Italian golf is on the up right now as the country looks forward to hosting the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2022

Italian Golf Season Set for Stylish Finale in Milan

The Italian Open returns next month and it is set to be the most lucrative yet.

The tournament’s prize fund of €3m has doubled in recent years and is set to be a massive €7m in 2017 as the build-up gathers pace ahead of Italy hosting the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2022.

Golf Club Milano will host the Italian Open for the eighth time when the 73rd edition of the championship comes round from September 15-18.

The tournament is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on tour. It’s taken place since 1925 and has been part of the European Tour’s schedule every year since the tour was formed back in 1972.

Italian Golf

Golf Club Milano

Related: Rikard Karlberg beats Martin Kaymer to 2015 Italian Open

Recent winners of the title include European Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter (twice), Graeme McDowell and Francesco Molinari.

Then going back, the likes of Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss, Sam Torrance and Bernhard Langer have all lifted the Italian Open trophy.

This year’s line-up is set to feature Masters champion Danny Willett, Martin Kaymer, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Lee Westwood and Rafael Cabrera Bello.

Italian number one Francesco Molinari, his brother Edoardo and Matteo Manassero will lead the home challenge.

Italian golf is certainly booming right now.

With the Italian Golf Federation playing a leading role under the leadership of president Franco Chimenti, and helped by the launch this year of the new Italy Golf & More project, Italy has strengthened its position as it aims to become one of Europe’s top golf destinations.

Italian golf

The numbers are certainly looking good. The amount of international green fee bookings has risen by more than 20 per cent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Bruno Bertero, project co-ordinator for Italy Golf & More, said: “These are exciting times for golf in Italy, and this year’s Italian Open is forecast to break all sorts of records for the tournament, including for the number of people attending.

“The substantial increase in prize money this year and next will help to raise the profile further in Europe, and introduce a far wider audience to the many benefits of playing golf in Italy.”

Related: Italy now a major player for UK&I golf breaks

Golfers can take advantage of outstanding value on stay-and-play packages when visiting next month’s Italian Open – with four-night packages starting from just €357 (approx £300) per person.

As well as including entry to the tournament each day, the range of breaks include four nights’ bed and breakfast at a choice of hotel accommodation around Lake Como and two rounds of golf per person at eight of the leading courses in the area including Villa d’Este, Castelconturbia, Menaggio, Le Robinie and Bogogno.