As part of the American Club’s mission, strengthening the bonds between the United States and Sweden, it is natural that we reflect on and appreciate the differences between the two countries.
As early as our first year, 1905, the Club was hosting events that focused on topics of the times as well as recurring aspects of American and Swedish life. In 2011 the Club consolidated several other speaking programs into a series that continues to explore these subjects and provide an open forum for discourse.
Intercultural Forums (since 2011)
We are very excited about the future of this series and welcome suggestions for topics, speakers or other ideas or questions you may have. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Our annual Club golf event is the second longest running in Sweden and draws a broad range of players, spectators and sponsors. In 2013 the tournament was dedicated in memoriam to our President Emeritus, we welcome our members and their guests to:
The American Club of Sweden’s
Gunnar V.H. Rasmussen Golf Challenge
In 1961 The American Club of Sweden Golf Challenge was started with a single cup for gross score (stroke play) sponsored by Pan American Airlines. Continued today the cups have grown to include:
- Club Champion with the best gross score (strokeplay);
- Best Stableford result;
- Best Net score (strokeplay) and
- Best Ladies score (Stableford).
In addition, the usual best drive competition is awarded in honor of our late long-time member, golf enthusiast and tournament organizer for many years, Margaretha Isaacsson.
Golf grew in Sweden in the mid 1900’s and The American Club of Stockholm (so-called at the time) had many golfers and regularly scheduled golf outings. Started as a tournament for members only, guests have been invited over the years. Golf is the excuse for the day but in many years there have been charity causes and parties following the Challenge that lasted long into the night. There is one written account of participants partying until there was enough light again (easy in a Swedish summer!) to play another round of golf in the morning before going home!
The tournament lasts uninterrupted to this day and as such it is the second longest running tournament in Sweden and carries both the cups and traditions bearing this long legacy.
Read more about the history of the tournament in the cover story on the Challenge’s 50th Anniversary from the Club News Bulletin in February 2010.
A more updated and complete list of the course and cup winner history can be found here. To learn about the tournament’s namesake since 2013, see our page on Gunnar V.H. Rasmussen.
The American Club of Sweden has numerous events each year. Some of the closest held and longest running traditions are:
- Third Thursday – A mingle and networking event held each month (excluding July), on the Third Thursday of the month. Started in January 2006, these quickly became a trademark event and regular meeting place for members and guests as well as a way to introduce the Club to perspective applicants for membership. These events are at the heart of the Club’s traditions from 1862 and 1905, and enshrined in Club bylaws, where Article VI, Section 1 states, “The Club should strive to meet at least once every month between September 1st and June 30th.”
- April 3rd Club Birthday 1905/Amity & Commerce Treaty Anniversary 1783 – The American Club was founded by Gustav Gullberg and a group of others at Hotel Continental in Central Stockholm (see Club History), and a treaty between the U.S. and Sweden, was signed in Paris by Benjamin Franklin and Gustaf Philip Creutz
- July 4th/Independence Day – The American Colonies’ Declaration of Independence was dated July 4th, 1776 and since that date there have been annual celebrations in the United States and by Americans, their communities and supporters around the world. The American Club of Sweden has long held events, at times in cooperation with the United States Embassy in Sweden. After September 11th, 2001, the American Club celebrations took a hiatus. After a few years the tradition was revitalized and an annual picnic with festivities, games, flags and singing the National Anthem is now a favorite for members and friends of the Club.
- Thanksgiving – As one of the first documented Club events in the early 1900’s, with speeches, song and famous guests, this holiday and celebrating it are deeply engrained in the Club’s history. In the first decade of the 2000’s the observance was transformed into a service opportunity where Club volunteers prepare and serve commonly eaten Thanksgiving foods for a transitional/homeless shelter. Each year it has been held has been incredibly well received by all involved.
- Intercultural Forums – Read more about the history and our recent series here.
- Cultural – Arts and performing arts in all forms
- Golf Challenge – Golf grew in Sweden in the mid 1900’s and by 1964 The American Club of Stockholm (so-called at the time) started a tournament that lasts uninterrupted to this day. As such it is the second longest running tournament in Sweden and carries cups and tradition bearing this long legacy. Read more about the Club’s Golf Challenge and make sure to get involved!
There are many other strong traditions, some no longer active, including:
- Black tie/formal – Gala dinner dances and other festivities are intertwined in Club history
- Embassy – Numerous Embassy traditions are open to Club invitation and Embassy staff are offered complimentary membership and frequently participate at Club events.
- Seasonal/Holiday Events – Halloween, Santa Clause, Easter Egg Hunts and more, the American Club hosts or cooperates with other organizations on events tied to season, holiday or both.
- Speakers – From U.S. Presidents and First Ladies to cultural, popular, scientists, politicians, media, experts, historically significant and other figures have spoken to Club members in various contexts.
- Sports – Watching U.S. and Swedish sporting events has been a pastime of the Club for many decades if not since the beginning of the Club itself. The most consistent event watched together by the Club is the Super Bowl (American Football championship game, now held in early February each year). Numerous other events including World Cup Soccer/Football, Olympics, professional and collegiate sports draw crowds of Club members to favorite establishments and occasionally private watch parties.
- Tours – Museums, tastings, districts/areas (i.e. Gamla Stan, Drottningholm, etc.).
- Saint Lucia Day – In the 1990’s a Lucia Luncheon became traditional in The Grand Hotel Hall of Mirrors (Spegelsalen). This venue had long been used by the Club including to host Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 2008 the Club event was quietly visited by that year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature and his wife. For several years a VIP mingle at the annual Lucia concert at Globen was held and other holiday celebrations, which have for the time being been merged into the Third Thursday event in December of each year.
- Luncheons – These were a pre-founding tradition tributed to the Club’s roots. Later as a mainstay for speakers and other purposes they were held by the Club for many years. While these are not actively being held at writing, of course informal or organizational luncheons do occur!
For more on the history of the Club, please consult the history pages here.