FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki Golf Club

Nov 1, 2010
2010 / November 2010

The Helsinki Golf Club, founded in 1932, is the oldest course in Finland. It is also the home of the Finnair Masters for the Women’s European Tour.

The course is only three miles from the center of Helsinki, located in Tali Manor Park, which most locals call “Tali.” Tali has hosted more championships than any other club in Finland, including the Finnish Amateur Championship each year. For the last four years, it has also hosted the Ladies European Tour competition. The course is classic parkland with a relatively flat layout and measures 6,374 yards from the tips. The greens are medium-sized and include small slopes which make them demanding and challenging. The course demands accurate tee shots and good distance control on approaches. There are no “bad” holes on the course, as each has its own ch

aracter. The course has always been considered harder than it looks, as proven on numerous occasions during tournament play.

I showed up as a lone traveler and teamed up with three Finnish golfers playing hooky from work — Markku, Reino and Teemu. They were kind enough to allow this wayward American to join their four-ball.


Hole 2 (413 yards, par 4)

This is a difficult hole as you have to drive a near-perfect ball to land near the narrow opening to the green. If you go right, like most players do, you will need to play through an elevated, wooded area which has to be cleared to make or get near the green. On this hole, Markku teed up and hit a ball directly left and out of bounds. He turned and scolded Reino and Teemu in Finnish. I then said, “Do you want to hit another?” He replied, “I see you understand Finnish!” The other two were talking during his back swing and it was obvious he was blaming them for his poor shot — the same translation in any language!

I did not pay attention to the suggestions of the group and drove my ball right. I was lucky enough to make it through the wooded area; then I chipped up to the slightly elevated green. Two bunkers flank the right and left sides of the green and often catch wild shots.

Hole 4 (530 yards, par 5)

Ranked as the most difficult hole on the course, the trouble here involves both the length and the narrow shoot you need to clear on your second shot. Markku told me to place my drive center right. I chose to drive the ball slightly right, which appeared to be too far for a clean second shot. When we approached my ball, I was able to muscle a mid-iron to get me into play before a beautiful 4-iron shot to the green. The others struggled with a narrow spot on the fairway. Reino knocked his ball in the woods, which I miraculously found. My ball, on the green, offered me a birdie putt of 15 feet, which I made, impressing my new friends.

Hole 5 (393 yards, par 4)

From the tee box, you can clearly see the three traps that are lined up one after the other on the right side of the hole. As the hole turns slightly left and uphill, these three traps are ready to catch your drive. We all favored the left side; Teemu landed directly in the first trap and Markku landed in the high rough in between. My drive luckily landed and kicked right on the fairway, near the second trap. As my colleagues struggled, I hit an iron shot, landing just off the left side of the elevated green. From here, I chipped and two-putted for a five.

Hole 9 (165 yards, par 3)

This is a peaceful and serene hole and really should not be difficult. A simple straight shot to the center of the green will put you in scoring position. A trap lies directly in front of the green and another slightly left to catch balls that come up short. Our entire foursome played this hole like beginners. I pulled my ball left, missing the creek and landing in a flowerbed 30 yards from the green. Markku lost his ball in the water and Reino found the front trap. Only Teemu landed near the green and chipped on, saving par. The rest of us had higher numbers.

Hole 10 (323 yards, par 4)

You can’t cut too much off of this dogleg; it turns too sharply left and is blocked by dense trees which will suck up your ball. I had a nice drive and probably could have been a little more left, but was pleased with my position. There are two traps that catch those slicing off the tee box, making par almost impossible. Still about 150 yards from the green, I took out a mid-iron and landed on the back of the green, avoiding the forward bunker guarding the right side.

Hole 11 (335 yards, par 4)

This is a tricky hole, and we all laughed at Teemu’s tee shot, so I figure it is worth sharing the story. Both Markku and I drove our balls a little too far and off the fairway on this dogleg right. We still had a shot to the green and we both wedged ourselves to putting positions. Teemu decided he was going to cut the corner on this dog and, in doing so, slammed into about five trees before bouncing back into play. His next shot went back into the woods where there was a little old lady walking her dog. (I thought for sure the shot killed the dog, but it was just rolling around playing in the woods.) The green is tucked away on the right side with a small trap on the left. I tapped in my second putt, walking away with par.

