Argentario Golf Club, Tuscany - view of Orbetello Lagoon

Golf gourmet party with wine tasting & cooking show

 

The Argentario Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course in southern Tuscany (Maremma), has just hosted a fun and delicious event on its fairways.

The Ristogolf circuit stopped at the Argentario, where 3 chefs prepared and presented Mediterranean dishes in food stands placed along the golf course. Golfers could alternate their swings and putts during the competition, with pit stops at the food stands, where wines and champagne were also available for tastings.

Gourmet event: cooking show on the golf course, Tuscany

The Chefs who participated in the event were Enrico Cerea (ristorante Da Vittorio, 3* Michelin); Antonio Guida (ristorante Il Pellicano, 2* Michelin); and Emiliano Lombardelli (Dama Dama Restaurant).

At the end of the golf competition, each Chef presented an original recipe of his’ in an entertaining cooking show, which was followed by a gourmet party for all golfers and visitors.

Are you traveling around Tuscany or planning a golf trip in Italy? IGolfTuscany can help you create a custom itinerary that combines golf with all the best activities and attractions that Tuscany has to offer, and provide you with assistance during your Italian golf break.

Learn more about the Maremma Tuscany destination here

Photos: courtesy of Argentario Golf Club & Aromicreativi

Golf gourmet party and competition, Tuscany

Italian handmade golf shoes

Golf shoes: everlasting style, handmade in Italy

Shoes in golf are the most important accessory for the game. Some golfers do ignore this fact, and try to save on shoes while spending every year for new clubs and drivers.  A good shoe keeps you dry and comfortable, and it should be long lasting.

Today, the golf shoes you buy from the famous golf brands only last a few months, some even claim to be hand-made but are obviously glued together as no stitching is even present. There are serious limits to what the giants of the golf industry provide, mass production can’t provide real quality. Many golfers find themselves changing shoes every year, not by choice but by necessity.

How about buying shoes every year by choice? Not replacing your shoes but adding one to your collection, perhaps one without spikes to wear in the club house?  Why not consider customized golf shoes, authentic footwear for a unique sensation and golfing experience.

Italy might not yet be widely recognized as a golf destination, but local Italian golfers have applied their famous taste for distinctive looks and quality materials to golf accessories too.

'Tricolore' golf shoes, custom made with metal spikes

‘Tricolore’ golf shoes, custom made with metal spikes by artisan Francesco Petroselli

Italian master shoemakers create handmade golf shoes with extreme attention to detail, and they use eco-natural materials and the finest leathers to ensure that their unique creations are waterproof, transpiring and long lasting throughout time. They craft shoes using hand tools and traditional techniques that they have acquired throughout generations of dedication, passion and creativity. They are done by hand, so no one will ever have a pair that looks exactly like yours.

Based in Rome and in Hong Kong, IGolfItaly is club that provides golfers with the best Italian handmade golf accessories. Its mission is to meet the desires and expectations of its refined and demanding golfing clientele.  By collaborating with the best Italian master shoemakers, it shares one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.

Through IGolfItaly you can also design your desired golf shoes and have experienced master artisans create them for you. Many golfers, both amateurs and professionals, have decided to try the feeling of owning and wearing a unique product, conceived and developed just for them. Something that allows them to play the game in style, while enjoying maximum performance and unparalleled comfort.

Have you ever bought genuine handmade shoes? Have you had custom golf shoes made for you? Share your experience below!

"Passione" - ladies handmade golf shoes

“Passione” – ladies handmade golf shoes

IGTM in Lombardy, Italy - October 2014

First-ever Italian IGTM event: Lombardy, October 2014

For the first time in its 17 years of history, the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) will be held in Italy, precisely at the Villa Erba Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of Lake Como, Lombardy.

The Italian IGTM event will take place from the 27th to the 30th October 2014, reuniting over 600 golf tourism suppliers, 350 pre-qualified buyers and the international press for four days of pre-scheduled appointments and networking opportunities.

There will be a strong representation from the host country, with over 70 Italian resorts, clubs and golf suppliers expected to exhibit. The host region, Lombardy, it the Italian region with the highest number of golf clubs (69).

