As always - when it's hickory golf - glorious weather on the outer tip of Falsterbonäset. The golf gods really like Falsterbo Golf Club, also Sweden's third oldest golf club, founded back in 1909. In other words, the conditions were really good, wonderful weather and Sweden's only genuine 18-hole links course showed its best side during the Falsterbo Hickory Open. A true links - where strategy and improvisation are truly rewarded. The scenes out towards Öresund from the 17th and from the tee at the 18th are always magical. The wild flowers and especially the roses combined with a sparkling sea and boat life, provided panoramic views, which are truly fascinating and quite unique in Sweden.
When it came to golf, the scores were unusually varied and many had a pretty tough time. It's hard to put a finger on why, but some didn't even care that it was hard to play. Among others, former tour player and predicted winner Magnus Sunesson Rya GK played very wisely, steadily and confidently. He managed his favouritism impressively and came in as the undisputed leader on a 76, which was three strokes better than Per Levin Vasatorps GK (79) and 5 better than Niklas Lindgren Falsterbo GK (81). Just outside the podium came Stefan Kjell Vasatorps GK (81), Tore Sviland Falsterbo GK (83) and Johan Quensel Lunds Akademiska GK (83). The competition was played from the yellow tee. The best lady was Ann Stahle Falsterbo GK with an 89.
As for charm, style and elegance, I must mention Britta Maltesson's classic attire. By the way, Britta always manages to combine brilliant acting with a fantastic outfit. Again - class.
Battle of the day
Some battles were really spectacular and today's battles can probably be shared by yours truly, Fredrik Stahle and Magnus Sunesson. I myself hit a mashie of about 145 yards straight into the cup on hole seven and it was definitely more luck than skill, but extra fun as it is one of the two remaining holes from the 1911 course. Luck was not Fredrik's or Magnus' shot, but then they have also represented Sweden in golf in their previous lives. In other words, they have a whole bag full of magic shots. Fredrik calmly, neatly and with balance chips a 25 metre chip from a rather lumpy position straight into the cup on hole 12. And Magnus, who has such delicious timing in all his shots, makes a masterful, beautiful roll-on from almost 50 metres straight into the cup on hole 10. Classic hickory shot. Harry Vardon & Co. would have cheered. Only a champion could make that shot.
What do Fredrik Stahle, Magnus Sunesson and Magnus Persson Atlevi have in common? Well, they are all brilliant golfers of course, but especially fabulous hickory players and the interesting thing is that Fredrik was a mentor at the national team camps for the two "youngsters" Magnus x 2. The two Magnuses must have been in their 15s, while Fredrik was a few years older. And it is very gratifying that two of Sweden's best players have now also made the transition to real golf and they are both absolutely fantastic hickory players. Magnus Sunesson won this year's Falsterbo Hickory Open and Magnus Persson Atlevi (did not play in Falsterbo) won the Swedish Hickory Championship at Kungsmarken (LAGK) last week.
In his victory speech, Magnus Sunesson rightly thanked the organisers and Falsterbo Golf Club, but he was also humble and thanked another champion, Adam Mednick, for not being able to participate (back injury), so he could stand as the winner himself.
ps. If you're wondering why there are no pictures from 2012 in the sidebar of the 1st page, it's because the backup system where all the hickory pictures were stored unfortunately crashed.