Take a look at some of the best golf courses in Italy, including the 2022 Ryder Cup course.
The Best Golf Courses In Italy
Thanks to the 2022 Ryder Cup heading to the country, and the rise of Francesco Molinari, Italy and golf have fast become a quality pair.
The incredible natural beauty and wonderful weather mean there are some truly outstanding golf courses, many of which we have included in the piece below.
Villa d'Este, set amongst chestnut, birch and pine forests, lays claim to being one of the most difficult par-69 layouts in Europe. The clubhouse has outstanding views over Lake Como.
Don't be fooled by its length! Six short holes combine with a couple of monster par 5s to make this a proper, but hugely enjoyable, test.
Verdura, close to the city of Agrigento, is arguably the jewel in the golfing crown of Sicily, with its two 18-hole Kyle Phillips-designed courses providing a wonderful test for golfers of all levels.
The renowned American architect also designed a wonderful par-3 nine-hole course here, perfect for honing your short-game skills.
After severe flooding, Phillips was brought in to do major renovations to both the East and West courses and they should open to much fanfare.
Verdura and Donnafugata are two of Sicily’s premier offerings, with two courses each on the west and south of the island respectively. But the Pìcciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa in the north-east offers a terrific test of golf in a wonderful setting at the foot of Mount Etna.
Its hilly landscape provides a varied test like no other on the island. Some would describe the course as quirky, with a number of blind tee shots and severe doglegs that weave through tight valleys, but it offers a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Circolo Golf Bogogno is set in the countryside between Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore, and boasts a splendid view of Monte Rose. Its two 18-hole courses are both characterised by sinuous ups and downs.
Circolo del Golf di Roma Acquasanta is the oldest golf course in Italy as it dates from 1903. In its early days its members were mainly British and American diplomats who are said to have laid out the course.
Arzaga Golf is located inside Palazzo Arzaga, a 15th-century mansion converted into one of the most prestigious golf and spa resorts in Europe. Both of its courses lie in a 144-acre estate in the hills facing Lake Garda.
The 18-hole course is a parkland layout with typical Jack Nicklaus II-style features, while the nine-hole layout is a Gary Player design.
Head down towards the south-east tip of the island and you’ll come across the delightful Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa with its Links and Parkland layouts, the latter of which is a Gary Player design.
But many regard the Links, designed by Franco Piras, as a more interesting test. A warm welcome is guaranteed and both courses offer an enjoyable challenge without being overly punishing, despite their numerous hazards.
Founded in 1924 and transferred to its current site in 1957, Golf Torino encompasses two courses, both characterised by mature trees fringing the holes and fairways, and natural water hazards comprising streams and small lakes.
Royal Park I Roveri
Just a short drive from the main airport in and a few miles from Turin's historic city centre, the beautiful and surprisingly peaceful I Roveri Golf Club is home to not one but two excellent courses.
The club dates back to 1971 and its name is Italian for The Oaks, in reference to the older of its two courses, which runs through stately specimen trees that were once part of a vast hunting estate. Robert Trent Jones Senior leant both his creative skills and his name to the original par-72 design, and it is a perfect blend of golfing examination and visual feast that will keep you entertained from start to finish.
The Ryder Cup will be played at the Marco Simone club in Guidonia, 17 miles north-east of central Rome. Marco Simone has an 18-hole championship course and a nine-hole layout, and is centred around a stunning 11th-century castle.
The Jim Fazio-designed course will undergo reconstruction for the Ryder Cup. “The plans are spectacular and run alongside the commitment to develop all levels of golf in Italy,” explains European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
This is a rare example of a top-drawer and beautiful course designed in the '50s. There is a dramatic backcloth of the Alps as well as streams, ponds, and rocky outcrops.
In glorious countryside 20 miles from Milan, this tough course features large greens that are difficult to read.
Olgiata, just outside Rome to the north-west, opened in 1962. It has 27 holes and it was here that in 1973 Tony Jacklin won the Italian Open, and where, in 2004, Ian Poulter did so. It has also hosted the World Cup.
The course, which dates from 2006, was designed by architect David Mezzacane and professional golfer Baldovino Dassu. The holes were then shaped by Brian Jorgensen.
The best stretch of holes comes on the front nine. The par-5 6th hole has its tees built up onto a steep hill giving a stunning view out towards the town of Orbetello.
The short par-4 7th is then Italy’s version of the 18th at TPC Sawgrass, with the 200-yard par-3 8th probably the hardest hole of all.
Notable Mentions: Milano, Pevero, Bergamo-L'Albenza, Venezia, Castelfalfi, Udine, Royal Golf La Bagnaia, Tanka Golf Villasimius, Puglia, Golf Nazionale, Is Arenas, Gardagolf, Poggio Dei Medici
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
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