Linna Golf opens for international play

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By Sean Dudley

Linna Golf, the latest member of the PGA European Tour Courses Group, has opened in Finland.

The course, designed by Australian course architect Tim Lobb of European Golf Design (EGD), has already attracted critical acclaim for its natural beauty and outstanding strategic challenge. Its 6,624m layout features memorable holes in a landscape peppered with rocky outcrops, cutting through birch and pine forest that borders a seven kilometre lake on the historic Vanajan Linna Hotel estate, 100km north of Helsinki.

The addition of a world-class golf course, with one of the best practice and teaching facilities in Europe, is set to elevate the resort and conference centre to the international golf stage.

Lobb, now a partner of Thomson Perrett and Lobb, said: "We had a clear brief to create a European Tour standard course that would also be playable for golfers of all abilities.

"The positioning of tees to provide a strategic challenge for both professionals and amateurs was essential, and I think this is one of the great successes of Linna Golf. There's also an excellent combination of uphill, downhill and side-hill holes winding through the forest and then dropping down to the lake and hotel, which makes a stunning backdrop."

Linna Golf president Mika Walkamo said: "We told EGD we wanted the best golf course in Finland. I have no doubts this is precisely what they have delivered and the response from golfers – professional and amateur – has been phenomenal."

This article first appeared in issue 4 of Golf Course Architecture, published in April 2006.

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