German aristocrat Erwin von Riedemann and his wife Josefa moved to Lugano during World War I. To please his wife, who was a keen golfer, Erwin engaged an architect named Percy Dell to design a private 9-hole layout that she could play on. The course opened for play in Magliaso on 24th November 1923.
Donald Harradine expanded the layout to eighteen holes in 1970 then Cabell Robinson carried out some modifications in the early 1990s. Peter Harradine was then involved in new millennial renovation work on the course. The Magliasina River runs through the course and it’s brought into play on several holes.
Occupying a rather restricted 80-acre property, the course extends to around 5,500 metres from the back markers, playing to a par of 70, with holes arranged as two returning nines. There’s only one par five on the shorter back nine, which also features three par three holes.
Highlight holes on the front nine include the left doglegging par five 5th and the short par four 6th. On the inward half, the river fronts both the par three holes at the 14th and 16th, and this water hazard also has to be negotiated on the last hole, as it cuts across the front of the home green.
Peter Harradine told us in August 2021:
“Lugano’s tight but very playable… an absolute masterpiece – especially as it was built on only 33 hectares! Cabell Robinson didn’t alter the routing which was designed by my father. He added a lot of bunkers but only changed one hole, a par 3 that now plays over the river.
Many of the bunkers (40 of them) were closed by me in 2019/20. I also re-re-modelled some of the new greens to create more pin positions and facilitate maintenance. The scores for high handicappers improved slightly, probably as they were not constantly hacking away on the beaches of St. Tropez!”