Linna Golf (Getty Images)
Linna Golf, Finland, is the host venue for the first edition of the European Tour Properties Senior Classic. We take a look at this magnificent venue as it prepares to host a European Tour event for the first time since 2009.
Although it is hosting the Senior Tour for the first time, Linna Golf, one of the first members of the European Tour Properties Network, is no stranger to professional tournament golf. It hosted the European Challenge Tour’s SK Golf Challenge in 2009 and the following year was the venue for the European Amateur Championship.
Now a European Tour regular, Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard emerged triumphant at the Amateur Championship with a score of 15 under par, one stroke ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and Andrea Pavan. Thomas Pieters, Europe’s star of The 2016 Ryder Cup, finished in a share of ninth place.
In 2009, Nicolas Colsaerts made his long-awaited breakthrough with his first victory in a European Tour event. The Belgian birdied the last two holes in regulation to force a play-off in which he beat Rhys Davies and Julien Guerrier. It was the first of Colsaerts’ four European Tour victories so far, and just three years later he would be teeing it up for Europe at The Ryder Cup.
Built across 100 acres on the grounds of Vanajanlinna Manor, the course, designed by European Golf Design in association with Tim Lobb, will play as a par 72 over 6,750 yards.
The holes use the landscape of pine and birch woods and feature a number of hazards including lakes and rocky outcrops. The natural rise and fall of the terrain offers a dynamic challenge for European Senior Tour members.
Signature holes include the ninth and 15th. The ninth is in view of the clubhouse and its green is guarded by water to the front and left. The par five 15th hole was designed by Dave Sampson, who won a reader’s design competition in Golf World Magazine in 2003 and was then employed by EGD as a course architect.
Linna Golf is consistently ranked as one of the top golf courses in Finland and was recognised as the country’s best course at the inaugural World Golf Awards in 2014.
Linna Golf’s clubhouse overlooks the first hole and ninth green and houses the pro shop, dressing rooms, lounge and an award-winning restaurant. On the top floor of the clubhouse are 18 accommodation suites, giving golfers the opportunity to stay on site.
The driving range is 344 yards long and 100 yards wide, within easy reach of the first tee. There is also an exclusively designed 18-hole putting green, which is reminiscent of the Himalayas putting green by The Old Course, St Andrews.