Stensballegaard Golf is one of eight brand new venues on this season’s Challenge Tour Schedule, but one man already familiar with the course is Denmark’s Lasse Jensen.
Jensen, who made 20 cuts in 23 appearances en route to finishing in 43rd place in the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings, first visited Stensballegaard Golf shortly after it opened in 2010, so will have a head start on the field when the resort hosts the ECCO Tour Championship hosted by Thomas Björn and Mercedes-Benz this week.
The venue, located in Horsens, Denmark, features 27 holes plus an impressive outdoor and indoor practice facility, and was named Golf Development of the Year in 2010 by respected US magazine Golf Inc.
Built on a private farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the resort boasts spectacular views of the nearby Horsens Fjord and, according to chief architect Rick Baril, “each hole has its own unique story”.
He said: “Take, for example, the challenging ninth hole at the Guldbjerg loop, where you have a view to the city of Horsens and the Fjord from a tee perched 52 metres above the green. It was a golf hole created a long time ago which was just waiting to be discovered.”
Jensen was suitably impressed with the design, and is expecting a tough test when the seventh edition of the €160,000 event takes place.
The 27 year old will be looking to build on his tied fourth finish at last year’s event, which was played at Lübker Golf Resort.
He said: “It had only just opened when I played there, but even then you could see it was a good track. I don’t know which 18 we’ll be playing, but it’s quite open so I think the wind is going to have an effect. On some of holes it feels like you’re almost playing a links course. There are lots of small bunkers and around the green areas there are some big slopes running away, so I think it will be a really good test.
“I played there when it was a cold winter’s day, so hopefully it will be a little bit warmer in August! It played long, especially the holes which played into the wind. On some of the par fours I was hitting a three wood in, and on some of the par threes we couldn’t hit from the back tees, because it was playing straight into the wind. But I’m hoping that won’t be the case when we’re there!
“I would imagine the course is much more mature now, and they have cut the fairways in where they want them to be. It’s going to be really interesting going back and seeing what they’ve done with the place. I’m certainly expecting it to be tough.”