Established in 1988 by Swedish ice hockey legend Sven Tumba, Österåkers Golfklubb is nestled along the main road near the town of Åkersberga in eastern Sweden. Sven’s pioneering vision brought two beautiful, 18-hole golf courses to this growing area near the capital of Stockholm. Golf is a popular pastime in the Nordic country. To accommodate the surging growth of the sport in recent years, club management decided a major revamp of the facilities was in order. Henrik Stenson Golf Design led the effort, including the modernization of both primary courses. The two-phase project also called for the creation of a new
9-hole, par-3 course, and construction of a state-of-the-art practice facility.
The first phase of the project included the redesign of one of the 18-hole courses, as well as construction of the 9-hole short course and practice facility. The team was challenged with creating a flexible course that could accommodate golfers of all skill levels and serve as a future tournament venue. Since the moorland topography is mostly flat, the site required 780,000 cubic yards (596,000 cubic meters) of landfill to be imported to manufacture the new course contours. Cart paths had to be built to accommodate cross-country skiing during the off-season winter months, and 60 acres of play areas required sand-capping. Finally, extra-long daylight hours of the high-latitude location during the summer months accompanied by temperatures consistently in excess of 80°F (27°C) magnified the need for a robust and proven irrigation solution.
Project planners opted for a full Hunter irrigation system with fully customizable Pilot Command Center irrigation management software and robust Pilot Integrated Hub controllers. To ensure maximum distribution uniformity during watering, just over 1,350 individually controlled G-885D rotors were installed. With convenient, no-dig Total-Top-Serviceability and best-in-class Two-Way Module technology, the rotors ensured speedy installation with minimal down time, easy maintenance, and limited impacts to playability. Using a single rotor model also simplified inventory management during installation and for the lifetime of the system.
As landfill material arrived by the truckload, a hole would first be shaped. Then, irrigation was installed, thoroughly tested, and inspected visually in operation. Finally, the hole was seeded to spur the growth of new turf. This hole-by-hole construction methodology was necessary due to the sheer volume of soil required for the project, and the speed at which the material could be brought on-site. As a result, turf was at different stages of the growing process all throughout the project. The flexibility and reliability of the Hunter Pilot network enabled the various grow-in requirements to be satisfied with ease — all during the driest summer on record!
The next-generation irrigation system ultimately installed at Österåkers Golfklubb pushed the boundaries of irrigation technology in Northern Europe. By collaborating closely with Course Manager Magnus Ljungman alongside the visionary professionals at Henrik Stenson Golf Design, Hunter provided a flexible and robust irrigation solution that could meet the complex challenges of the project and ensure a premier playing experience for golfers for years to come. Österåkers successfully debuted phase one of the course renovation in August 2019. The par-3 course is now open for play.