Tips for Playing Golf in Italy

In the April 2008 issue of Dream of Italy, Ann Cochran introduces us to where to play golf in Italy and where to stay while playing. “If you are paired with an Italian, he or she may point out Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace through a grove of olive trees (Montecatini Golf Club) or ancient aqueducts (Rome Golf Course), and you might your 19th hole Prosecco in a clubhouse built inside a fortification from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Circolo Golf Venezia),” she writes. Here are some of her tips for golfing in Italia:

· The Italian golf season starts in spring, generally in April, and ends in October. Some courses are open year round but not all.

· Many courses are closed Monday, except when a holiday falls on a Monday.

· Italian clubs are crazy for tournaments. From February through November, many have two to three tournaments a week. This is how they make money and Italian golfers love to play in tournaments because of the prizes that the sponsors give. Tournament sponsors vary from BMW and Sony to local Rotary and Lion’s Clubs.

· In Italy, a country that disdains rules, most courses are the standard 18 holes and some have 27, but you might find others that are 11 or even just three holes.

· Some private courses ask for verification of an official handicap from a U.S. golf club.

· Book a tee-off in advance, even the day before, just like at home.

· At resort courses and some of the more upscale private clubs, a round can be 100 euros, but for the most part you can expect to pay 50 to 80 euros per 18-hole round, and 30 euros for the cart rental; cart use is much less prevalent there. Club rental runs from 30 euros.

Click here to read the rest of Ann’s article including course reviews and hotel and villa suggestions for where to stay while you play golf in Italy