Great Northern, located in the Central Denmark town of Kerteminde, is now open for play, offering a world-class golf experience by Nicklaus Design. The global golf course design firm founded by Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as the world’s leading design firm, with more than 410 golf courses in 44 countries and 39 U.S. states.
Prior to this week’s grand opening of Great Northern, Nicklaus Design also recently celebrated the opening of the Royal Blue course at Baha Mar in The Bahamas. The debut of the long-awaited Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course marks the firm’s continued growth, with projects now open in two countries new to the firm.
Great Northern is setting out to host some of the largest international tournaments, while also creating an open and dynamic clubhouse community. The hallmarks of Denmark’s newest golf course are that it is challenging for the most skilled golfers, inviting and playable for the less-experienced, and fun for everyone. The layout is locally anchored but it has great international potential, welcoming keen golfers from near and far.
Søren Hansen, Great Northern’s Head of Instruction, says visitors can expect a very special golf experience. As a touring professional for many years, Hansen has tested his skills on many of the world’s most acclaimed courses. Hansen puts Great Northern in the same league.
“The special aspects of this course are the relative positions of the holes; the rhythm of the game; the open spaces that still give the sense of small enclosed areas; and especially the high quality, in general,” Hansen said. “This all helps to create a unique golf experience that previously could only be found abroad—but is now available right here in Kerteminde. Visually, the course looks challenging, but in reality, it is very fun and rewarding to play.”
The Nicklaus Design effort was led by Dirk Bouts, a Senior Design Associate who oversees the firm’s work throughout Europe.
“It was clear from the start that this was going to be a special project,” said Bouts, who has been with Nicklaus Design for 26 years, “and only the best would do. Hopefully, we were able to deliver this.”
Bouts added that he and the team took great care in maximizing the beautiful existing terrain and features. At the same time, they had to take into account the significant winds that become a factor with golf in that region and can change the personality and playability of the course on a daily basis.
“There is plenty of ‘drama’ to enjoy at the higher section of the golf course around the hill, where you can see the sea,” Bouts added. “The lower section is set within the wetlands and we created water features that are spectacular to look at and that add a level of joy to the golf experience.
“The construction was first-class. Attention to detail was second to none throughout the whole project. As an example, I have never been involved in a golf course where we installed that many wooden bulkheads and bridges, and even wooden cascades. The end result of that commitment is truly spectacular and sets the course apart from others. It has been a true pleasure to be part of this project. It serves as a great example of what can be achieved when everybody works together.”
Great Northern is for everyone
Even though its ambition is to be on a par with the best courses in the world, Great Northern is not just for elite golfers, according to CEO Søren Vadmand.
“Golf is a social sport that young people, older people, experienced players and new beginners can enjoy together,” Vadmand said. “Great Northern has the ambition to be a world-class golf course that is challenging for experienced golfers, while also encouraging and captivating beginners to get them interested and make them want to play a round.
“We also consider it vital to ensure an active, open and energetic clubhouse community, which can serve as a meeting point for everyone. We have a really fantastic setting, and we want both the course and the clubhouse to be the place to meet before, during and after an enjoyable round of golf.”
Great Northern is owned by Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, who decided to have the course created on the basis of his great enthusiasm for the sport.
“With Great Northern, we wish to create a unique course where locals and visitors, elite golfers and new beginners, can play side-by-side in a relaxed atmosphere,” Kristiansen said. “Our inspiration is some of the very best courses in the world, as well as Kerteminde’s beautiful countryside, and on this basis, we have created a course that is fun to play for everyone—both experienced golfers and new beginners. I hope that local residents in Kerteminde, as well as keen golfers in Denmark and from all over the world, will enjoy this course and help to make Great Northern a natural gathering spot for some great golf and enjoyable social interaction.”
In addition to the 18-hole golf course, open to members and daily-fee players, Great Northern also has a training course, a 9-hole course, a restaurant, and 15 hotel rooms. Later, a spa and wellness center will be added to the property’s amenities.
Great Northern www.greatnorthern.dk
For more information on the Nicklaus Companies and Nicklaus Design, please visit nicklaus.com