- Top 60 Golf Courses of Italy 2023
Top 60 Golf Courses of Italy 2023
We’ve re-ranked courses in Italy every two years since producing our inaugural Top 30 in 2008. Our ranking panel has been increased this time around, allowing us to cast the net a bit wider and gather more data which then lets us expand the regional lists a little bit.
In a country of around 60 million people, there are about eighty-seven thousand registered golfers playing on 312 different courses, according to the European Golf Participation Report which was last published by the R&A and EGA for 2021.
That means we feature more than one in five of all the courses found across the nation.
It’s a big year for golf in Italy as the Ryder Cup matches will be held at the end of September on the Championship course at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club outside Rome. In preparation for the event, the layout has undergone a significant upgrade to catapult it up our listings, but more of that later.
First of all, we announce our new number 1, a layout that has never been out of the top three ranking positions in any of the eight Italian chart editions published so far. Indeed, it was a former #1 in the period 2016-17 so sitting on the summit is nothing new at this location.
Royal Park I Roveri
We present the Allianz by Robert Trent Jones Sr. course at Royal Park I Roveri in Turin as our new Italian #1, advancing one place from the runner-up position. Laid out within a 16th-century hunting estate which is now the Parco Regionale della Mandria conservation area, this course was Robert Trent Jones Senior’s first foray into golf course design in Italy during the early 1970s.
Further down the new standings, the Hurdzan & Fry-designed Allianz Bank course at Royal Park I Roveri came into play seventeen years ago and it now makes a substantial climb of seventeen places to #39.
The East course at Rocco Forte’s Verdura resort on the island of Sicily has been a permanent fixture in the national Top 10 since entering at number 8 in 2012. It now rises three spots to its highest position of #5 (and the neighbouring West course also nudges two places forward to #8). With those lofty listings, it’s easy to see why the Kyle Phillips-designed golf complex at Verdura is regarded as one of the best 36-hole facilities in the country.
The Championship course at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome soars an incredible twenty-two places to #11, not long after a major upgrade was carried out a couple of years back by Dave Sampson of European Golf Design in consultation with Tom Fazio II. Currently the host club for the Italian Open, Marco Simone will stage the Ryder Cup later this year, with lots of opportunities to enjoy dramatic match play twists and turns on the redesigned layout.
The Royal Golf La Bagnaia course at La Bagnaia Golf Resort near Siena in Tuscany climbs five places to #20 in our new standings. Laid out next to a couple of medieval villages where visiting golfers can stay and play in style, this 18-hole layout is a Robert Trent Jones Junior creation that’s set up as an “inland links,” with some of the holes routed around the sparkling waters of five attractive lakes.
Situated a 90-minute drive east of La Bagnaia, close to Perugia, lies another Robert Trent Jones Junior design at Antognolla Golf, which also rises five places to #26. The property dates back to the 12th century (more recently it was an asset of the Agnelli family) and the intention is for the castle and estate to become an international resort with the golf course as its sporting centrepiece.
The 18-hole layout at San Domenico Golf near Fasano in the Puglia region progresses eight places up the chart to #29 (having previously occupied the #13 spot in our Italian rankings back in 2012). Designed by Andrew Haggar when he worked with European Golf Design twenty years ago, the course staged eight editions of the season-ending Challenge Tour Grand Final from 2005 to 2012 before the event moved to the Middle East.
Located close to Milan’s Malpensa airport, the 18-hole course at Le Robinie Golf Club shoots a noteworthy thirteen places up the new chart to #32. This is where Jack Nicklaus first put his signature stamp on an Italian course and he and his design and construction teams had their work cut out to transform a largely level landscape into the exciting golfing grounds that eventually emerged from a fair bit of soil shifting.
The Brut and Satèn nines at the 27-hole Franciacorta Golf Club outside Brescia leap a commendable ten places up to #36. These eighteen holes were originally set out by Pete Dye and Marco Croze in the mid-1980s within a former clay quarry at Corte Franca. A few national amateur and professional championships have been held at the club and a third Rosè nine was added in 2009, with hole names assigned (as with the other two loops) to famous local wineries.
Golf Club Verona’s 18-hole layout was a chart newcomer in 2020 and it now heads a further nine places in the right direction to #43. The original 9-hole course in the early 1960s was the work of John Harris before Giulio Cavalsani helped redesign and extend the layout between 1969 and 1971. In more recent times, Baldovino Dassù and Alvise Rossi Fioravanti, have, in the words of the club, made it “more aggressive” so expect a good game of golf when playing here.
Torino Golf Club La Mandria’s Blue course has been a Top 10 constant since 2010 (hosting the Italian Open in 2013 and 2014) but the Turin club’s Yellow course (up eight to #46) is also starting to make its mark after a chart debut last time around. Marco Croze was the architect behind extending the original John Harris-designed Blue course to a 27-hole layout before adding another nine hole to fashion the 18-hole Yellow course that’s now in play.
To view the entire detailed list of our latest Top 60 Golf Courses of Italy click the link. View list here.
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