Donnafugata (Links) - Sicily - Italy

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa,
Contrada Piombo,
97100 Ragusa,
Sicily,
Italy


  • +39 093 291 4200

  • Guy Roberts

  • Franco Piras

  • Gary Hughes


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Donnafugata

One of two 18-hole courses at the luxury five-star Donnafugata Resort in the south of Sicily, the Links layout is a Franco Piras design that sits on open, rolling terrain a few miles from the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Whilst the Gary Player-designed Parkland course winds through a typical Ragusan landscape of olive and carob trees, the fairways of the Links course stretch out around a couple of lakes that lie within two large valleys.

Water only ever threatens at four of the holes, however – most notably at the par four 8th, which plays to an island green. The toughest hole is kept until last (the 18th is rated stroke index 1 on the scorecard) and the degree of difficulty here is hardly surprising when the acreage of sand protecting the home green is taken into account.
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Reviews for Donnafugata (Links)

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Description: One of two 18-hole courses at the luxury Donnafugata Resort in the south of Sicily, the Links layout is a Franco Piras design that sits on open, rolling terrain a few miles from the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Rating: 4.2 out of 6 Reviews: 6

Group of 7 of us played it twice last week. Its a really interesting, varied and well designed layout.......but it is not being cared for nearly well enough. Many massive bunkers are a big feature of the course, but too many had very little sand and many stones in them. Significant rabbit damage to fairways and some tees. Until/unless its condition improves its not worth the trip. That's a great shame.

2 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
October 21, 2017


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I noticed that no review of this course had been posted since 2015 and since then I am afraid that the condition of both courses at Donnafugata must have gone downhill. Me and my partner stayed and played at Donnafugata and Verdura on a two destination golf holiday in September 2017.

Of the two courses, the Links is the more interesting course and in significantly better condition than the Parkland course. The greens were very slow, but this is understandable in a hot country such as Sicily.

The Links is a typical resort course, with wide fairways and undulating greens. There are many changes in elevation and some significant distances between greens and tees so a buggy is recommended (sadly these are overpriced at Eur50 for 18 holes, with no GPS).

The course has many interesting and challenging holes, but generally all hazards are in view, so it is a fair test. The course is subject to significant wind which can affect enjoyment if it really blows. Overall though, this is an above average resort course

However, our overall impression of the Donnafugata resort is that they do not have the funds to maintain the courses to a high standard. I could not recommend either course for any reasonably serious golfer if they are to be played repeatedly (my handicap is 10 and my partner’s is 17). I would also not recommend Donnafugata as a destination for a golf holiday because of the condition of the courses.

3 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
October 21, 2017


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Peter
October 21, 2017

Fully agree with your assessment. Its a great shame as the Links especially is an excellent and interesting layout, but its condition last week was really poor, the bunkers especially, plus lots of rabbit damage on tees and fairways.

Although both courses at Donnafugata are very good, I marginally preferred the Links layout. It doesn't really resemble a Links course in any way but don't let that put you off playing what is a very attractive and challenging course. At 6600 yards from the yellow tees and almost 7000 from the whites, the Links is not for the faint hearted and a certain amount of stout hitting is required. Two large lakes play an important part in the round Donnafugata (Links) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerand right from the off you are faced with a lake running the full length of the opening par five. This is an excellent risk and reward hole that gives the longer hitters a chance of reaching in two if they are prepared to attack a green heavily defended by bunkers and water. The par three 3rd is another fine hole where you must hit well over 200 yards downhill to another well bunkered green. Holes four and five continue the theme of raised tees, excellent bunkering and challenging golf. The short par four 8th is one of my favourite holes and a good drive only leaves a short iron to the beautifully situated island green. The first half finishes strongly with another good par four where it is important to drive left of the large umbrella pine. On the back nine, holes 13 and 14 are particularly good. The par five 13th curves right and tightens considerably as it careers downhill and the strategic 14th gives you a choice of fairways on either side of the lake, before playing a mid iron to an attractively designed green. The 17th with its superb bunkering and the long 18th are both strong par fours to finish what is a very enjoyable round of golf. Brian W
5 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
June 09, 2015


