What are the benefits of playing golf in Italy?


By: March 5, 2019


If you remember, Reed Exhibition in cooperation with Sports Marketing Surveys came out with a study about the trends in the golf tourism industry in 2017.

They asked over 10,000 regular golfers (=those who play at least 10 times a year).

One of the questions was: What’s important in booking a golf break?

The TOP 3 needs and expectations were:

  1. Tee time availability;
  2. Variety/selection of golf courses to play;
  3. Quality of overnight accommodation.

Therefore, I thought to focus my answer around the above-mentioned 3 major needs and expectations.

Tee time availability in Italy

In the Golf Around the World 2019 commissioned by the R&A I found that Italy was ranked as the world 19th biggest golf country in terms of number of golf courses: 321.

It was interesting to see that Denmark and the Netherlands are just slightly ahead of Italy.

It is important to check the number of golfers per golf courses in a country. In Italy, it is 408.

Let me put it in context.

The latest edition of KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe found that out of 46 countries, Italy was ranked as the 18th highest number of golfers per golf courses (vs Germany: 882, Sweden: 1060).

This says to me that we have got very good chances to find easily tee times in our selected, preferred golf clubs.

Country Club Castelgandolfo Italy

Variety/selection of golf courses to play in Italy

During the latest IGTM in Ljubljana, Slovenia I asked golf clubs’ and golf resorts’ representatives what the most frequently asked questions of golf travel agencies are.

One of them was the number of golf courses not just in the golf resort, but also within a reasonable distance (20-30-minute drive). This is an inevitable and valid question.

Italy has got 5 major golf club hubs:

  1. Milan region – 12 golf clubs;
  2. Rome region – 11 golf clubs;
  3. Florence region – 8 golf clubs;
  4. Sicily region – 6 golf clubs;
  5. Venice region – 5 golf clubs.

What is also not so published and promoted that Italy attracted many top golf course architects.

I found golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. & Jr., Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Peter Harradine, and PB Dye.

Royal Park I Roveri Italy

Here are their golf courses:

Robert Trent Jones Sr.:

  1. Royal Park I Roveri: Allianz course (see picture above). A member of the World of Leading Golf. In 2017, they won the ‘Best Service’ title at the World of Leading Golf Awards.
  2. Castelgandolfo Golf Club
  3. Castelconturbia Golf Club
  4. Franciacorta Golf Club

Robert Trent Jones Jr.:

  1. Castello Antognolla Golf Course
  2. Terre dei Consoli Golf Club – a European Challenge Tour venue.
  3. Royal Golf La Bagnaia – with a Curio Collection by Hilton Hotel
Vicenza Golf Club 2nd hole Italy

Peter Harradine:

  1. Asiago Golf Club – with a Meltar Boutique Hotel
  2. Miramonti Cortina Golf Club
  3. Varese Golf Course
  4. Montechiarello Golf Club – only 9-holes
  5. Vicenza Golf Club

Gary Player:

  1. Cortona Golf & Spa Resort – 9-holes only
  2. Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa – The host venue of the “Sicilian Open PGA European Tour” in 2011. The resort has got a Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence (a golf academy) as well. Here you can find more about Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa.
  3. Is Molas Resort – 27-holes
  4. Palazzo Arzaga Golf Resort – 9-holes; The resort has also got a Jack Nicklaus designed 18-hole golf course as well.

Arnold Palmer:

  1. Ca’della Nave Golf Club – 27-holes
  2. Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club – 36-holes
  3. Golf Club Le Pavoniere
Le Robinie Golf & Sporting Club Italy

Jack Nicklaus:

  1. Le Robinie Golf & Sporting Club
  2. Arzaga Golf Club

PB Dye / Dye Designs

  1. Parco di Roma Golf & Country Club

Based on golfers’ rating Italy has got 8.2 score at Leadingcourses.com the leading golf course review site.

Do you need more proof?

Quality of overnight accommodation in Italy

We will also find leading international luxury and premium hotel chain (e.g. Marriott, Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, Best Western Plus Hotel, etc.) and charming palace hotels as well.

If you are a member either of Marriott Golf Rewards or Hilton’s Hilton Honors loyalty program you will be able to enjoy the benefits in Italy too.

The Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa is currently in a rebranding process with Marriott – Starwood Hotels & Resorts with “Sheraton” brand.

At the same time, it seems like the leading Italian golf clubs rather partnering nearby hotels.

I collected for you some Italian golf resort where you can get organic food:

  1. Argentario Golf Resort & Spa (in Tuscany) – it is a member of Pacific Links International network. Find more information about the resort here.
  2. Garlenda Golf Club
  3. Riviera Golf Resort
  4. Cristallo Resort & Spa – a member of Marriott’s The Luxury Collection chain.

I am sure that you are aware of the fact Italy is one of the few countries who can offer a huge number of heritage sites, cultural attractions.

On the UNESCO World Heritage List, we can find 54 Italian sites.

Even the founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz came to Italy to learn how to make a great coffee.

Actually, we can say that Italy is a 2-in-1 destination where you can easily combine all sorts of activities with golf and have a meaningful and active holiday and great experiences.

If you need more ideas where to play and stay in Italy check out Italy4golf.

This article was brough to you by Italy4golf.com.