‘Forward-looking’ Swedish club completes first phase of renovation


‘Forward-looking’ Swedish club completes first phase of renovation
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Falkenberg Golf Club, located on the west coast of Sweden, roughly half way between Gothenburg and Malmo, has completed the first phase of a planned renovation, working with Danish architect Caspar Grauballe.

Opened originally as a nine-hole course in 1949, then extended to 18, and later 27 holes, Falkenberg occupies a classical setting for a golf course, with pine woods, heather, and sandy soil. “The setting is very much like a heathland course, but it has been designed and maintained in more of a parkland style,” Grauballe told GCA. “Several different architects have worked on the course over the years, and as a result there are a lot of different styles mixed into the course, and no real thread in the design.”

The club commissioned Grauballe to draw up a masterplan for improvements in 2012, and the first phase of that plan has been implemented over the last few months. Three holes, including the eighteenth, have been changed. “The course had a lot of blind bunkers and little challenge in terms of strategy,” said Grauballe. “The masterplan is focusing on changing the course to introduce strategy, visibility and embracing the setting by introducing more of a heathland feel to the features on the course. New tees have changed the alignment of holes and brought out more interest in the layout. The bunkers have been repositioned and upgraded to a more dramatic style and the green surrounds have been tweaked to handle traffic better and at the same time provide lots of variation round the greens.”

“Falkenberg is taking a bold step in an unsure economy,” Grauballe added. “There is strong competition among local clubs, but by developing the course the club is making the most out of its primary asset. The potential of the course is so obvious that quite a few members have pushed for this upgrade.”

Construction has been carried out in-house by the club’s greenkeeping staff. The holes are expected to reopen in the spring.