Golf Course Architecture - Issue 62: October 2020

23 TEE BOX New golf architecture firm Ilonen Design – a partnership between Finnish pro golfer Mikko Illonen, golf designer and construction specialist Kai Hulkkonen and golf marketer Sami Markkanen – has won contracts for two golf projects in Finland. The firm has been appointed to develop a renovation master plan for Kytäjä’s South East course and a new golf course for Tammer-Golf. “Golf course design has always been something that interests me a lot,” said Ilonen. “As a young boy I used to spend art classes in school drawing golf holes. When playing as a pro on the European Tour, I always looked at the courses we played with thoughts on how I would improve this hole and make it more interesting. Now that Ilonen Design is a reality, I couldn’t be more thrilled.” The 36-hole Kytäjä Golf sees the renovation plan as part of its goal to become an international golf destination, which will include the construction of a new hotel and rental villas. “Throughout my career, I’ve spent a lot of time practicing and playing at Kytäjä and therefore the project is very close to my heart,” said Ilonen. “The challenge here is to make a very good golf course even better. I would be disappointed if we didn’t end up with a true must-play, bucket list experience. We have some thoughts on that already and I’m pretty excited.” The Tammer-Golf course is having to relocate as the city is taking over the club’s existing site for housing development. “My dream has always been to create a new golf course and the Tammer-Golf project will be my first,” said Ilonen. “It is an exciting project, as the location close to the city centre is so unique. With the new course and practice facilities, the possibilities for boosting junior golf are almost endless.” New design firm wins two Finland projects Ilonen Design has won contracts to renovate Kytäjä’s South East course (top) and to develop a new golf course for Tammer-Golf Photo: Kytäjä Golf Photo: Tammer-Golf