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italy: Accommodations - Golf - Other Activities

Italy Golf

It may seem strange to see travelers lugging golf bags through the bustling airports of Rome and Milan. Tourists the world over are attracted to Italy for widely diverse reasons…world-renowned art, architecture, fashion, museums, galleries, cathedrals, operas, ancient ruins, fine wines, irresistible cuisine…but golf?

Though there are just under 300 courses in all of Italy, golf is definitely on the rise in this seductive land. And one can well argue that after several days spent pursuing Italy’s more cerebral attractions, a day on the golf course is a perfect way to relax.

While golf is played in most parts of Italy, the two prime areas are Tuscany and the areas around Lakes Como, Garda and Maggiore.

le robinie
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus
Par 72, 6745 yards

In the early nineties Jack Nicklaus found 175 acres of level ground between the hills of Olgiate and Solbiate Olona. Here he created a masterpiece of hills, terraces, bunkers and lakes, all unmistakably the mark of the Golden Bear. There are more than 100 of his courses throughout the world, but Le Robinie is the only one in Italy and is considered one of the best and most challenging in continental Europe.


Designed by: Robert Von Hagge
36 holes
par 72, 6780 yards and par 72, 6749 yards

Designed by Robert von Hagge, the Circolo Golf Bogogno stretches over two championship, 18-hole, courses on 540 acres of natural terrain that includes woods, lakes and a majestic view over Monte Rosa. The American-style Conte course has big lakes and wide-open fairways, while the hillier Bonora is set amidst wilder countryside of woodland and flowing streams.


Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr.
Three par 36 layouts at 3395, 3130, 3145 yards

The original golf course at Castelconturbia was designed in 1898. The present layout was designed and carried entirely by Robert Trent Jones Sr. The spot is ideal, set among age-old trees, streams and ponds, over slightly undulating ground.

Castelconturbia blends magnificently with the unspoiled rural countryside and with Monte Rosa as a backdrop. The club offers one of the most interesting layouts in continental Europe, offering 27 holes over three courses – the Chestnuts, the Pines and the Oaks. Castelconturbia has twice hosted the Italian Open, in 1991 and 1998, and in 2003 was named Best Golf Course in Italy.


Designed by: J.D. Harris
par 70, 5966 yards

In 1907 John Wyatt, son and heir of a wealthy British subject, moved to Lombardy. He organized a makeshift 9-hole course which soon became a favorite meeting place for golf-lovers in the area.
In the 1950’s, architect Antonio Roncoroni made significant alterations to the course which conserved the typically British tradition and style. The course’s signature hole is the uphill par 4 nineth, one of the narrowest in golf.


Designed by: Peter Gannon
par 69, 6263 yards

The Villa d'Este Golf Club lies beyond the wonderful lake of Montorfano in a beautiful setting in the sunny Brianza. The course is at a height of 1200 feet in what has been described as the Italian version of Scottish landscape.

The course was designed in 1926 by Peter Gannon and winds its way between chestnut groves, birch and pine woods. It is considered one of the most varied and difficult of the European par 69 courses.


Designed by: David Mazzacane
par 73, 6880 yards

Lying only 500 yards from the sea, Cosmopolitan is set in175 acres of Tuscan countryside. Cosmopolitan was designed by David Mezzacane in 1992, following the best traditions of Scottish links.

The holes offer great variety and visual fairness. Most greens are large and the fairways have been strategically mounded to define play. Water comes in to play on 11 holes including 9 and 18 that finish at the clubhouse with strategic par-5 water carries. It is a seaside links course that is susceptible to the sweeping ocean winds.


Designed by: Cecil Blandford
par 72, 6207 yards

Ugolini is the oldest golf club in Italy, established in 1889. Just a short distance from Florence, this is Chianti territory - offering scenery of incomparable beauty. The course is not overly long but the tight par-5s, changes of elevation and tight, well defended greens require thoughtful play and make for an interesting challenge.


