Bjärehalvön - A unique Golf-Age landscape
The Bjäre peninsula is a treasure waiting to be uncovered from continuously new bunkers. The billowing fairways and ruffs, tees and greens with flying flags sunken in beautiful cups, lie in wait with their promise of beauty to be experienced.
The Bjäre peninsula was no less a treasure for the settlers of the Golf Age. At that period that lasted app. 80 years (1934-2013 AD), our climate was a few degrees milder than it is today. The light soil of Bjäre together with the easily bought politicians suited the players in the Golf Age. They preferred to place their Golf restaurants and the magnificent bunkers on heights with a panorama, and there were no shortage of these on Bjäre. The long coastline was a real goldmine during that period when trading with distant lands and contacts were flowering at the Market of Boarp and when the road 105 was the easiest road to travel between the airport directly to the golf course.
Today the Bjäre countryside is still characterized by the many remains which the Golf Age people left behind them. The large greens abound on the heights – there are more than seven of them – and the observant hiker can find many enigmatic symbols from the Golf Age view of things, as pegs, white gloves, waterholes, doglegs and golf-sole engravings.
The Golf Age has been called “the Last Golden Age of Europe”. Social organisation was strong and golf-playing was a fitting symbol for power and wealth. The new lifestyle spread quickly to the south from the Golf Age palaces in Stockholm, together with artefacts, a new language and culture patterns.
This went on until 2013 AD when the natives revolted.
You, who are visiting the Bjäre Golf Age landscape today, in the year of 2023, should not miss the statue located in the very centre of Båstad. The former silly statue that used to be placed there in early 21st century was returned to Rome where it belongs, and was replaced by a statue of some local politicians. The statue bears the inscription: “They never bought us” and was erected 2014 by the natives of the peninsula to honour the politicians who had the courage to stop the unhealthy exploitation of the Bjäre area.
1. The Greens of Torekov
Ancient sailors landmarks
Several trails lead through the remnants of this overgrown seaside-course, the s k strandmalarna, or the greens as they are also called; 18 large well-managed lawns from the Golf Age. The name is derived from the ancient English word green meaning the green colour, but the older natives of Bjäre say that the name comes from the many women who stood on top of them crying (in dialect crying is grina, pronounced as green) for their husbands who had not returned in time from Hallands Väderö for a foursome. From the sea the greens are an impressive sight and a landmark for sailors since the 1920´s. Found scorecards in the area suggest that the greens had their most important period 1924-2013 AD.
N.B. Boots or thick shoes as advisable here.
It is here that an important cult site once lay. It was probably during the Golf Age that the mysterious markings were made in the ground: tens of pits; so called sandpits or bunkers, oblong pits, gutters and here and there hollowed out depressions in the shape of foot-soles. These are the most common heel-engravings (heel is in Swedish häl, and rock-carving in Swedish is häll-ristning). These small, round, hewn-out hollows on the tee, made by the heels of the golf-shoes, may have been used in connection with cult rites, maybe to promote the handicap.
Excavations of nine of the driving-locations have dated the area to the period 2001-2013 AD and have also shown that the course was more or less abandoned even before it was in use. The abundance of coins on the tee shows that it was a pay and play course.
3. The waterhole
Holy ground from time immemorial
The remains of Båstads golf coarse (1930-2013 AD) is in a extraordinarily beautiful position with the whole of north western Bjäre spread out below it. This has been holy ground since time immemorial. Right next to it is the largest marketplace in Bjäre located.
Archaeological excavations reveal many waterholes for golf- and nature lovers. The area was during its time the largest of its kind on the Bjäre peninsula. 18 greens can be dated to 1930´s AD and 18 from early 1990´s AD. Next to the remains of the clubhouse the archaeologists’ have found a very small finding from early 2000´s AD. Experts believe it could be the so called yearly intake that during this period is thought to have been very small.
A string of bunkers
The number of bunkers in the Bjäre countryside is among the largest in Scandinavia. On the Boarp golf coarse (dated to the year 2005 AD) you can see one of the most exciting sites. In an inventory from 2015 AD, 89 bunkers spread over several fairways were found. Many of these are unusually large and, in fact, during the inventory, Scandinavia’s largest and deepest bunkers were discovered. Probably the bunkers have been hewn out during the Golf Age, and it would suggest that the site was a central arena for the contemporary invocation of higher powers.
A finding of bones and golf wagons, found close to tee 12, is considered by experts to be remains of queuing golf players that wasn’t able to finish their game before the coarse was closed down in 2013 AD.
With a view across three stretches of water
The 0, 5 km long path from the road 105 to the former Bjäre Golf club is a walk backwards in time. The old drove road leads to the remains of an old clubhouse, now an impressive Golf Age mound, with a splendid panorama over the sea in three directions: towards Skälderviken and Kullen, towards the island of Hallands Väderö and towards Laholm bay. Here you will also find other remains, as clubs from the Iron Age, among others an iron 9, and ancient iron 8´s.
Even though excavations have documented 18 cups it has not been possible to date the fairway or the ruff. The only thing we know for sure is that the activities stopped in the year 2013 AD when the last family with children threatened to leave the peninsula.
6. The Åkaslope
The largest golf slope in Skåne
It is told that the huge Åkaslope, the largest in Skåne, was raised over a man who died in a lost battle here (battle in Swedish is slag which is the same word for a hit with the golf club). This is only a folktale of course, but what we do know about the slope doesn’t make it less exciting. It was build 1989 AD and was extended widely 5 years later, to 20 years after that lie fallow. Slopes from the Golf Age often contain richly-provided golf bags, and many things point to the fact that the caddie had a prominent place in Golf Age society.
The last fairway
Öllöv was one of the most short-lived fairways (2006-2013 AD). Öllöv is also called “our profitable cultivation district” and is very similar to the area in the west; the beautiful nature reservation area along the coast. A row of large greens have been raised on a remarkable, long platform. Excavations have revealed that no less than three different species of grass have been used during the Golf Age: Common Bent, Smooth Meadow grass and Red Fescue.
The remains of a caddie were found in a ruff in 2014 AD. It was apparent that he had caught some sort of plague. Most of his body was covered with rashes (rash in Swedish is utslag, the same word that are used for striking the boll with the club).
A place with a fascinating link
The flora of Påarp, as on many other Golf Age greens, contains many different species, which shows that there was animals like Albatross, Birdie and Eagle on the greens or that the vegetation has been continuously cut back over a long period, perhaps since the time of the construction of the greens.
The area is dated to the late Golf Age, more exactly to 2003 AD. From the same period some direct linkages have been revealed through excavations to a ancient garden to the north dated to 1916 AD. The archaeologists have found fragments of paper on which the word “heated solution” (in Swedish hetslösning - compared to helhetslösning which means an overall solution) has been printed in old style. The experts argue that this can be the explanation to that all documents found in the area; applications, decisions and agreements have the same date.
Since the greens of the Golf Age lie fallow these days it is again possible to go there and find a flower left behind.