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Golf

Tuscany has some of Italy’s finest golf courses; below we have listed a few of them with some tips from Grant Leggate – Assistant Secretary at Royal St Georges, Sandwich.

Rich in art, history, culture and traditions, Tuscany also has fabulous scenery, great food and superb wine - all the ingredients of a relaxing holiday destination.
Add the fact that it has some of Italy's finest golf courses and it makes the region an excellent target for discovery.
Until the arrival of Costantino Rocca, Italy hardly figured as a top golf nation but the emergence of 2009 Open Championship silver medallist Matteo Mannasero and World Cup-winning brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, has sparked many people's interest in the country's golfing future.
Tuscany is widely known for its picturesque landscape of rolling hills and intriguing history and with golf stirring and added passion it seems the perfect place to be. I didn't know what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.


Royal Golf La Bagnaia
Royal Golf La Bagnaia can be found 12 kilometres south of Siena in the heart of Tuscany. It is a new course designed by the architect Robert Trent Jones 11 who has transformed 130 hectares of land and turned it into something quite special. It is a masterpiece of course design that injects an American style into raw Tuscan landscape and captures the passion, flare and artistry of the region. Trent Jones’s imaginative design makes you have to plot your way around, between and over the well-positioned sand traps, as these are the courses main protection. There is a lack of trees on the course, but this is not a criticism because if the wind blows, it will provide a third layer of armour, the second coming from the water hazards on no less than 13 of the holes. It may be an infant today, but it’s already showing the signs of being the star pupil that will grow into one of the best adults in Italy. It truly is a touch of American golf nestled into rural Tuscany. Villas can be found scattered around the real estate highlighting the traditional picture image of ones location.     

I was very impressed with all the staff at the clubhouse, who showed more than great professionalism, they oozed pride and passion for the place. From the Caddiemaster, to reception, to the bar staff, they made me feel that they actually wanted me to have a great time. The food was perfect and chef went out of his way to ensure we got what we wanted. The whole club is well run and stylish. The Golf Director is Sandro Maistrello and is obviously the driving force behind the enthusiasm and pride of his staff.

For further information,
La Bagnaia Resort
S.S. 223 Siena-Grosseto km 56
53016 Località Bagnaia SIENA
Tel. +39 0577 813000
Email: infogolf@labagnaiaresort.com
http://www.labagnaiaresort.com/en/golf-tuscany

For villas near La Bagnaia
http://www.to-tuscany.com/siena/


Ugolino Golf Club
The oldest course in Tuscany, it is situated just south of Florence and last staged the Italian Open in 1983 when Bernhard Langer won the title. It has a real Tuscan flavour with stunning views around every corner and some challenging holes that blend into the landscape, narrow fairways and tricky greens.
Skill and accuracy are vital but it is still a fun course for all abilities especially on the front nine, where the 295-metre (par 4) third, sets up nicely on the eye demanding a good drive to the left to leave a tricky approach to the green.
Even if you're fit enough to enjoy a walk, hiring a buggy is recommended to reduce the time between green and tee and to admire the views between shots. An absolute joy with helpful, attentive and informative staff.

For further information:
Via Chiantigiana 3, 50126 Firenze

Tel: +39 (0)55 2301009
email: info@golfugolino.it
Internet site: www.golfugolino.it
Closed on Monday from November until February 
You must book in order to play.    


Punta Ala Golf Club
The coastal club is one of the most beautiful in Tuscany. It has an 18-hole 72 par course that is open the whole year round. At this golf course there is a training field, pro shop, cart hire and trolleys, a bar and a restaurant.
This Club is very close the the beach so the family can spend the day on a beautiful  Mediterranean beach while the golfer enjoys a game at this fantastic club.

For further information contact:
Punta Ala Golf Club
Via del Golf
Punta Ala (Grosseto)
Tel: 0564 922121
Fax: 0564 920182
email: golfpuntaala@ntt.it
Internet site: www.puntaala.net/golf

 


Casentino Golf Club
This is a small course of 9-holes par 36, but it will soon be expanded to an 18-hole course.
The course is open the whole year round, except in January and half of February when it is only open at the weekend.
At the club there is a training field, a putting green, a pitching green, a chipping green, a training bunker, a pro shop, bar and restaurant.

For further information contact:
Casentino Golf Club
Via Fronzola 6
Loc. Palazzo, 520167 Poppi (Arezzo)
Tel: 0575 529310
Fax: 0575 520167
email: golf@lina.it


Perugia Golf Club
This club is found near Perugia, it is an 18-hole par 72 course that is open the whole year round. It has a driving range, putting green, pitching green, pro shop, cart hire, golf bags and trolleys.
There is also a bar, restaurant and swimming pool for the rest of the family to enjoy while passing a relaxing day at the club.

For more information contact:
Perugia golf club
Loc. Santa Sabina,
06074 Ellera Umbra (Perugia)
Tel: 075 5172204
Fax: 075 5172370
email: segreteria@golfclubperugia.it
Internet: www.golfclubperugia.it



Circolo Golf L’Abbadia
The nearest Golf club to Colle Val d’Elsa is at Località La Badia. The ideal place if you want to start or improve your skill with a quick training in its 6 holes course. Within easy reach from Siena, San Gimignano and Castellina in Chianti.

