Vasatorp Golfklubb in Sweden has opened its new Tournament Course, the latest design from Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates. The 18-hole Helsingborg course was designed with an eye to courting European PGA Tour events, as well as the Ryder Cup Matches that could potentially come to Sweden in 2018.
"There are many fine courses in Sweden and several have championship aspirations," said Ove Sellberg, manager of golf at Vasatorp. "However, Hills/Forrest have created a golf course difficult enough, strategic enough and beautiful enough to keep Vasatorp in these championship conversations for many years to come, and most importantly, they have created a golf course that members and guests will enjoy playing day in and day out." Under the direction of Hills/Forrest partner and principal Steve Forrest, ground was broken at Vasatorp in mid- December 2005. Nine existing holes were completely renovated, with a further nine created from scratch to form the new 18.
"This project was indeed part renovation, part new design. But our remaking of the existing nine holes is so extensive, it's more accurate to call it a brand new 18 hole course," said Forrest.
"As one gathers from Vasatorp's history, the club has maintained an interest in improving the facility, expanding it and attracting prestigious tournaments. The course we've designed here does all three things." The renovated nine holes feature mature trees, such as oak and pine, while the new nine has been routed on open land using a linksland theme, with spectator mounding separating the playing corridors. The course comes in at 7,300 yards, with two of the more interesting holes including the short par four eighth and the par four thirteenth.
"The two-level green on the eighth is neatly positioned at the end of a tranquil lake that lines the entire left side of the fairway, in a lovely wooded setting," said Forrest. "The bold player can aim for the putting surface and try to avoid the water and a couple of gaping bunkers. Others will lay back, but have a longer approach shot to the undulating putting surface.
"On the thirteenth, the water is on the right of a fairway that meanders across an open linkscape. It's a long par four but it plays like a short, double dogleg par five – with a second water hazard protecting the left of the green complex. A towering, bunker-riddled mound right of the green and the prevailing wind make a tough hole even tougher."