Having long been the poor relation of the premier destinations for golf Europe-wide, Italy is finally starting to gain widespread recognition and a growing reputation for its immaculate, sun-kissed golf courses.
There was a time when many golfers questioned Italy’s passion for the sport and rejected the opportunity to visit courses and clubs that were poorly maintained and lacking in quality facilities.
But in the last two years, golf development experts have been put to task, particularly in the poorer southern regions of Italy, with the aim of bringing about a revival in the economy of certain localities by developing top quality golfing facilities.
The developers of Italy’s new golf circuit have some wonderful raw material to work with as they go about turning the southern ‘Mezzogiorno’ region into a haven capable of offering tours with the quality of UK golf breaks, or golfing holidays in Spain and Portugal. The southern region of mainland Italy is a veritable paradise of lush greenery, lakes, marshlands and – most important of all – sunshine.
A fine example of south east Italy’s golfing credentials can be found at the San Domenico Golf course in Brindisi. Players can check into the Masseria Cimino, a beautiful 18th Century manor house, before venturing out onto the course that sits by the quaint fishing village of Savelletri.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
The expertise of Brian L. Jorgensen and European Golf Design have made the 6,300 yards of San Domenico’s par 72 course a real gem in the crown of European golf, putting the south of Italy firmly on the map for players around the world.
Views of the shimmering blue Adriatic Sea can be enjoyed during a walk around a course that boasts lush Bermuda grass, perfectly-shaped fairways and strategic-bunkering designs. The sea winds add to what is already a challenging round of golf for even the most seasoned players.
The clubhouse, built in Mediterranean white stone, is steeped in the history of the region, and you couldn’t be anywhere else as you sit at a bar decked out in traditional Italian furnishings. A reading room, solarium, sauna and driving range complete the package at San Domenico, providing players with an experience that would have simply been unavailable in the region as little as 20 years ago.
Courses and clubs like this would set a high benchmark for any proud European golfing nation and more facilities of a similar standard are starting to appear around the ‘Mezzogiorno’.
How long before golfing tours in the south of Italy, where the sun shines all year round and the red wine is the best in the world, emerge as Europe’s finest?