Molto Magnifico - Montecatini Golf & Country Club Italy
The first thing I noticed as we drove up to the front entrance of the Montecatini Golf and Country Club was the beautifully restored Tuscan stone estate home turned clubhouse that dates back to the 11th century. From the terrace, we had an unparalleled view of the course we were about to play.
Celebrating its 29th anniversary in 2014, this 18-hole par 72 is only an hour’s drive northwest of Florence near the city of Montecatini Terme. Designed by architect Marco Croze, this very hilly 5,700-meter (around 6,300 yards) layout is routed through the valleys and along the ridges. Set amongst the olive groves, Montecatini features many doglegs and multi-level greens that put emphasis on accuracy rather then distance. There are four sets of tees to test all levels of players and your driver is not needed for the first three holes.
When you reach the 9th, take a moment to absorb the panoramic view of the previous eight holes you have just played. At this point, you will have a hard time deciding whether you should pull out your camera or your club.
The 18th is definitely Montecatini’s signature hole. This 145-yard par three finishing hole is without a doubt, the most photographed hole in all of Tuscany featuring a wood retaining walled pond in the foreground with the clubhouse and countryside in the background.
The gentle Montalbano Hills form the backdrop for the lakes, streams, forests and ditches that are part of the natural contours of the land so artfully arranged it’s hard to believe that you are not staring at a painting and rightfully so. Italian artist and inventor, Leonardo DeVinci was born in the nearby village of Vinci and here you can see what inspired his masterpieces. No doubt a round at Montecatini will also inspire your game!
September is their transition month and it is the perfect time of year to visit Italy. Relax and unwind in a timeless landscape of villages, castles, wine festivals, fine flavours, warm colours and of course, golf.For a complete story on golf in Tuscany Italy see: http://golftravelandleisure.com/2013/11/10/golf-tuscany-italy/