For further information:
Località La Badia 14A - 53034 Colle di Val d'Elsa (Siena)
Tel: +39 0577 924 153
E-mail: info@abbadiagolf.com
www.abbadiagolf.com


Antognolla golf course
Antognolla golf course is an 18 hole championship course, situated in the heart of Umbria, 20 mins north of Perugia. It has a driving range, practice green, small club house, a bar and changing facilities. There is a range of Golf clubs, trolleys and carts available to hire.

For further information:
Antognolla Golf Club
Strada San Giovanni del Pantano
06133 Perugia
Tel.:+39.075.58.42.008 -
Fax +39.075.58.42.231 -
mobile +39.327.73.47.710
For bookings please contact:
email: info@antognollagolf.com  
web site: http://www.antognollagolf.com/golf.htm  
We recommend early bookings as there are limited tee times available.


Montecatini Golf Club
Deep in the Tuscan countryside South-West of Florence, this 18-hole course is one of the region's natural beauties. It's hilly but the fairways are quite wide and not too long. Lakes, streams, trees and ditches all combine as natural contours of the land which is quite exposed so wind provides an added obstacle.
I found the greens fast and undulating - an added problem to several blind drives, but if you want your skills to be tested this is a tough examination paper.
Tees and fairways were not in the best of condition when I played the course but it was, after all, December and my round came after a lot of rainfall in previous days.
My favourite hole was the stunning and daunting par-3 18th played over a 150-metre wide lake. Club selection is critical.
The clubhouse was neat and compact with adequate facilities and producing the feel of a family run business with friendly staff. It's a testing course and at its best in the summer months.

For further information contact:
Via dei Brogi 32 – Loc. Pievaccia, 51015 Monsummano Terme 

Tel: +39 (0)57262218
Email info@montecatinigolf.com
http://www.montecatinigolf.com/Default.aspx?lang=l2


Golf Club Le Pavoniere
Eighteen holes (par 72) and located only 15 km from Florence International Airport it was created by Arnold Palmer's design company. As a result it has a typically American feel with large greens, vast bunkers and wide fairways.
What it perhaps lacks in surroundings, it makes up for in playability - a relatively flat course with several water hazards needing sensible course management. Most holes are tree lined but well spaced so as not to provide obstacles that are too demanding. It plays long in the wind with greens that are quick but fair.
Apart from the 18th the best holes were the 6th and the 5th - a par-3 where confidence is needed off the tee.
Plenty of risk and reward golf at Pavoniere, which was in perfect condition and a good test for all levels of golfer.

For further information contact:
Via Traversa il Crocifisso, 59100 Prato

Tel: +39 0574 620 855
email: info@golfclublepavoniere.com
http://www.golfclublepavoniere.com/


Poggio dei Medici Golf and Resort
This 18-hole (par 72) course, only a few kilometres from Florence, took my breath away. From its lush and immaculate fairways and well-paced greens, to its stunning, hilly surroundings – it’s exactly how you want a golf course to be. It provides a good test of skill with some difficult holes.
The literal translation of the course's title is 'Hill of the Medici' and high on 16th hole, with nothing but the sound of birds and Florentine church bells surrounding me, I was intoxicated with the feeling that if The Almighty played golf, he'd choose here to pay his green fees!
The 18th is as wonderful a finishing hole as you can get in golf, but the 15th hole was my personal favourite. At 332 metres it's both challenging and stimulating with a split green that allows the hole to be set up in two very different ways - not the most difficult but demanding a well-placed drive and an accurate approach. Indeed all holes are a joy to play and it took me longer than anticipated to complete them such is the need to allow time to soak up the views and atmosphere.
With its fantastic 16th century clubhouse this remains one of my favourites anywhere in the world.

For further information contact:
Via San Gavino 27, 50038 Scarperia (FI)
Tel: +39 (0)55 8435562
Email: info@golfpoggiodeimedici.com
http://www.golfpoggiodeimedici.com/eng/index.html


Cosmopolitan Golf and Country Club
Tirrenia is only 20 minutes from the airport serving Pisa and with water a major feature of this course, lots of risk and reward decisions to be made at Cosmopolitan.
Its undulations respect the original shape of the land with four sets of tees on each hole enabling the greens staff the ability to set up various options and provide a fair test for all abilities.
Each of the 18 holes is well defined with good sized greens and fairways that are, on the whole level. The greens were slow but true and in great condition. Not too much lip on the numerous bunkers making escape not too demanding.
The 5th for me was the stand-out hole requiring shots to be played over water twice before you reach the green. However, the defining shot of the round is your approach to the 9th green, again over water, making club selection crucial. A pretty course with good facilities, well maintained and very playable, but it will be a tricky test when the wind gets up.

For further information contact:
V. le Pisorno 60, 56128 Tirrenia

Tel: +39 (0)50 33633
E-Mail: info@cosmopolitangolf.it
http://www.cosmopolitangolf.it/


Golf Club Valdichiana
An engaging course for professional and amateur golfers; respecting the morphology of the environmental, the course has four par 3, three par 4 and two par 5, along its 2643 meters of extention and a total par 34. In the middle of Val di Chiana area, it’s open seven days a week and  easily reachable from the main highway A1. Restaurant on site.

Address: Loc. Esse Secco – Bettolle (Siena)
Tel. +39 0577 624439
Email: info@golfclubvaldichiana.it
http://new.golfclubvaldichiana.it/


Top 5 Tuscan courses, as recommended by Grant Leggate are featured in Golf travel to Tuscany, please use this link for further information.

http://www.golfmagic.com/western-europe/golf-travel-tuscany/6735.html

To see more pictures of the Top 5 courses and to see googlemaps for location, click here:
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/117549965126028721444


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