Italy’s best golf courses

July 28th, 2009 | by Ainsley |

Italy has countless attractions for its tens of millions of visitors each year. The ski resorts of Piedmont and Trentino-Alto Adige to the north, the art cities of Tuscany, the hilltowns of Umbria, the glorious history of Rome, the beaches of Calabria…the list is almost endless.

However, one feature often overlooked is its rich variety of golf courses. Italy is one of the most scenic places in the world in which to play golf and boasts some 225 beautiful and challenging courses right across the country.

Some of the best are in:

Campania: The Napoli Golf Club in Pozzuoli, some 10km west of Naples. This pleasant nine-hole course has 5,225 yards of sheer golfing enjoyment. It’s also convenient for day trips to the Amalfi Coast.

Emilia-Romagna: Bologna Golf Club, some 20km to the west of the city, features an 18-hole course with a yardage of 6,751 and is popular with tourists.

Calabria: Sun-kissed Calabria may not feature that many fairways but one of the best is San Michele Golf Club in Cetraro, on the Tyrrhenian coast, which has nine holes and 2,921 yards.

Lazio: Lazio, the region in which Rome is located, has numerous fine courses – which is only to be expected of a region that attracts so many tourists. Some 20km south-east of the Rome lies the Castelgandolfo Golf Club, a challenging 6,591yd course with 18 holes.

Closer to the Eternal City, however, is Roma Golf Club. With 6,373 yards and 18 holes, this popular course is just 7km south-east of the capital.

One of the largest clubs in this region is the Parco de Medici Golf Club, based on the site where the 15th century pontiff, Leo X, had his private hunting grounds. In addition, there aren’t many 18th fairways in the world that have the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman building nearby. This 18-hole, 6,912yd course is located some 18km from the city’s Fiumicino Airport.

Nevertheless, there is arguably no better golf course around the capital than Le Querce Golf Club, which features 7,038yds across 18 holes and some pretty difficult bunkers. Le Querce is a championship course that was established in 1990 and boasts some of the finest scenery in the country. Its 10th hole is notable for a deep and winding stream that twice cuts through it while the tree-lined fairways are as much renowned for the beautiful wild flowers that line them as they are for the golfing. The mountain backdrop makes this a truly picturesque setting to play the game.

Piedmont: One of the Italy’s most highly-regarded clubs is Biella Le Betulle, established in 1958 and is to be found some 17km outside Biella Piedmont. Featuring 18 holes and 7,031yds, Le Betulle is notable for its challenging undulations and beautiful fairways, which are dotted with oak, chestnut and fir trees and set against stunning mountain scenery. The 16th hole, which has a par of five, is possibly the most challenging in Italy.

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