Opening of first links-style course in the Baltic region edges closer


Opening of first links-style course in the Baltic region edges closer
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The construction of a new links-style golf course in Estonia is close to completion.

The Pärnu Bay course has been designed by architect Lassi Pekka Tilander and is located in the city of Pärnu, which lies on the Baltic coast approximately 130 kilometres south of the Estonian capital Tallinn.

The course will be the first links-style course in the Baltic region, and Tilander has made sure the design is in keeping with the traditions and origins of the game.

Pärnu Bay features wide fairways and expansive sand areas, as well as multi-leveled greens to help bring about the ‘links feel’ of the course.

Tilander, the designer behind a number of courses in Estonia, Poland and Finland, said that two distinct features at Pärnu Bay would make playing the course a memorable experience for golfers.

“Firstly, all areas of play are built from sand,” he explained. “This guarantees that the course will play the same way from spring till late autumn in all weather conditions. The second distinct feature at Pärnu will be the shaping.Fairways undulate gently without major surprises. However, the greens feature bolder movement. A ball can be kept in play easily but good scoring will depend on local knowledge and sound strategy.”

The par-72 course will play from 4,500 to 6,200 metres. Unlike many traditional links courses, the front and back nine at Pärnu Bay will start and finish near the clubhouse.

The site will also be home to a five hole par-three course, a driving range, and two greens for short game practice.

The Nelson & Vecchio firm has worked as the project’s contractor, and Mick McShane has been the lead shaper.

The Pärnu Bay course is set to open for play in June 2015.