A round of golf on the Kuusamo Petäjäkangas Golf Course also gives a short glimpse of Kuusamo’s wilderness and the interesting history of the Petäjäkangas area.
In addition, the course is the highest altitude golf course in Finland (more than 260m above sea level). It is also one of the most northern golf courses in the world with a possibility to play under the midnight sun.
The front nine takes the player on a tour through Kuusamo’s recent history.
The back nine is built in an area where the German troops situated in Northern Finland during the Continuation War had their maintenance and supply centre. In different parts of Kuusamo the German Army built a multitude of different storage buildings and lodgings, even prisoner-of-war camps and a hospital. German commandant’s office was located at Nilonkangas, about one kilometer from the golf course towards the city centre. Mainly storage buildings, lodgings and a prisoner-of-war camp were located in the Petäjäkangas area.
Pits that can be seen in the area are mainly fox-holes and foundations for storage buildings but also remains of trenches and dug-ins can be found. A German light trench railroad called Kenttärata from Suomussalmi via Taivalkoski led to the main maintenance and supply centre which was located approximately 10km south of Kuusamo in Vanttaja and Sänkikangas. The trench railroad was built for the most part by POWs captured by the German Army but also by local civilians. Vanttaja boasted a number of services and different types of entertainment for the troops returning from the front. These included canteens and even a cinema which welcomed civilians from Kuusamo as well.
The back nine is situated in the foresty part of the course, thus, aptly named Karhunkierros (Bear Track) after the most famous nature trail in Finland. The holes are mainly named after some of the well-known sights one might see on the Karhunkierros Trail with the exception of hole 17.