Situated within the UNESCO world heritage site of Val d’Orcia in the Brunello di Montalcino winemaking region of Tuscany, Castiglion del Bosco is a beautiful 800-year-old estate which includes castle ruins, a medieval church and an historic village at the centre of the resort called the Borgo.
Businessman Massimo Ferragamo acquired the 5,000-acre property in 2003 and he quickly went about the restoration of both the architectural and winemaking aspects of the property. Old farmhouses and various other buildings were transformed into guest villas and suites and a new cellar was built to cope with the revitalisation of the wine production.
In 2011, Tom Weiskopf was engaged to set out a golf course within this fabulous natural setting, draping the fairways across an exquisite landscape. Three critical features were available to him: stands of mature cypress trees, elevation changes and a number of natural water hazards, with the architect expertly weaving each of these elements into the course routing.
“The rolling hillsides provided a perfect palette to lay out the golf course,” said Weiskopf, after the course was brought into play in 2012. He also acknowledged that the layout (with its fescue fairways and bent grass greens) was “a terrific walk in the park” but, located as it is in such a stunning setting, “golf will always be secondary here”.
Apart from the par three 14th, the fairways at Castiglion del Bosco are generally orientated along a north-south axis, with holes beautifully routed around ravines, streams and stands of mature trees. The 166-yard 8th in particular catches the eye on the front nine, playing slightly downhill to a small green that’s circled by sand.Other memorable holes include the downhill 13th (at 685-yards, it’s reckoned to be the longest par five in Europe) and the short par four 15th, where the fairway falls sharply away along the left side of the hole. The closing hole sits on a ridge overlooking both nines and it plays slightly uphill, past the cypress tree-lined entrance road to the clubhouse, bringing a round here to a very satisfactory conclusion. CdB, as the club is also known, boasts a bye hole – this “settle the bet” 19th hole is a par three gem called Brunello.