photo © Visit Finland / Heidi Ikonen

Golf in Finland

Although golf came to Finland quite late – Helsinki Golf Club wasn’t founded until 1932, and the Finnish Golf Union only founded in 1957 – the sport has been growing in popularity ever since, and there are now 132 clubs with over 142,000 members. This number has been growing steadily in recent years, with 7,000 new members joining Finnish golf clubs in 2008 alone! The boom began in the 1980s and has continued since, with 150 courses now open in every part of the country.

There are numerous courses of championship standard, and over the past decades the country has hosted several Ladies’ European Tour and Challenge Tour events, as well as European Amateur Championships, and the European Girls’ Team Championship. This summer the Linna Golf and Aulanko Golf will host the 2010 European Amateur Championship for men in Hämeenlinna area 100 km north of Helsinki.

Golf Holiday in Finland

Given that Finland is one of Europe’s most northerly countries, the seasons are typically long periods of darkness in the winter and long periods of sunlight in the summer. Indeed in the very far north, the sun does not set at all for a period of months, allowing golfers the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf at midnight. The golfing season is between May and September, the majority of courses are 18 holes and quite spacious. Facilities at Finnish golf courses are typically of a high standard, with green fees very affordable. Come midsummer in Finland, twenty-one hours of sunlight each day mean that you can tee off well into the night, which is an unforgettable experience, and long days are just one of the perks of golf in Finland. Since relatively few Finns have taken up golf, you won’t usually find yourself rushing through your round to accommodate other groups.