Golf In Finland
Golf in Finland is a young sport; the first course was constructed in the 30`s. There are now about 60 courses scattered all around the country. About 45,000 people play the game more or less actively. The number of players has grown ten-fold in the last 15 years and would undoubtedly grow more was it not for the prolonged economic recession, which has plagued the country for soon 5 years. If you compare the number of players in the country to our west, Sweden, it is only one tenth. If you compare the number of players in the country to our south, Estonia, it is very high as there were 58 players in Estonia at last count.
The season is from May until September-October in the southern parts of the country and somewhat shorter in the north. The season may seem short but it is actually prolonged by the fact that for several months you can easily begin and finish your round after work. This is due to the high position of the sun in the sky in the summertime. There are even tournaments at mid-summer, when people play through the night.
The so-called Green Card is in force in Finland. This means you have to pass a test on your ability to play the game and follow the etiquette, before you can play on a course. Foreign players are naturally welcome without the Green Card.
People take the game fairly seriously, which is reflected by the relatively high number of teaching pros in the country. The pros have mostly come from the UK but there have also been a couple of Canadians.
The green fees are USD 30 - 50. There are practically no electric carts available. People walk and the pull-cart is the most common method of getting your bag around.
Our thanks to Jouko Patrikka of Helsinki for his contribution to World Golf.