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In 2023, Italy will host its first Ryder Cup at a course located just 10 miles from Rome near the historic town of Tivoli - Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
The course opened in 1989, but its wholly different now thanks to a redesign that began in 2018 courtesy of European Golf Design and Tom Fazio II (son of the course's original designer, Jim), with the work finally completed in 2021 to include longer holes and more bunkers.
The club was named host of the Italian Open in 1994, 2021 and 2022, but it was in 2015 that it really came to prominence. That was when it won the bid to host the 2023 Ryder Cup. The main course (there is also a nine-hole resort course at the location) is a par-72 effort that benefits greatly from the natural beauty of its surroundings - namely, the rolling Italian countryside.
There are undulations and plenty of water for even the most confident player to think about, as well as a generous number of bunkers guarding its immaculate greens. Meanwhile, the course has some challenging elevation changes, with some greens perched high above the fairways. There are hints at the country’s history, too, as exemplified by the 1,000 year-old tower of Marco Simone’s castle on the first hole. Players are also treated to incredible views of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican from several of its tees.
The course won’t challenge players from a length perspective, but the wind that regularly blows could throw a spanner in the works when battle recommences in the Ryder Cup. So could the closing stretch, which is tailor made for matchplay golf. The devilish par-3 16th precedes a drivable par-4 and a dogleg par-5 finisher that features a water hugging the green on the left-hand side. Expect fireworks if there are a lot of games that come down to the wire.
Generally, the par-3s are a real strength of the course, while one of the defences are the large, undulating greens, which have the potential to make players look a little silly.
Members of the public are able to play the course, with green fees ranging between €50 and €200 depending on what time of the week you play and whether you're playing as a guest of a member. There are a range of membership options, too, with fees ranging from €550 for eight to 12 year-olds and €7,000 for business membership. There are also options to play as part of a company day.
Who Owns Marco Simone Golf And Country Club?
Fashion and home furnishings designer Laura Biagotti owns Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, which she and her husband Gianni Cigna opened in 1989. The club is built on 150 hectares and features a total of 27 holes.
Which Tournaments Has Marco Simone Golf And Country Club Hosted?
Marco Simone Golf and Country Club was named host of the Italian Open in 1994, 2021 and 2022. However, in 2015 it gained more exposure when it was named as the venue for the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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