Castelfalfi (Mountain)Castelfalfi, Toscana
- AddressLoc, 50050 Castelfalfi FI, Italy
The 2,700-acre Castelfalfi Estate lies less than an hour’s drive north of the walled mountaintop town of Volterra, in the heart of Tuscany, where the lovingly restored buildings on this ancient property keep watch over vineyards, olive groves, forests and lakes.
Pier Luigi Mancinelli, who worked for a time with C. K. Cotton before setting up his own design company in the early 1970s, laid out the original fairways at Castelfalfi, with the course opening for play in 1991.
Twenty years later, the architectural talents of Wilfried Moroder and Rainer Preissmann combined to remodel the layout into a new 27-hole golf facility, comprising the 6,351-metre 18-hole Mountain course and the 3,171-metre 9-hole Lake course.
The clubhouse was repositioned to the centre of the two golf courses, offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, and the natural topography was sympathetically harnessed when routing the fairways around a hilly landscape full of challenge.
The 177-metre par three 9th hole ends the front nine in style, dropping 40 meters to a peninsula green that’s backdropped by the Castle, and the 382-metre 18th concludes the inward half in a highly entertaining manner, playing downhill to a half-island green with an impressive view up to the Borgo.
Nigel originally nominated the Mountain course at Castelfalfi for inclusion within Your Gems: “This course should be in your Top 100 of European courses, never mind the Gems section. The course is a brilliant piece of architecture, using the natural topography to wind holes up valleys, along ridges and down cliffs.
The 1st, 9th and 18th are unbelievable holes with the 9th especially a hole of immense beauty. A downhill par three with a 100ft drop to a green surrounded by water. The 18th is similar but is a dogleg par four to an island green adjacent to the 9th down a more gentler sloping fairway featuring terraced sections. The course is full of natural gorse and olive trees and set against the backdrop of the Borgo of Castelfalfi and the Castle La Rocca at the top of the cliff is just a magical setting.”
Architect Wilfried Moroder commented as follows:
"We were commissioned by TUI, the German Tour Operator, to design a new golf facility for their new resort and we analyzed the existing course and the routing, which were interesting but extraordinary tough and tight.
Our goal was to design and realize, step by step, a modern golf infrastructure for a big golf and country resort to an international standard. In fact, we studied, designed and got the approvals for a new 36-hole golf course, plus a 9-hole executive, in total a 45-hole golf facility.
At the moment, the 18-hole Mountain and the 9-hole Lake courses are playable, while the second nine holes of the Lake are still to be built.
We completely redesigned the old layout, developing two new courses that start out from a different central area where clubhouse, practice ground and starting tees are positioned. Therefore, almost nothing of the old course has been kept.
The Mountain course has a new routing, using ten playing corridors from the old layout, but these holes have been completely redesigned and changed, most of them have been lengthened, been given new green complexes and new tees.
Five of the woodland holes have been enlarged and re-shaped with the two short holes totally redesigned. Eight holes are completely new, and they’re the best on the course as they use the natural contours of the landscape and offer fantastic views towards the Castle and the Borgo of Castelfalfi."
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