Sweden’s Örebro City Golf and Country Club has begun a renovation project at its city centre course with the aim of making the facility more flexible and appealing to a wider range of golfers.
The Örebro club is the result of a recent merger between two local courses, Mosjö, which is located out of town, and Gustavsvik, in the city centre. Örebro itself is Sweden’s sixth largest city, and has a fast-growing, dynamic economy – for example, a new housing estate is planned next to the city course and will accommodate around 15,000 people.
The combination of the merger, and the urban location of the Gustavsvik course, has allowed the club to rethink its facilities, and how they are used. To this end, the club hired golf architect Christian Lundin of (re)GOLF to advise them on possible changes to both courses.
Lundin has prioritised the Gustavsvik course, which has suffered extensively from winter damage in recent years. His long-range masterplan for the course calls for a complete renovation of all eighteen holes, including new bunkering and tees, with the aim of speeding play. “We want to take advantage of the Gustavsvik course’s location and make it the ideal venue for golfers who are short of time but still want to enjoy the game,” Lundin said.
With this goal in mind, Lundin has already embarked on the first stage of works at the Gustavsvik facility, which incorporate a new-look practice area, based on the well-received Volkswagen Golfarena he built in the town of Halmstad two years ago. “The practice facility will be a smaller version of the Golfarena, occupying a 300m by 300m plot of land and incorporating driving range, short game area and Himalayas-style putting course,” he said. “The idea is to make the Gustavsvik facility more flexible, and more appealing to a wider range of customers. There will be a full gym and a kids’ playground, and we're extending the current par three course to make it slopable."
“We believe that the Gustavsvik facility will become much more successful as a result of this work,” said club manager Annika Lundstrom. “The driving range already does good business, but the city centre location should allow us to attract a much wider range of visitors if we can make the facilities more multifunctional. We want to open up the club and make it a focal point for local people. And we want it to be a year-round facility, so we will develop ski laps for use in the winter.”
“The Gustavsvik course itself will be a really fun, although short course – suitable for all the family,” said Lundin. “Once that work is complete, we will move onto the Mosjö course, with the aim of improving the bunkering and shaping, and making it sit more naturally in its environment. Eventually, I think Örebro will be one of the best clubs in Sweden.”