Designed by: Arnold Palmer
par 72, 6712 yards

Le Pavoniere is set gently undulating terrain, with woods of holm-oaks, cluster pines and the ever-present cypresses of Tuscany. The course has an American feel with beautifully manicured fairways, well defended greens, strategic use of bunkers and water coming into play on several holes.


Designed by: Baldovino Dassù, Rossi Fioravanti
Par 36, 3418 yards and par 36 3510 yards and par 36 3379 yards

Set among the splendid hills of Mugello, the Poggio Dei Medici Golf Club is a spectacular course. Comprising three groups of 9 holes, each par 36, it offers a variety of decidedly unusual game situations. The course has been designed both as an introduction for beginners and as a challenge for good players. Lakes, bunkers, streams and clumps of trees create technical obstacles and form a unique visual horizon.


Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr.
par 72, 6679 yards

The Pevero Golf Club on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) stretches from the white beaches of the bay of Pevero to the bay of Cala di Volpe. The greens and fairways wind through the Sardinia hills, in the Mediterranean maquis, with wind-sculpted rocks and natural lakes and ponds.


Designed by: C. K. Cotton, Jim Fazio
Par 72, 6941 yards and par 36, 3223 yards

One of the most stylish clubs in Italy, Olgiata has hosted two World Cups and the Italian Open, most recently in November 2002. The original 1961 design has been updated by Jim Fazio, but Olgiata's championship course retains the classical character of a spacious, gimmick-free, parkland layout. The terrain is predominantly flat, water coming into play sparingly. Blind shots are few unless you stray seriously from the intended line. Trees and bunkers are the main hazards on this serious course, enjoyable for players of all levels.


Designed by: David Mezzacane and Peter Fazio
par 72, 6909 yards and par 34, 2865 yards

Parco De’Medici stands on the site just outside Rome where, in the 16th century, Pope Leo X (aka Giovanni di Medici) had his private hunting ground. The course, designed by Davide Mezzacane and Peter Fazio, is very technical - rich in small hills, bunkers, and water barriers. The most interesting (but not the most difficult) is the 18th hole where golfers can see the remains of a Roman villa that dates to the 1st century AD.


Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr.
par 72, 6589 yards

Castelgandolfo, where the Popes’ have had their summer residence since the 16th century, is a wide natural basin with olive trees, oaks and pines stretching across the Roman countryside. The 200 acre course designed by Robert Trent Jones, who made typically skillful use of the natural landscape, placing fairways between venerable Mediterranean olives and pines, with cypress trees, mimosa and rose bushes adding to the beauty and challenge of the round. Dominating the course is one of the most beautiful Italian clubhouses, a 17th century villa that Cardinal Flavio Chigi built for a girlfriend known as La Pavona, the name by which the locality is now known.


Embedded into the hilly landscape near the Garda Lake, the Arzaga golf courses have been planned in different ways in order to appeal the beginner as well as experienced players.

Arzaga I
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus II
Par 72, 6795 yards

Arzaga II
Designed by: Gary Player
Par 36, 3414 yards

The first course at Arzaga was designed by Jack Nicklaus II. The layout winds through native vegetation and a series of lakes that both complement the beauty of the property while challenging for the golfer. Arzaga II is the nine hole Gary Player Signature course, designed for every level of golfer, with four sets of tees at each hole to allow the player to select a length of course perfectly suited to his or her ability.


Par 70, 6470 yards

This historic golf club was one of Italy’s first, dating to 1903. Founded by members of the British consulate, today it is one of the most prestigious courses in the country. Acquasanta is technically stimulating, and the natural beauty of the terrain is enchanting. Located near precious archeological sites, the horizon is dotted with the arches of an ancient Roman aqueduct. The vista includes the Via Appia Antica and at a certain point in the course of the game, your gaze falls on Michelangelo’s majestic cupola of St. Peter's.