Golf in Norway – A Sport Suitable for All

Golf is suitable for everyone from the
age of 5 until 100, as long as you can walk. The Norwegian Golf federation organization
consultant Martin Dølerud notes that the oldest member of the club he worked
for was 102 years old. And there were a couple of people over 90 years.

For most
golfers it is just a leisure activity, though there are a few people who take
the sport more seriously spending a lot of time on the course. In Martin’s
opinion, the golf course is therefore a good place for socializing and getting
away from home.

Not a Sport for Just Rich People

golf was a sport recognized as suitable for the upper class, because there were
very few courses, most of which were in the wealthier parts of towns. This has
turned around since the 1980s with a new vision of golf – sport for everyone –
even though there are still some people who think it is only for wealthy people.

Martin Dølerud
confirms this changing trend emphasising that they welcome everybody as long as
there is a desire to learn the sport. Martin also notes that there is nothing
special to do in order to play golf in Norway. You either can be a member of
golf club or enroll in Pay and Play courses where you don’t have to be a
member. However, the latter are not so well established in Norway yet, according
to Dølerud.

Want to play golf in

If you
played golf before coming to Norway then it is easy to start up here. You just
need to talk to a club representative in your area. If you are going to stay in
Norway for a long time and consider that you will play often, it is better to
become a member of one of the clubs. The clubs usually offer different types of
membership cards according to your preferences and needs.

If you have
not played golf before but just want to start as a beginner, you need to take a
course called “Veien til Golf” (Way to Golf). It is a 12-hour
practical course. Most of the course time is spent on the field.

There is a
short time spent on learning the theory, etiquette and game rules (which
sometimes seem to be a bit complicated) but actually you don’t need to know all
of them when you start playing. Yet, the rules regarding the care of the
course, safety issues and communication with other players have an important
place in this introductory training which is organized by the clubs.

The Further, The Cheaper

There is a
web page where you can look at the Google-map and see the closest
courses to your location. Dølerud points out the possible price differences
among the clubs. The cost depends on the facilities on offer at the club as
well as the level you want or need to play at. Some of the clubs let you start
training on the main course, while some provide training on a small 9-hole

  • Under
    any circumstance, playing golf in Norway is not as expensive as most people
    think. In recent research conducted in
    Norway, it showed that alpine skiing, handball and going to the gym can be more
    expensive than playing golf, says Dølerud.

golf can be really affordable if you want to play it as a hobby and live near a
golf course. For example in Oslo, there
are about 40-50 golf courses within a 2-hour drive with about 15 to 20 courses
within half an hour radius. So there are plenty of options for where you can go
and play. But Dølerud notes that the prices are higher in the city than in the
countryside. The membership prices vary from 500 to 10 000 NOK per year,
depending on what is included in the price.

To cut
expenditure at the beginning, Dølerud advises to buy a used set of golf clubs.
After gaining some experience, you can purchase a new one where you will find
numerous alternatives suitable for every budget.

The Golf Federation and
Norway in the International Golf Scene.
The main
job of the Federation is in developing relationships with the golf clubs to enable
them to run their business well, but of course that means determining what the
golfers want. So there can be a misunderstanding about the Federation’s
position. The golfers are members of the clubs, golf clubs are members of the
Golf Federation, and the Federation is a member of the Norwegian Sport
Federation. Most of the activities are directed towards the clubs.

Federation is responsible for arranging international tournaments in Norway.
For example, the Norwegian Challenge is held each year. There are PGA tours in
America, which are top level tournaments, there are regional tours like the
European Tour, which are second level, and Challenge tours which are the third
level in the world ranking. The Norwegian Challenge is a way to get on to the
European tour, so if you have a rank above 20 in Norway you are entitled to
enter the European tour. There are Norwegian Challenge tours for men and Ladies
Access series for women. The most famous and successful Norwegian golfer is Suzann
Pettersen who is number 6 now in the world ranking. There are no men golfers on
the PGA tour today, Henrik Bjørnstad used to be there before he retired.

This year
on September 7-9 Suzann Pettersen organized the Suzann Pro Challenge charity
golf tournament in Oslo, which included a Pro Am Tournament, a charity dinner
in partnership with the Right to Play organization, and a Pro Challenge
tournament with four of the world’s best female golfers. There is also a Pink
Cup tournament which is played each year and whose aim is to attract money for
breast cancer research. The golf clubs organizing this tournament donate all
the money they collect to the Norwegian Cancer Federation. Last year it collected
just over a million kroner from this tournament. Of course there are a lot of
non-professional golf tournaments carried out throughout the year. All of these
are another way to popularise the game in Norway.

Norwegian golf at the Olympic Games 2016

1904 was
the last time golf was accepted as a sport at the Olympic Games so the
Norwegian Golf Federation is excited that it will be back in 2016. Each country
can send only 4 golfers to the competition, 2 men and 2 women. The Federation
have 2 women and 1 man ready to be sent to the next Olympics. They are now running
a project called Team Rio-2016 where there are 8 professional players, who are
supported financially and logistically in order to help them train for the
Games. The Federation’s goal is to have a complete four-player team ready by

There are a
few amateur players, both male and female, who have the potential to become
very good professional golfers so the main effort is directed towards them. The
Federation helps them with the equipment and organizational issues and this
helps them in their bid to turn into professional golfers. Most of them play
golf as a hobby so they must work, and it is not easy to fit in the training
but the Federation tries to help them in this. It is a long-term project as it
takes a lot of time to become a real professional player. The Federation
believes there is still plenty of time to do just that.

Martin Dølerud info:
playing golf in 1999 and has played golf ever since. He started working at the
golf course from almost day one. Within a couple of months the golf club was
initiated and he was there until it had a functional 9-hole golf course. He later
started to work for the Norwegian Golf Federation in March 2010 until today. He considers himself an amateur golfer who loves
to play golf because it is fun plus he likes to be in natural areas.

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