Sheraton Golf Parco De' Medici Hotel & Resort
Amazingly, the fantastic resort at Sheraton Golf Parco de’ Medici is just 8 miles from the centre of Rome and all its attractions. The comprehensive golf, leisure and business destination offers good 4* accommodation courtesy of its 622 guest bedrooms and suites.
The pastel colours throughout are complemented by the best modern facilities, and the décor is simple yet elegant. Notable bedroom features include air-conditioning, satellite television, a spacious bathroom with bathrobes and slippers, a mini-bar and safe, while some upgraded rooms are complete with a private patio overlooking the golf courses.
As is expected of the world renowned Sheraton brand, the quality and comfort at the Golf Parco de’ Medici is outstanding, and combined with the excellent proximity to central Rome helps to explain why this is one of the most popular destinations for a golf holiday in Italy.
The resort has a delightful outdoor swimming pool, while the leisure complex includes a well-equipped gym and a sauna, as well as a tennis court.
The hotel’s elegant Savoia Restaurant is a highly regarded gourmet experience, while the Club House serves international and regional cuisine in a more relaxed environment.
Uno e Bino is a Rome favourite, serving traditional Italian recipes in the lively student area near the San Lorenzo University.
2 people sharing
3 nights B&B + 2 greenfees
2 people sharing
4 nights B&B + 3 greenfees
2 people sharing
5 nights B&B + 4 Greenfees
2 people sharing
7 nights B&B + 6 greenfees
The Blue Course is the most challenging of the three loops at the resort, and at 3,247 yards, is also the longest. There are a number of lakes that certainly beautify the landscape, but also provide dangerous obstacles. Walking up the closing fairway, you may notice the remains of an ancient Roman settlement.
The White Course – 3,057 yards – also boasts an impressive historical anecdote; the layout covers land that was the favoured hunting ground of Pope Leo X in the 15th century. As for the course today, the expanses of water that infringe upon many holes can seriously upset the scorecard.
The Red Course is the shortest at Parco de’ Medici, measuring a modest 2,805 yards, but it is perhaps the most interesting of the resort’s three loops. As with the Blue and White courses, Italian design team consulted American architectural legend Peter Fazio, and have created a great little course that will challenge golfers to use every club in the bag.
It was back in 1903 that a number of like-minded, golf-mad British expatriates created the first Italian golf course – along with a cricket pitch and tennis court – at Roma Acquasanta, to the south east of the Eternal City. over 100 years, Roma Acquasanta Golf Club remains not only of the most prestigious clubs in country and a wonderfully atmospheric place to play golf, but Italy’s oldest golf course.
Laid out over an enchanting parkland landscape, with views of the Via Appia Antica, Aqua Caludius arches and ancient tomb of Cecilia Metella in the background, Roma Acquasanta seems suspended in the time wrap with the course and its surroundings standing still as the modern world goes by.
Like Muirfield, the course routing is such that the back nine is played, within a loop created around the perimeter of the property by the front nine holes. Sad to say, its 6429 yardage is no longer challenging enough for the professional players and it’s more than likely that the 1980 Italian Open – won by Massimo Mannelli – will be the last one held here.
The course plays fairly tightly, with trees, the meandering river Almone and intelligently placed bunkers coming into play at many holes. A prime example is the 430 yard par 4 17th which played downhill to a hole protected by a bunker to the front right. Before the green complex, however, there are no one, but two streams running across the fairways, the second of which continues laterally along the left side of the putting surface.
Situated just half an hour’s drive form the city centre of Rome, near the historic hill town of Tivoli, the challengin 18 holes Championship layout at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club was set out by the architect Jim Fazio in late 1980s.
Fazio was certainly a busy man around that time in Italy as he also designed the course at Le Querce (now named Golf Nazionale), which debuted in 1990, and the architect has since returned to renovate Olgiata in 2010 and lay out the course at Golf Club Paradiso del Garda in 2002.
The Golf & Country Club lies within a beautiful old estate – complete with a restored 11th century castle – that belongs to fashion designer Laura Biangiotti, with the grounds extending to more than 350 acres. The 7000 square metres clubhouse is reputed to be one of the largest in Europe.
As far as the club’s tournament history goes, the Italian Open was held here in 1994, just three years after it first opened for play, when Eduardo Romero held off a strong challenge from Greg Turner to win the event by a single shot, with sixteen under par aggregate total score of 272.
At the end of 2015, it was announced that Marco Simone would become the third golf venue continental Europe to host the Ryder Cup in 2022, somewhat surprisingly beating off strong bids from courses in Austria, Germany and Spain.
The Championship course will be “completely reconstructed” ahead of the tournament according to an official realise by Ryder Cup Europe and we’ll certainly be following news on those developments with keen interest in the months come.
Situated close to the Pope’s summer residence near the capital, the course at Country Club Castelgandolfo is set out within the remeins of an old volcanic crater. Robert Trent Jones Sr constructed the layout in two phases, with the first nine opening in 1987 and the sencond nine following a year later.
A couple lakes come into play in the middle of the property, most notably at the right dog legged 4th and short par four 16th, where water threatens on either side of the fairway at both these holes. And as might be expected of an RTJ design, the course has plenty of strategically placed bunkers to confound and confuse.
The clubhouse is located within a fabulous, beautifully-restored 17th century villa that was built for a nephew of Pope Alexander VII and this stylish building overlooks the fairways as they weave their way around stands of cypress, pine and olive trees in a very agreeable golfing environment.
The course hosted two editions of the Roma Masters, a short-lived tournament on the European Tour in 1992 and 1993. Both events were won after a play-off with Jose Maria Cañizares overcoming Barry Lane the first year and Jean Van de Velde seeing off Greg Turner twelve months later.