An outstanding links.
The words come from Major David Blair, Captain of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of S:t Andrews when he visited Falsterbo GK. Surely it is a unique course in many ways.
“Links” is originally the undulated, sandy landscape outside the Scottish coastal cities. Onshore wind caused sand to be pushed up the nearby streams and on to the meadows behind the beach. The sheep kept the grass low. It was there it all began.
This is the unique characteristic of links courses. Typical for links courses are the meadows with wild flowers, the ‘gorse’-bushes, wild roses, and heather.
The first course on Strandbaden.
Falsterbo Golfclub was founded in 1909 and back then the course was located on Strandbaden, a few hundred meters east of the current location. Unfortunately the grass there was not suitable for golf.
The area further west around the lighthouse and Ule Nabbe had better grass. In beginning of 1911 permission to lease the area around the lighthouse was given. Later the same year the first 9 holes were constructed. Players shared the course with horses, cows, and geese.
Professional Robert Turnbull from Copenhagen Golfclub was hired to design the course. He had no experience as a course designer but had a sense for what a course should look like. Turnbull understood the essentials about differences in altitude and managed to use them when designing the greens.
18 holes course opened 1930
The full 18 holes course was consecrated the summer of 1930. After a few changes, the course was finished in its current layout 1934.
Falsterbo golf course is located in a beautiful nature reserve called Flommen. 1930 the golfers were the only ones who used the area. Back then the waves from the Baltic Sea hit the sand banks just outside the 17th tee.
It was common for Falsterbo residents to work on the sea. A large shed in the ruff on the 18th hole was built to service the local fishermen.
Doctor Gunnar Bauer was responsible for the design of the 18-hole course. He did a magnificent job and formed the course after the natural changes in the landscape. Bauer also designed the course with wind in mind, well aware that it could quickly change the characteristics of the different holes.
Most of the greens were lowered by 20-30 centimetres after a few years when it became clear that the existing watering system wasn’t able to keep up. The greens quality improved even further when a new watering system was installed in 1953.
Gustaf Rudebeck’s fundamental studies in the 1940s meant that Falsterbo is international famous for its migratory of birds. Many ornithologists travel far to experience Falsterbo’s unique bird life.
Rebuilding in the 1990s
Golf course architect Peter Nordwall was hired to update the design of the course. No change in the original layout was made. Instead bunker positions, tees, and some of the greens went through a major update. Nordwall is responsible for the current green designs on hole 3, 6, 8-11, and 17. The rebuild in the years 1995-1999 resulted in more exciting greens. Since the first redesigning of the greens became such a success, the discussion on whether or not rebuild the rest of the greens as well began. Peter Chamberlain, former head pro at FGK, was given the task to redesign the remaining greens. His excellent work improved the link characteristics of the course. Chamberlain’s design became a reality during a few intense months 2000 and 2001.
A dream come true – after 50 years
Gunnar Bauer’s course design was rededicated in 2002. Now the course had been fitted with a new watering system and had been given more exciting green areas. Gunnar Edstrand’s, club president 1945-1963, dream had finally become a reality, 50 years later.