Hole 12 (509 yards, par 5)

I never saw the fairway on this hole, but I was on the green trying to putt for par at the end. It really should not be difficult, but this hole is ranked as the No. 2 most difficult on the course. Honestly, there is plenty of room to drive to an excellent position, but I decided to pull my ball left among some trees. My next shot got me in position to get back in the game with a perfect 3-wood landing 100 yards from the green. I was so busy with my game, I was unable to help the others as they struggled looking for their errant shots. My trusty sand wedge got me on the green in four, about 10 feet from the pin. Markku lost a ball on the left side that scrambled past the path into the woods. My putt missed by an inch, carding a six on this par 5. Not bad, considering the start.

Hole 13 (224 yards, par 3)

This hole was a complete disaster, as I had to re-tee after shanking my drive left into the wooded, brambled area. The next shot left me with a chip to the green, where I was able to catch both traps on successive shots. Not really a difficult hole if you can cleanly pace a 220 shot from the green, but it turned out to be my nemesis.

 

Helsinki Golf Club

Talin Kartano
00350 Helsinki, Finland
tel 358 9 2252 3710

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 18, 2024

New Things Are in Store in Loire Valley, France

With the Summer Olympics in Paris this year, there are plenty of reasons to visit France. Consider a trip to the Loire Valley, offering new experiences for travelers in 2024.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Daily
Jun 18, 2024

Avani Hotels Debuts in the Netherlands with Avani Museum Quarter Amsterdam

Avani Hotels & Resorts, the upscale lifestyle brand of Minor Hotels, further expands into Europe with the opening of Avani Museum Quarter Amsterdam. Situated within a refurbished, mid-century building in the center of the city’s museum district, the 163-room property sits canal-side and offers a tranquil stay for both leisure and business travelers.

Daily
Jun 17, 2024

5 Hotel Rooftop Pools for Sunbathing This Summer

Beat the heat this summer with a visit to one of these hotels boasting fabulous rooftop pools.

Explore Gyeonggi Province in South Korea

Gyeonggi Province, encircling Seoul, offers seamless travel with access to two major airports and a well-connected transportation system. It boasts top-notch MICE facilities, like KINTEX and Suwon Convention Center, along with a wide array of international-branded and resort-style hotels spread across its 31 cities and counties. Visitors can explore rich historical sites, including UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites like the DMZ and Suwon Hwaseong Fortress.

Daily
Jun 17, 2024

QC New York Spa on Governors Island Expands Guest Offerings

Who knew heaven was just a five-minute ferry journey from central Manhattan? On Governor’s Island, spa questers can escape the city and embrace a day of wellness and relaxation at QC New York’s Italian-themed Spa of Wonders. This July, guests can to enjoy the property’s new, 15,000-square-foot addition, which will include Casa QC — a bistro with seating for 142 and a menu of Italian-inspired treats. Menu items include a selection of artisanal gelatos and Taralli crackers with aged pecorino cheese. The new eatery will supplement the existing Flora Café.

Daily
Jun 13, 2024

Taste of Iceland Tour Heads for Seattle

The 2024 Taste of Iceland Tour through North America wraps up this year with stops in a selection of major American cities. A multiday immersion into the culture, food and music of Iceland, tour stops also feature Icelandic experts happy to share the multitude of reasons why this fascinating island nation should be at the top of every traveler’s dream list. And if you’re concerned about the recent volcanic activity, don’t be. Just as travelers to Hawai’i have become accustomed to occasional volcanic phenomenon, those who journey to Iceland can embrace the knowledge they’re witness to the ongoing creation of one of the world’s youngest land masses.

Welcome to Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro

Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro, operated by Aimbridge LATAM, opened its doors, welcoming guests to one of the most iconic and traditional properties in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Boasting 229 rooms and suites, the hotel, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, is ready for discerning travelers. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel franchise company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in more than 95 countries.

Airlines
Jun 13, 2024

Fly to These Summer Destinations with JSX

JSX, known for its 5-star, hop-on jet service, is set to relaunch its seasonal summer route to Taos (TSM) June 28 with flights from Dallas (DAL) and Denver/Boulder (BJC).