23. Juni 2013

Get your tee time now: Jack Nicklaus redesigned Ullna Golf Club reopened

Last Friday, on what we call Midsommarafton in Sweden - a day more important for a Swedish family than Christmas - I had the chance and pleasure to play Ullna Golf Club located just outside Stockholm on the banks of Lake Ullna. The club has traditionally been one of the most praised around Stockholm and undergone extensive renovation by Jack Nicklaus Design in the last two years. It only opened in the beginning of June and - easy to imagine - has been very busy since. 

Ullna Golf Club, hole No. 16, par 3 (Photo: Exilgolfer)
I have been on the course with 5 European tour operators, who came to visit Stockholm on a famtrip that we organized for them. Besides Ullna we also played Bro Hof Slott, Drottningholm and Fågelbro and looked at some hotels in town. We had a good time, I will write more about it later.

Ullna has been a huge success with everyone of my group. It is a real gem of a golf course after the careful renovation, mostly done by Jack Nicklaus himself. He and the founder of Ullna, Swedish sports icon Sven Tumba, have been old friends and when Tumba died in October 2011 Jack felt compelled to finish the work in the best way possible. He personally visited Ullna several times during the reconstruction. You can read more about the work on the golf course here and here.

The golf course is not very long and on a rather small piece of land, it is a parkland style layout with water in play on many holes. Here is a link to the course guide. It is a course with lots of strategic options and fun holes. Or as Jack 
himself put it: 

I’m very pleased. We’re not in a habbit of bragging but you have one of the most fun and playable courses I have ever seen. It’s a very pretty course.

Ullna Golf Club, hole No. 3, par 3 (Photo: Exilgolfer)
Some of my favorites holes: Certainly "The Icon" No. 3, a par 3 island green out on Lake Ullna, with a tee box high above the green. The look is fantastic and inviting, you're not afraid to hit your shot. Next is No. 4 a par 5 with a tee shout that looks very narrow between some trees. But the fairway opens up giving you some options. Shooting out to the right (and the water) gives you a good opportunity to reach the green in two over the water. Or you take the route around some trees. But even here a good second shot is required, in order to make the green in three. The Pro told me, that 15 and 17, both par 4s, are regarded the most difficult holes, 15 for the really narrow fairway that demands a perfect shot to reach the green behind a little pond in two and 17 for the shot towards a green that looks like an island out in the water. 

No risk no fun? The 2nd shot at No. 4 invites you with a 150 to 180m
shot to reach the green in two. But be aware of the wind!
(Photo: Exilgolfer)

Tee shot and approach (below) to green on No. 17
(Photo: Exilgolfer)
The greens have been in perfect condition. They are quite fast and beautifully contoured. It is certainly a golf course that demands precision instead of pure power and length. However, the white tees may add that challenge as well. 

Ullna Golf Course is a semi private club with less than 600 members. However, it is possible to get tee times there and your best shot is certainly from now on until middle of August. This is the Swedish vacation season and many of the members are not in town. You can contact the front desk of the golf course or - if you want have less trouble - contact us at Sweden Golf. Just drop me an email and I will help you. We can also book your hole trip, add more golf courses and recommend a hotel. 

Update: I found some fantastic pictures from the work in progress at Ullna with Jack in action.

Update II: More of my pictures of Ullna and the other golf courses of our famtrip here.

Update III. Curious about the new "fried egg" logo of Ullna Golf Club? Read what the designer has to say. It is not a fried egg after all.

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