Golfing holidays in Italy

Golfing holidays in Italy

2023 will be a significant year in Italy’s sporting history. For the first time in its history, the Ryder Cup will be played in Italy. Given that the golf tournament is almost a century old (it was first held in 1927), it seems incredible that Italy has not yet hosted this prestigious sporting event. But 2023 will change all that. From 29 September to 1 October 2023, Zach Johnson’s USA team will face Luke Donald’s Team Europe at the Marco Simone Golf and Country club in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome. The US will be desperate to win and to defend their 2021 title won in Wisconsin, whilst the Europeans will be keen to redeem themselves after their 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits, the heaviest defeat that they had seen since 1979.

We think Italians and visitors to Italy will be going golf mad in 2023 so we thought we’d share some of Italy’s top golf courses with you. We’ve also included some accommodation options nearby so that if not all your group are keen to hit the greens, they’ll be able to sit back and relax in the comfort of their Italian villa rental!

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome

We couldn’t include a list of Italy’s top golf courses without including the Ryder Cup hosts! The Marco Simone Golf & Country club is no stranger to major tournaments. It has hosted the last two editions of the Italian Open and will host the 80th edition from 4 to 7 May 2023 as a precursor to the Ryder Cup. And it’s easy to see why. It is in a stunning setting within a beautiful old estate, complete with a restored 11th century castle and enjoying unparalleled views. Just half an hour from the centre of Rome, you can even admire St Peter’s Basilica and the Castle of Marco Simone as you work your way around the 18 holes. The course was designed by architect Jim Fazio in the late 1980s. Once you have completed his challenging 18 hole course, you can relax and unwind in what is reported to be one of the biggest clubhouses in Europe measuring over 7000 square metres.

Where to stay: Opt for this Umbria apartment. Whilst not super close to the golf course, at less than a 2 hour drive away, it’s still a feasible base from which to enjoy a round of golf.

Garda Golf & Country Club

Another of Italy’s golf courses that was established in the 1980s, the Garda Golf & Country Club sits nestled in the Valtenesi Hills above the shores of Lake Garda. It’s also no stranger to professional tournaments – the Italian Women’s Open was held here in 1990 and the Italian Open in both 1997 and 2003. With our soft spot for the Italian Lakes, we just love the panoramic lake views that the club boasts from both its 18 and 9 hole courses.

Where to stay: Villa Selve is a 3 bedroom Lake Garda villa situated just a 30 minute drive from the Garda Golf & Country Club.

Circolo Golf Villa d’Este

This beautiful course sits just 20 minutes from Como and an hour north of Milan overlooking the spectacular scenery of Lake Montorfano. This is a classic course with a much longer history, dating back to 1926 when it was designed by Peter Gannon. It has certainly seen some rather illustrious visitors over the years, with the Kings and Queens of Belgium, Britain, Spain and Greece all signing the clubhouse visitors book at some point. It also holds the record for hosting the Italian Open the most number of times. The course may be relatively short, but don’t let this fool you. The undulating landscape makes this surprisingly difficult to conquer!

Where to stay: This Lake Como apartment is just over a 30 minute drive from the Circolo Golf Villa d’Este course.

Royal Golf La Bagnaia

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior, Royal Golf La Bagnaia is an 18 hole, par 71 golf course in Tuscany. It sits in over 320 acres of beautiful Tuscan countryside just south of Siena. It’s one of three courses that he has designed in Italy, the others being Terre dei Consoli in Lazio and Antognolla in Umbria. As with pretty much all of the golf courses in Tuscany, the course occupies a beautiful setting laid out over gently rolling hills. There are water hazards to contend with 13 of the 18 holes thanks to the presence of five lakes, so this is definitely a course that will offer plenty of challenges! After your round of golf, enjoy a meal at the clubhouse restaurant which enjoys views over the entire 18 holes.

Where to stay: Villa Colombaio is a luxury Tuscany villa near Royal Golf La Bagnaia.

Antognolla Golf

Robert Trent Jones Junior’s Antognolla Golf is a championship 18 hole course dominated by the medieval castle of Antognolla and enjoying incredible far-reaching views of the Umbrian countryside. Along with the spectacular and challenging 18 hole course, there is an excellent practice green here with open and covered bays, 2 chipping greens and practice putting green. There are also 3 separate par 3 holes. The course saw massive multi-million euros investment just a few years ago in 2018 and this was rewarded in 2020 and 2022 when Antognolla Golf was awarded the prestigious title of Italy’s Best Golf Course at the World Golf Awards. Incidentally, if not everyone in your group fancies a round of golf, the new swimming pool complex is also at the disposal of visitors.

Where to stay: Buonanotte Barbanera is a stunning Umbria villa in the hilltop town of Spello just over a 30 minute drive from Antognolla Golf.

Royal Park I Roveri

This Piemonte golf course was designed by Trent Jones Senior and is set within the Parco Regionale della Mandria north of Turin. Back in the 16th century, this would have been a hunting estate. Since 1971 it has been one of Italy’s most acclaimed golf courses. Undulating greens provide golfers with stunning views of the Alps from a number of holes. We can recommend opting to warm up your swing on the nine hole par three course before challenging yourself on the 18 hole course.

Where to stay: Combine a trip to the Italian Lakes with a round of golf at the Royal Park I Roveri by staying at this Italian Lakes apartment.

Ugolino Golf Course

Tuscany’s oldest golf course, the Ugolino Golf Course sits 20 minutes south of central Florence in Grassina. This par 72 course is the oldest golf club in Tuscany founded in 1889 but moved to its current location in 1934. Set in the heart of the Chianti region and only a few miles from the centre of the city, the spectacular hillside course has wonderful views over the Tuscan countryside. Designed by Englishman Cecil Blandford and Irishman Peter Gannon, the course winds its way through vineyards and olive trees. It’s a private course with approximately 800 members but they provide a warm welcome to visitors.

Where to stay: Castello Pergolato is a Tuscany villa less than 30 minutes from the Ugolino golf course.

If you fancy a golfing holiday in Italy, then take a look at the villas in Italy available from Bookings For You and ask about villas close to Italy’s best golf courses.