Vetlanda Golfklubb in the Swedish province of Småland has broken ground on a new nine hole par three course, which is aimed at helping new golfers learn to play the game.
Gothenburg-based architect Christian Lundin, a partner in the global design practice (re)GOLF is leading the new project, which will occupy a space formerly used by the club for practice. Three of the holes will border Lake Grumlan.
“This is an important project for the club,” said general manager Erik Tejmark. “Vetlanda is a small town, and we have to develop future members ourselves if we are to prosper. The new par three course will give them a perfect environment to learn the game, on a facility that will be playable for everyone, but built to a high standard. But it won’t just be for beginners – I’m sure that lots of our members and guests will enjoy the ability to go out for a quick nine holes, or to work on their game on a proper course.”
The holes will vary in length from 60-140m. Lundin is overseeing the creation of a pond that will impact on a number of the holes, while also providing the material needed to build greens and tees. British contractor Marcus Terry of 1st Golf is handling construction work, along with his colleague Mike Smith. “The site has excellent quality topsoil, though it is also quite rocky,” said Terry. “Once we have screened out the rocks, we will have great material to build the course.”
Lundin says he is seeing plenty of interest in short courses (and other alternative golf facilities) from clubs across Scandinavia. “Golf grew rapidly in countries like Sweden and Norway, and now clubs are looking for ways to help more new players get into the game,” he said. “Since we built the Golfarena in Halmstad three years ago, many clubs have approached us about rethinking practice facilities or making short courses. These projects needn’t cost big money and they are priceless in terms of increasing the appeal of a golf club, especially to young people and other potential new golfers.”
The short course at Vetlanda is expected to open in the summer of 2015.