When a course self-titles itself as an inland links, I can’t pretend it doesn’t make me laugh and also take a pre-visit dislike to it.
I’ve only ever encountered one inland links and that is Ganton (something to do with glaciers I thin, so it did used to be coastal).
Sand touts itself as inland links so that was a bad start. But guess what, it’s good. It’s not a links, even though it is built on a sandy base and has lots of links feature, but don’t turn up here expecting Leven or West Lancs or Aberdovey or The Island.
It was previously a potato field, which says a lot, but the enthusiastic entrepreneurs who bought the site have seen it transformed into one of the finest courses in Scandinavia.
American architects Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest were the men charged with creating a course with echoes of Scottish links and they have certainly achieved the look of those classic courses.
Some have suggested it looks out of place inland as a result, but I’m not sure I especially agree with that. Different, and not in a bad way.
There are undulating fairways, greens with plenty of movement in them, blind shots, and pot bunkers. There is more water than you’d ever see on a British links and the turf is not what we’d expect but it does have the look of a seaside course.
Some have suggested it looks out of place inland as a result, but I’m not sure I especially agree with that, although I probably look at the courses itself rather than the surroundings more than most.
There are plenty of dramatic moments, from the mountain peak-shaped bunker on the 2nd to the holes affected by water, and there are a fine variety of holes. The greens are in super nick.
It is relatively forgiving too, with waste areas wide of the fairways and five different tees, so the course measures from sub-5,000 yards up to well in excess of 7,000.
Different, and not in a bad way. Chris Bertram