Norway may be better known for its fjords and northern lights than its golfing stars but the Scandinavian country has enjoyed a long-term relationship with golf – something they are looking to develop even further in the near future.
Norway is bidding to host the prestigious 2019 Solheim Cup – created by Norwegian-born Ping golf club founder Karsten Solheim 30 years ago – at Oslo GC, where leading LPGA Tour pro Suzann Pettersen learnt to play the game.
This undulating course has a good variety of holes throughout a classy layout but you need to be prepared for some tricky uphill and downhill lies. Oslo GC isn’t the only championship course in the region though, and is backed-up by with the Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed Miklagard, which staged a European Challenge Tour event earlier this year (2014).
Located just north east of the capital, it’s a long layout but there’s barely any rough to worry about. The back nine is particularly impressive with stunning views around the lakes at the 11th and 16th.
A trip further north and an overnight stay at the splendid Staur Guest Farm on the edge of Norway's largest lake Mjøsa brings the option of a round at Atlungstad. This is a good-looking course, with its wide fairways flanked by dense rough while the slightly-elevated greens have subtle breaks.
Like most Scandinavian countries, Norway isn’t the cheapest destination in Europe so the chance to stay and play at the same venue shouldn’t be wasted and Losby Gods Manor fits the bill perfectly.
On the eastern outskirts of Oslo, this Ladies European Tour venue has two contrasting loops of nine – an undulating front nine is followed by a flatter back nine with plenty of water features dotted around.
The Norwegian golf season is short – from early spring to autumn – and the weather is unpredictable so there’s a fair chance the sun won’t be shining down on you. However, what Norway can deliver every time is stunning scenery and that’s particularly apparent during the 18 holes at Tyrifjord on the island of Storøya west of the capital.