Vanajanlinna Oy entrepreneur Pekka Vihma and Mika Walkamo began exploring the possibility of constructing a golf course near Vanajanlinna in 1999. As a meeting-oriented hotel, Vanajanlinna would have a low season, a stretch of 5 to 6 weeks from the Midsummer festival to early August, prompting the team to explore the possibility of providing additional services in order to make the hotel''s operations during the summer months more profitable. Out of various options, golf proved to be the best choice. Another nudge in this direction was provided by Vanajanlinna''s customers, several of whom had expressed a wish for golfing during meeting events. With other of Hämeenlinna''s golf courses operating at capacity, they were unable to provide sufficient teeing times, the only option left was to develop a new golf course. Following extensive exploratory work, Linna Golf Oy was established in 2002. The course covers over 100 hectares of land leased from the city of Hämeenlinna with a 50-year lease. The construction work started in March 2003, coming to completion on 3.6.2005.
The Linna Golf course was designed by Tim Lobb, at the time representing the award-winning European Golf Design agency. During the design process, a design competition for the design of fairway 15 was organised for the readers of Golf World, one of the most established magazines of its kind in Europe. The competition was the result of collaboration between Linna Golf, EGD and Golf World. What made this competition exceptional was that the winning design was actually implemented, in contrast to similarly organised golf fairway design competitions. The competition was published in Golf World in the November 2002 issue as a full spread story. The competition had around 1,000 applications from around the world with the designs coming from as far as New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
The design by a South African architecture student David Simpson was selected as the winner and implemented without any additional changes. Another full spread story on the implemented design and David''s on-site visit was published in the November 2004 issue of Golf World. For David Sampson, the competition turned out to be a Cinderella story, as EDG would hire him as a golf course architect in the spring of 2005.
The full course opened its doors to shareholders and guest players on August 1, 2005. Already by the first fall, the course was ranked among the best in Scandinavia. The course has proven highly popular among golfers with around 20,000 rounds of golf being played and well over 100 corporate events organised annually. Several international golf tournaments have been organised in Linna Golf, including the Finnish Open 2007, SK Golf Challenge 2009, European Amateur Championships 2010, European Amateur Team Championship 2014 and most recently the European Tour Properties Senior Classic 2017.
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