13 years of planning and commitment
13 years of planning and commitment
It started, as big ideas often tend to do, with a whiskey bottle. But unlike other ideas that appear ingenious after a glass or two, this idea was just as good the day after. In addition, it was feasible, even though it would be 13 years before Mikael Sorling’s dream of a Swedish PGA track was finally incorporated.
The year was 1996. Mikael Sorling and the others on the Swedish PGA’s board unwinded after a busy day. They talked about the problem of the great uniformity of Swedish courses and the challenges that Swedish players face when they come out into the world and compete on courses they have never experienced before. Would it not be possible to give them a chance at international standards here in Sweden? Would it not be possible to build a unique course, with a high level of service and a pleasant atmosphere? And could not the PGA brand be strengthened at the same time?
Everyone became enthusiastic. When Mikael Sorling woke up the next day, he was still there. He began the preparations, happily unaware of how much time and effort it would take to realize the dream.
The members were called to an extra meeting and were enthusiastic about the project. Planning continued and in 1999 they began to actively look for partners with the help of Claes Kinell who put together impressive investment prospects. Mats Paulsson at Bjäre Invest was contacted and it was discussed what type of profile the facility would have. Meanwhile, the legendary American course architect Kyle Phillips was with us looking for suitable land. Skåne was considered best due to its weather and geographical location with proximity to Denmark and Germany. There was a lot that would work – location, surface, and not least ownership. It would be easy to get to the club. The area needed to be large, over 275 hectares, and also possible to buy. Private landowners did not want to sell, (because what is a farmer without land?). But fortunately, former municipal councilor Nils Yngvesson knew that Malmö municipality was interested in selling Torup. Phillips gave a thumbs up to the beautiful, open area and the Paulsson brothers came in as financiers. It looked like the vision would be realized. From the night fog, a dream had been created.
But they had not counted on the investigations. From the PGA’s side, they were welcomed, the organization wanted everything to go right, but it was still sad when the development stopped. Of course, the project did not have to have negative effects on plants, animals, water, culture, or historical relics. It was dug, samples were taken, dug again, calculated, and measured. Cooperation with the authorities went without problems. In the end, they got the green light. Also unusually fast (water judgment of 9 months is something of a record). Accurate function diagrams, which showed where roads, clubhouses, etc. would lie, were developed together with the County Administrative Board. Everyone involved wants to create as natural an environment as possible. For centuries, the land around Torup had been leveled and flattened to make agriculture more efficient. Now the rolling landscape was restored with soft level differences and a rippling, clear stream that had previously been dug again saw the light of day again.
The goal of the facility has always been to create something state-of-the-art with a classic feel and a high level of service and hospitality. An accessible club where the gate is open to both members and non-members and where it should be possible to book your stay, or rather experience, well in advance. Sketches of the clubhouse, the heart of the golf club, were produced by New Line Arkitektbyrå but the detailed plan was appealed. While waiting for information, the development stopped again. But then, in 2006, they had to go on building. In June 2009, 13 years after that evening, the PGA of National Sweden will be inaugurated.
Here, when everything is ready, there will be two magnificent 18-hole courses and a fantastic 9-hole course, one of Europe’s most modern training facilities, conference facilities, a restaurant overlooking the 18th hole, a private dining room, wonderful hotel rooms, a golf shop, custom made service, studio and a Spa. In addition, the Bara community is getting a big boost with eight new high-rise buildings, a new city center, and many new jobs. But most of all, there will be an opportunity for golf experiences that no one has seen before in this country. No bad result for what started as loose chipping one night a long time ago.
Welcome to PGA Sweden National and our fantastic golf facility.