Pirkkala expansion inspired by inclusion

Growing Golf
Pirkkala Golf,Tampere, Finland

Golf Pirkkala in Finland has announced plans to expand its facilities from 18 to 27 holes following rapid membership growth in juniors, women and seniors.

The project will futureproof the environment to welcome golfers of all ages and abilities - and will give greater commercial sustainability to the club, located near Tampere, Finland's second city.

Since opening in 2001, Pirkkala has developed the largest junior section in Finland with 500 members and 200 children involved in coaching programs.

“We already enjoy an excellent location, next to Tampere, and a quality golf course, but to be more sustainable in the long term, we must develop more high-quality playing space for our members,” said Markus Junni, Pirkkala's Managing Director.

“We want every player, regardless of age and skill, to find a suitable teeing area for a pleasant and challenging round of golf,” added Junni.

Lady golfer hits at Pirkkala Golf, Finland

Design firm Lobb + Partners have been appointed to masterplan a new nine-hole loop, which will be constructed on 30 hectares (75 acres) of newly acquired land bordering the Pirkkala estate.

Lobb + Partners has engaged Kari Haug, a Minnesota-based golf course architect with a passion for developing playable and inclusive golf courses, to join the project team.

Haug calls her approach ‘Playable Pathways,’ and says the new nine will be enjoyable for golfers who don’t hit the ball far.

“The course has to be open and inclusive for all the different body types who are going to play the golf course, so we will install forward tees to give everyone a choice of length to play.

"We will include rest stops along the way where needed, which is very important at Pirkkala, because the terrain is hilly,” Haug told Golf Business News.

Junni hopes to break ground this summer and believes the club’s expansion will also benefit the club’s members (shareholders) by enabling his team to provide more coaching, winter training and junior development activities.