Peter Grimster, IGTM Exhibition Manager, has commented: “Bringing IGTM to Italy will not only enable the country to showcase its varied, yet relatively unknown, golf offering, but also demonstrate the strong support and drive the Italian Golf Federation, Tourism Board and numerous government bodies are committing to help develop the country’s potential as a worthy European golf destination.”
Italian IGTM in Lombardy - October 2014

Italian golf courses - Donnafugata in Sicily

Private and public golf courses in Italy: how many are there and how do they work?

Last week IGolfTuscany posed some questions on different social media: “What would you like to know about #golf in #Italy ? Customs, travel, courses, tips…? Let us know in the comments and we’ll write a blog post about it!”

Ricky Potts, Digital Communications Manager for Troon Golf, asked us some interesting questions on the GOLF Google+ Community: “How many courses are in Italy? How many of those courses are private? What is the average initiation fee for a private facility in Italy?”. Thank you for the input Ricky! This blog post will provide the answers, in the hope of informing foreign golfers on how Italian golf courses work.

As of June 2014, there are 224 golf courses in Italy, divided as follows:
18 holes                            103
18 holes + 9 executive    8
27 holes                            16
27 holes + 9 executive    2
36 holes                            7
9 holes                              87
9 holes + 9 executive    1

There are also more than 150 driving ranges, which means that there almost 400 facilities where golf can be enjoyed all across Italy. Most of them are located in the north, in the regions of Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy. Central Italy follows with Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio. For more on the different regions, have a look at our Mini Guide series on golfing in the North, in the Center, in the South and in Italy’s Islands.

The concept of private golf course in Italy is quite different from the one in the United States.

There is only one golf course that is private in the sense that membership is by invitation only: Tuscany’s Castiglion del Bosco owned by Massimo Ferragamo (yes, from the luxury fashion brand). It is a 4,200-acre country estate with a golf course designed by British Open winner Tom Weiskopf. If you are a traveling golfer with a healthy budget, the estate offers accommodation (suites and villas) with prices varying from 400 euro to 1500+ euro per night, depending on the season. That will give you access to a round of golf on the course which is otherwise only available to invited members.

Then there are semi-private golf courses, like the Olgiata and Acquasanta in Rome, where the membership makes you part-owner of the golf clubs. Shares can be bought on the market at variable quotations, followed by an annual membership fee around 2000 euro for Acquasanta and 3050 euro for Olgiata. However, these clubs also sell green fees, so access is open to any golfer.

Most golf courses in Italy are public: they simply charge annual memberships and green fees, allowing all golfers to play. In order to be able to play in their country, all Italian golfers must register with the national golf federation (annual fee of 75 euro). The mark of 100.000 registered golfers has been surpassed just recently: this number shows that the Italian golf market is not that big as to allow for a dynamic reality with private and public facilities like in the USA.

Have you ever played golf in Italy? What was your golfing experience like? Share comments and any other questions below!

plan a golf break in Italy

Italian 101 for golfers

All around the world, golf-related terms have not been translated into various languages but have remained in English. Golfers can travel pretty much anywhere and be able to play golf without major language setbacks. This is also the case in Italy.

Nevertheless, a better communication means less stress, less chances of misunderstandings and getting things done (playing golf) more quickly. And if you are a foreigner trying to speak Italian – even just using a couple of words you have learned or that you are trying to read from a vocabulary, chances are that your efforts will be rewarded with a warmer smile and perhaps even some extra attention/help.

For this reason, we have compiled a mini Italian golf dictionary so that you can have a look through the words that are still used in English and the ones that have an Italian translation. If you need any help on how to read simply Google “italian pronunciation” and you will find lots of tutorials.

English words used in Italian for….

Equipment: Driver, putter, pitching wedge, sand wedge, grip, tee, trolley, cart, spike
Score/Competition: Albatros, eagle, birdie, par, bogey, handicap, flight, starter, hole-in-one
Golf course: Bunker, fairway, green, rough, pitchmark, club house, caddie
Shots: Swing, drive,dogleg, draw, fade, pull, push, hook, slice

Italian golf words:

