has been very positiv. Since all playingareas are built with sand the course has been open, when other courses in the area had to close due to the heavy rain. The expectations are that the course will be opened a long time into fall and still keep a good quality.
I will visit the course during october and get back with a longer report about the course on the site.
The re-built of Ågesta is now in big parts finished and the course opened for players in the middle of july. It still remains to finish the rebuilding of two fairways and a couple of tees. The new greenareas has settled very nicely and with the new design, one can say that it is a new golf course that the members and guests are playing.
It is with great pleasure that I have been selected to be the new golf course architect for Ålands Golf Club in the future. Together with the golf club I will suggest a longterm development plan for the clubs two 18 hole courses and continue the renovation of the bunkers that started last year.
At the moment we are in negotiations about the re-cononstruction of hole 1 and 2 on the 18 hole course. The expectations are that the re-construction can start during this winter.
The final inspection of the new holes on Troxhammar was completed in august. The progress has been very good and the opening of the new holes is planned to the 1:st may 2009. Troxhammar GK will then have 18 + 12 holes.
The re-building of Ågesta golfcourse is almost finished. The opening of the new course with its new greens is planned to be held in the middle of july. On the picture you can see the new club house with the greens from hole 9 and 18 and also the new puttinggreen.
Today it is exactly twenty years since the Berlin Wall fell. It has not passed so much time since I last updated the website, but it truly has passed a considerable amount of months since last news. I'll have to blame the famous Lazy Dog and promise penance and repentance.
Vreta Kloster GK
This fall I have with the Svenska Golfbanebyggarn AB, as an entrepreneur, started the construction of a short-hole course with six holes and a large practice green at Vreta Kloster GK. The club has today over 27 holes.
We have built with high quality in mind. Thus, all the greens are built according to the USGA method and the fairways will be "sand coated".
We recently completed work and resume construction in spring 2010. The goal is to open the course later this year.
During autumn, I have, once again with Svenska Golfbanebyggarn AB as an entrepreneur, carried out a reconstruction of 18th green area at Hagge GK. Machine work began on 14th of October and ended on 5th of November. In addition, a new dam was built on the same hole. In spring it only last to fine tune and sown.
Hopefully we can with the golf club develop the golf course for the future, and the facility is truly a "gem" with a number of fine holes along the lake Haggen.
On the golf club's website there is a slideshow of the construction of 18th green area www.haggegk.com
As many of you know, mine and Halmstad GK Boards proposal to a change of hole 17 on Norra Banan, was voted down by a small margin at an extra annual meeting in June 2008. Since then we have continued to think about a solution that would improve the safety and appeal to members and guests. This and conducted safety tests have not yet led to a new proposal, but the work continues.
This winter, the green area on hole 13 on Södra Banan will have a new layout with rolling elevations and new bunkers.
I visited Vårgårda on 20th of October and played 18 holes with among others the clubs chairman Anders Larsson. He could tell that the season has been extremely good with many positive judgments of the course from members and guests. In particular, many have been extremely impressed with the quality of the greens and the dry play areas. I could myself note that the course was in absolutely top class in late October.
Together with my colleague Rolf Stephan Hansen, we have received some inquiries on new golf course projects in Germany. Many of the requests is currently in its infancy and there is every reason to come back with more details when the project started to take shape.
The Scandinavian Society for Golf Course Architects, FSGA, had a stand at this year Elmia golf exhibition in Jönköping and attached you can see how my works looked like.
My involvement as a member of EIGCA is currently concentrated on preparations for the World Golf Forum, St.Andrews Scotland, in March 2010. During this conference, golf course architects from around the world will participate and discuss current issues in golf course architecture. When the program of the conference is finished, I will put it on the website.
I have written an article in No. 4, 2009 in Greenbladet which you can read by going to the Press Articles section.EIGCA (it’s in Swedish)
Vårgårda Golf Club officially opened its new 18 hole course on Walpurgis night. The Municipality Chairman Kristina Gunnarsson cut the tape at the first tee, and later in the evening held a party for members and guests. Earlier in the day a scramble competition was played over 12 holes.
