Stockholms Golfklubb, the second oldest club in Sweden, has approved the country’s first true golf course restoration project, overseen by architect Christian Lundin of (re)Golf.
The course was opened in 1932 and was originally designed by Harry Colt and his partner John Morrison. Morrison was the lead architect on the project, and the club’s original project manager, Rafael Sundblom, went on to become one of Sweden’s leading golf architects.
Lundin told GCA: “I was contacted about three years ago to come and visit to give recommendations. They planned to renew their bunkers, so they got a contractor in, and the contractor said ‘you need an architect’. When I walked the property, I said ‘I'm not touching this in a modern style. What you need to do is restore’.”
At the time, the club needed to do some work to the course because the local authority planned to install a new water pipe through the property. As part of this project, Lundin built a putting green what he describes as “very old-style bunkers”.
Lundin, along with two club members, then reviewed the club’s archive to see what the course looked like originally. “They have a very good library, so we were able to get through that quite quickly,” he said. “Working with the Swedish mapping service, we were able to find a photo from 1935, only three years after the course opened. We can track hole corridors, playing lines, bunkers, green sizes, pretty much everything we need to know. We took that photograph and superimposed it on a present-day aerial. A few holes have been lost over time, through house building and the like – one of those was the par-three seventh, of which we have really good pictures. So, we are going to restore the look and feel of that hole, but in a different location.”
Club members voted on the project last week. Of over 100 members who voted, none voted against the restoration, so Lundin says it is full steam ahead. “We are going to do all the bunker work starting next July, then come back in the autumn to restore four holes,” he explained. “The club celebrates its ninetieth anniversary in 2022; we intend to keep restoring the golf landscape until its centenary. We believe that bringing back the heathland character to the land can help make it a green oasis in the city centre of Stockholm.”