Bro Hof Slott (Stadium)

Bro Hof Slott (Stadium)

Show Us Your Medals

Course Information

This is indubitably one of the most breathtaking and dramatic courses in continental Europe. Laid out on the edge of Lake Malaran – a fjord large enough to provide pure drinking water for the entire city of Stockholm – the Bro Hof Slott Stadium course enjoys a setting few can match. When the sun glistens on the still water of the turquoise fjord you could easily believe you are in the Seychelles rather than Scandinavia. It is a picture-postcard scene, with the restored medieval White Castle atop the hill that serves as a grand clubhouse adding to the idyllic setting.

You can even arrive in this beguiling spot in Upplands-bro – 40 minutes northwest of Stockholm – by boat. The castle was rebuilt in the 1880s in that era’s vogue baroque style having been initially built as a royal farm in the Middle Ages.

The silent serenity of the area would have been disturbed for one raucous week in 2018 had owner Bjorn Oras been successful in his desire to lure the Ryder Cup to Sweden.

The Stadium course  – the No.2, the Castle, is a strong continental Top 100 contender – hosting the biennial matches would have been the ultimate reward for Oras’ determination and commitment to Bro Hof, given creating it required enormous quantities of both.

For while its designer Robert Trent Jones Jnr described the site in glowing terms – “Mother Earth must have created this area for a golf course… all I had to do was to walk around and see where the holes would fit” – it was a long way from an easy build.

Opened in 2007, the course had to be covered with a 25cm layer of sand to make it viable, at a cost of 20mSEK and more than 1.5m2 of material was moved – equivalent to 200,000 lorry loads – to shape the fairways while 600,000 square meters of Earth was excavated to create further water features in addition to Malaran.

Water is inevitably a factor on 15 holes through either a lake or stream, including all of a back nine that is heaven sent for matchplay drama.

If those numbers hint that this is a brutal modern course, it is not an inaccurate nudge. Off inappropriate tees, Bro Hof will dominate you to the point of submission, even if its immaculate conditioning and spectacular setting will always impress.

Off the back tees it stretches over the 8,000-yard mark. Off the yellows, it is close to 6,500 yards, and has only three par 4s under 400 yards. Off those tees, the only reachable par 5 for the average golfer is the 12th. The shortest par 4 off the back tees is 410 yards, with a couple touching 500 yards.

Water is inevitably a factor on 15 holes through either a lake or stream, including all of a back nine that is heaven sent for matchplay drama.

The 17th and 18th holes alone can accommodate up to 70,000 spectators and it is surely the case that Trent Jones and his right-hand man Bruce Charlton had a Ryder Cup in mind when devising the routing.

There are often 100 yards between greens and tees, but as a muscular and spectacular challenge it receives a huge tick.

Set on gently undulating terrain punctuated by rocky outcrops, huge white-sand bunkers, a few copses of trees as well as the expanses of water, the Stadium will appeal to thrill-seeking golfers.

The climax is astonishingly dramatic, with the Stadium almost a lakeside path around Mälaren, offering all-world holes such as the risk-reward 15th, the nervy short 17th and the strategic 18th.

Expect pristine, quick greens that are so large and undulating that any approaches not especially accurate will lead to several three-putts. More than anything, though, expect to be blown away by the setting, which is as spellbinding as inland golf can get.

Chris Bertram

 

Information

Robert Trent Jones Jnr

+46 (0) 8 545 279 90

Bro Hof Slott , Bro , Sweden , 197 91