Bastone or Mazza (plural: Bastoni or Mazze)            Club(s)
Legno                                                                               Wood
Ferro                                                                                Iron
Pallina                                                                              Ball
Buca (plural: Buche)                                                      Hole(s)
Campo pratica                                                               Driving range
Campo da golf                                                               Golf course
Gettone (plural: Gettoni)                                              Token(s)
Gara                                                                                Competition, match
Sacca                                                                               Golf bag
Spogliatoio                                                                     Locker Room
Zolla                                                                                Divot
Erba                                                                                 Grass
Bandiera                                                                         Flag

Useful Italian sentences at a golf club:

Un green fee 18 (diciotto) buche           one 18-hole green fee
Un green fee 9 (nove) buche                  one 9-hole green fee
Un gettone per il campo pratica            one token for the driving range
Vorrei noleggiare un set di bastoni       I would like to rent a set of clubs
Dov’è la club house?                                Where is the club house?
Dove sono gli spogliatoi?                         Where are the locker rooms?
For a touch of courtesy, add “Per favore” (please) before or after each sentence

Other Italian golf sentences

Voglio giocare a golf                                 I want to play golf
Dov’è il campo da golf più vicino?         Where is the closest golf course?
Io amo il golf                                             I love golf

If you are curious to learn more Italian golf words or phrases that we have not included, feel free to leave a comment below!

And if you are traveling or planning to travel to Italy for a golf vacation, you can count on IGolfTuscany’s local support services!

 

"9 holes" Italian cocktail for golfers

Italian cocktail for golfers: 9 buche (9 holes)

The 9 buche is a refreshing cocktail that will quench your thirst after 9 holes and spice you up to play 9 more! It is the ideal cocktail for golfers and sunny days out in Italy’s beautiful golf courses.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 gin
  • 1/3 bitter orange drink (for example San Pellegrino orange soda)
  • 1/3 Campari bitter
  • Ice cubes

Add a slice of juicy Sicilian orange and… cin cin!

Are there any particular cocktails or drinks for golfers in your country? Share below!

Golf postcard at Castelfalfi, Tuscany

A golf postcard from Castelfalfi, Tuscany

“There are many ways to appreciate Golf: there are those who consider it a sport and those who see it as a game, but, above all, Golf is the best way to get to know some of the most beautiful places in the world. Playing Golf in Tuscany means exploring a land where nature, culture, pleasure and well-being reign supreme.”

This great quote is from Castelfalfi’s blog “Postcards from Tuscany“, and is accompanied by this photograph of the resort’s golf course, which is located between Florence and Pisa.

A great and dreamy way to start the week, and an incentive to come and visit the beautiful region of Tuscany and all the golf courses, gastronomy, culture and history it has to offer!

Il Picciolo golf course in Sicily, Italy

A mini guide to golf on Italy’s islands

After exploring golf courses in north, the center and the south of Italy, our Italian golf tour ends on the beautiful islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, both regions feature breathtaking sea and countryside landscapes, delicious gastronomy and lots of cultural and historic sights. Dotting the islands are some fun golf courses, where you can play all year round thanks to the mild temperatures. Let’s have a look at the main ones…

SICILY

At Verdura Golf Resort you will find three links-style golf courses designed by Kype Phillips. Two of these are 18-hole championship courses, while the other has 9 holes. They all sit on 1,8 km of panoramic coastline. Il Picciolo Golf Club offers 18 holes with a unique backdrop: Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano! Finally, Donnafugata offers two 18-hole golf courses in the Sicilian countryside: a Parkland signature course by Gary Player, and a Links course by Italian architect Franco Piras.

SARDINIA

Golf on Italy’s islands: Pevero golf course in Sardinia

Pevero golf course in Sardinia

Pevero Golf Club has the signature of legendary architect Robert Trent Jones. It enjoys a magical location on the Costa Smeralda, surrounded by rock formations, natural lakes, the Mediterranean vegetation and the emerald sea. Sardinia’s largest course is Is Molas Golf Club with 27 holes. Its championship course is considered as one of the most technically satisfying and spectacular courses of the Mediterranean. Is Arenas Golf Club was designed by Von Hagge, Smelek and Baril, and includes 18 holes plus 3 executive ones.

 

Video Golf in Tuscany

Video: golf courses in Tuscany

What is it like to play golf in the beautiful and famous Italian region of Tuscany? Here is a short video with images filmed around many Tuscan golf courses, from the sea to the hills, from the north to the south (Maremma).