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Well it isn’t a links course but from the outset you will see what they mean – in the background are hills and rolling fairways rising behind the first tee. It looks delightful and I have to say this really is some golf course that I’d happily play every week. I played in September in a slight breeze and with lush fairways the course was playing very long. Even with a 10 handicap and driving well from the forward tees I had to grab the trusty 3-wood on nine occasions to play from the fairways. In keeping with the sister Parkland course there is plenty of variety created by the rolling terrain and greens, two lakes that add some real excitement and some tricky decision making is required especially on some of the par 4s. The 4th is a perilously deceptive hole. It looks straightforward from the tee so you may wonder why it is stroke index 2. A drive down the middle sees players face what appears to be a relatively tame, although long shot to the green. Forget what your measuring device tells you and club up. It is only when you approach the green that you will see that what you thought was a greenside bunker is in fact 60 yards short and in between is a slope that kills the ball.The 5th plays back down the side of the 4th and danger lurks from the tee on both sides of the fairway. To the left is nasty rough and a large bunker, while anything wide on the right will be swallowed up by the second of two lakes. A testing and unnerving drive is required to hit the fairway from an elevated tee. If you manage that you still require two more very long hits to reach the well-guarded elevated green. The first showcase hole is the 8th where the green is almost an island in the lake you encountered on the 1st. It plays back down the steep hillside and you will be forgiven for simply hitting with hope with a driver or less depending on the wind direction. The back nine once more offers a good variety of holes including the super 13th, a downhill dogleg par 5 that could present a birdie chance with a big drive down the left side of the fairway. This however is just a teaser for the stunning 14th hole that tests your thinking with two options from the tee. Looking down from an elevated tee you will see a lake protruding into the centre of the fairway below, within easy reach. Do you play save and aim right to play around the water, or left to a smallish landing area which will require a seemingly shorter second over the pond? The second option seems of higher risk from the tee, but could offer rewards if you hit the target. Another ‘wow’ factor hole waits at the top of the hill with a spectacular view over the resort from the 17th tee. Below among the humps and hollows on the left side of the fairway lie a string of bunkers. Three more await on the left side of the green. A par here will make your day. What a fabulous golf course, a truly exhilarating and testing experience. @andywaple @drivinggolf
5 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
November 05, 2014


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A great layout. Too bad the greens had some fusariose problems. The layout is great and Sicily should begin to attract more and more people in future years. The other course on the resort, called Parkland, hosted the Sicilian Open 2 years ago and should feature on this website too... Cedric
5 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
May 15, 2013


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The Links Course at Donnafugata might be a little misleading from its title and from your initial impression standing on the first tee box, but after you finish your round you might just think it is appropriate enough. If your expecting the classic style of links as used for the Open Championship you may be disappointed, no huge sand dunes, pot bunkers or vast undulating greens, neither is it flat as many of the UK links courses seem to be, however if you were to tilt links style holes so you played up and down slopes, on top of a ridge or down in a valley then that might give you a better impression of what to expect. What in fact you get are eighteen great, outstanding golf holes, individually interesting but when combined add up to a roller coaster of golf that is going to test every club in the bag and placing a premium on shot making, it is a thinking course with lots of reward holes, this is a place to bring your “A” game as it is difficult to score well.

The first sets the tone for many holes a good drive on the par five gives you the opportunity to “go for the green”, or do you play safe taking three to reach .The second plays uphill with mounding on either side of the fairway a blind tee shot followed by a blind second to an elevated green. The third a very long par three, hitting downhill to a large heavily bunkered green, from there you have elevated tees, dog legs and lots of sand and water before you come out on to the seventh tee box a first glimpse of the ocean and feel those sea breeze’s which can affect clubbing on this the shortest par three. The eighth might be the signature hole a good hit to a small landing area seventy yards below sets up a pitch to an island green water water everywhere. The course goes on, a massive tree stymies all but the best tee shots on nine an uphill dogleg for ten, drive over scrub land to find an angled fairway on eleven, a huge sweeping dog leg downhill par five at thirteen. Fourteen is the most classic of the risk reward holes on the course, play left too land between two lakes or go the long way, short or long iron into the green depending on your route, all surveyed from an elevated tee, this is golf at its most thrilling and demanding. Hit over another tree to find a fairway on the uphill sixteenth before playing down the sweeping seventeenth, then heading for home on a classic last hole hit straight and long and you will be home in four.

This is not the easiest course but the tee boxes are generous enough to allow all standards to play and enjoy, it is a real thrill ride the fairways generous and good to play off the greens reasonably slick and not too undulating it does have water on several holes and lots of greenside bunkers but it is one of those courses that when you look back no matter what you scored you will have enjoyed playing a round here. These really are eighteen holes of thrilling, exhilarating golf.
5 / 6
Donnafugata (Links)
March 13, 2013


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