Golf Club La Pinetina occupies a heavily-forested 175-acre site adjacent to the Angelo Moratti Sport Centre – better known as the Inter Milan training centre – which is located outside the small town of Appiano Gentile, to the north of Milan. The football club’s training facility is commonly known as Pinetina, though it has no connection with the golf club.
Angelo Moratti, the former President of Internazionale, and coach Helenio Herrera commissioned the secluded training facility for the team in the early 1960s, a decade before the golf course was brought into play by Commander John Harris, an English architect who eventually ended up with more than a dozen Italian designs to his name.
The holes are beautifully routed across an undulating landscape, with fairways weaving through a pinewood regional park in a very pleasant fashion. Both nines conclude with strong par four holes: the 347-metre 9th veers down and left off the tee then rises up to a green that’s benched into the hillside whilst the 391-metere 18th also swings left from the tee then uphill to a home green which is protected by three large bunkers on the right.It’s a pity that overhead power lines encroach at the 4th and 5th holes and such an unwelcome interference from the outside world in this idyllic natural setting is rather unfortunate. Thankfully, there’s no sign of the modern world later in the round at the signature par three 14th. Here, the hole plunges steeply downhill to a green protected by an enormous bunker which wraps itself around three quarters of the putting surface.