Although I’m very much a "part in this case” I want to emphasize that the golf course on Olstorp offers a challenging game experience, and that the vegetation on the track is of the highest possible quality. The staff who work with the course has done and is doing a brilliant job.
The fact that we were able to put the 25 cm of sand on all the playing areas has already given a dry and "crispy" playing surface and the sand will be a quality assurance for the future.
I hope that many golfers will find time to visit Vårgårda during the year and that visitors will appreciate the golf course.
Golf Club President Anders Larsson inaugural talk on the first tee.
The Municipality Chairman Kristina Gunnarsson cuts the ribbon!
On May the 1:st the official inauguration of Troxhammar Golf Club was held, the new course containing 18 holes and 12 holes. The concept is the first of its kind in Sweden and has attracted much attention from both golfers and golf media. For the inaugural days attended over 300 members and guests of the golf game over 12 holes and subsequent celebrations.
Once again, I would point out that I am a "part in this case" but Troxhammars new concept exudes confidence and creativity. Both courses comprise new challenges mixed with the original architect Jan Sederholm basic game ideas.
Also on Troxhammar the staff is doing a fantastic job in keeping the two courses in the best condition and I am absolutely convinced that Troxhammar will have many satisfied members and satisfied guests this year.
”"Yours truly" the inaugural talk.
Bunker renovation at the Åland GC
A little of everything...
We have come well into the New Year and just slowly our golf courses around the country are beginning to prepare for the new season. At the moment it looks like the new season is far away at a rapid glance out my office window. The last few days of snow has again made the landscape north of Stockholm more winter-like. But hopefully we can soon put the skates and skis in the repository and start polishing of iron...
New partnership with Hulta GK
It is with great enthusiasm and joy that I recently launched a new collaboration with Hulta GK in Bollebygd. I will continue the fine work done over the years by my colleague Jan Sederholm and Björn Magnusson. The course fits beautifully in the landscape in a valley with a magnificent mansion building as a clubhouse and I strongly recommend a visit.
I will soon make a review of the course and focusing on the length of the tee’s and propose any adjustments.
New constructions of tee’s
I have during the winter been involved in rebuilding of two tee’s, one at Waxholms GK (hole 10) and one in Täby GK (hole 13). In both cases, the new position of the tee’s will give a better strategy of the game where players will have a better visual experience of landing surfaces and the different obstacles.
Both constructions, in my opinion a good example of less "interference" that makes a hole more exciting and challenging.
I have in my capacity as a director of EIGCA (the European Institute of Golf Course Architetcts) become involved in a security project with FSGA (Association Scandinavian Golfbanearkiteketer). During the year we will jointly to collect data from various golf courses with a focus on strokes and distribution of golf balls.
To work for increased security is in my opinion one of the main tasks of a golf course architect and it is important that tests are carried out which gives us increased knowledge of the subject. It gives us a stronger foundation to stand on when we provide recommendations for increased security on our golf courses.
The golf course on Sylt, Budersand GC, designed by my colleague and partner Rolf Stephan Hansen, has been appointed Germany's best new golf course in 2009.
For more information about this golf course there is a story in the tab press articles "Green Bladet 04 2008" or visit the website www.budersand.de
During this winter, we have continued to rebuild and renovate the bunkers on Slottsbanan (Castle course) in order to create a unitary character and strengthen the feeling of a seaside course. Everything will be ready for the season opening and on many holes, the players will encounter new challenges.
During the year, I will continue my work on a long-term development plan for the golf club's two courses and a deeper review of the character of the bunkers on Kungsbanan’s (Kings course) and game strategy.
The official opening of Vårgårda’s new 18 hole course is April 30. The day after, it is time for the opening of Sweden's first 12 hole course on Troxhammar GK. I am really looking forward to these two events, and my hope is that both courses will be appreciated by both members and guests.
In 2009, the "new course" on Ågesta will be played like it was meant as drawings and prospectus. The rebuilt course could not be presented in a complete and finished state in 2008 and I fully understand the disappointment some players felt. However, I hope that the "new course" in 2009 will be donating members and visiting players great pleasure and challenging golf. I will during this year write a longer statement on the website about my impressions from the golf course.
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