Ullna GC, one of Stockhom's most praised golf courses, is almost done with its extensive renovation that has been carried out by Jack Nicklaus and his design company Nicklaus Design. The master himself was unusually heavy involved in the project because of his long time friendship to the late Sven Tumba, the Swedish sports icon, that founded Ullna GC and was almost solely responsible for the golf boom in the country.
Nicklaus has been visiting Stockholm several times during the renovation, that started last year in July and is now in its final stage. The rebuilding is done, the grass may grow now and the anticipation by the members is growing every day to play the new course. They have to wait until next year though.
And what does the master himself says about Ullna? He seems impressed by the it and his work:
"You have one of the most fun and playable courses I have ever seen. It is a very pretty course."The upgrade of Ullna commenced on 1 July 2011 and since then the entire course was dug up and reshaped. New irrigation and drainage systems have been built and the course has been covered by a 20 cm thick layer of sand to create a healthy lawn while rainwater effectively drains away.
The original layout has been maintained and 15 of the 18 holes are in contact with water, but otherwise it's a whole new Ullna facing the player when the course opens in summer 2013.
The landing areas and green areas have become more decisive and more strategically challenging. A visible feature in the course's character are the stones that are aesthetically laid out and and are supposed to be a reminder of the Swedish archipelago and Roslagen. The greens are small and will continue to be among the fastest in the country. The upgrade of the course is estimated to cost about 50 million SEK (7.2 million USD). An important part of the funding for this project came through the support of the members of the club.
Ullna is not only upgrading the golf course, but also the entire graphic design of the golf club. Jack Nicklaus had the honor to first set the flag with the new logo during his visit. The new tagline for the golf course will be "Play the Icon", a reminiscence to both Jack Nicklaus and the signature island hole no. 3 (here is a video of Jack playing that hole, I love his professional attitude in the end) on the golf course.
Copyright all pictures: Ullna GC