Established by local businessman Riccardo Pisa and partner Giorgio Simonini in the mid-1980s, the 27-hole Gardagolf Country Club complex lies within the former Omedeo family estate, nestling in the Valtenesi hills above the shores of Lake Garda.
The Rosso (Red) and Bianco (White) nines comprise the original championship 18-hole course at Gardagolf, with the newer Giallo nine (playing almost 500 yards shorter than the other two circuits) completing the 27-hole configuration.
Woodland and open fairways are laid out below the clubhouse on the gentle slopes of a generous 275-acre property where the Rosso nine contains the more undulating holes and the Bianco nine features water on five of its holes.
The Giallo (Yellow) circuit should not be dismissed, though, as it contains plenty of challenging golf holes; making it well worth the cost of paying the additional green fee tariff to play all twenty-seven holes at this stunningly scenic venue.A number of top professional events have been held at Gardagolf since it opened, including the Italian Women’s Open in 1990 and the Italian Open in 1997 and 2003. The European Tour returned to this lovely part of Lombardy in 2018 for the club's third staging of the Italian Open, which Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen won, beating home favourite Francesco Molinari by one-shot.
This club isn't shy about its aspirations, hence it would be a long drive to get to a more expensive venue. To be fair, it did stage a couple of Italian Opens and a few other high-profile events. The parkland estate with its magnificent clubhouse is representative enough and the three 9 hole loops provide plenty of interesting, if not world-beating holes.
There are some undulations on the property, mainly utilised on the Red course, but in all it is a fairly relaxing experience that rarely pushes the player outside his comfort zone. This does not mean that the course is easy, it has a couple of tricks up its sleeve that only local knowledge (or a strokesaver) can mitigate. The greens are pretty fast as well, but short of blading chips there aren't many short-game opportunities to rack up a big score.
The visuals are nice, Italian countryside estate style, but not by themselves a reason to visit the course. It's a competent parkland track and could conceivably lay claim to be the best course at Lake Garda, but competition in that corner of Italy isn't exactly fierce.