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When in Rome...Play Golf

October 13, 2021

Rome is not just about world-class food and rich culture. Italy’s capital has also become a golf hub—offering year-round play on more than 150 courses, some of which were designed by internationally renowned architects.

Start along Via Appia Nuova, at Golf Club Roma Acquasanta—Italy’s first golf club. Founded in 1903, it’s received prestigious awards from CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee), including the honorable 2017 Collare d'Oro for its distinguished role in developing golf in the area. This centrally located parkland layout was inspired by the ancient British links. It gently follows the terrain’s natural undulations, and is surrounded by mediterranean pines, cypresses and eucalyptus—it’s both a visual and playing pleasure. Along the fairways you can admire the mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, as well as ancient Rome aqueduct Acquedotto Claudio.

Parco di Roma Golf Club is the city’s most urban club—located just 10 minutes from Ponte Milvio, within the regional park of Veio. Its modern touch comes courtesy of American designer P. B. Dye, with 18 holes spread over two ground levels. The silhouette of Saint Peter’s Basilica stands out in the distance.

On the road leading to Fiumicino, Parco de 'Medici Golf Club consists of three nine-hole courses that are challenging for golfers of all skill levels—thanks to the tree-lined fairways, greenside bunkers, and several in-play lakes. That said, the course is relatively flat.

Also in Rome, Fioranello Golf Club showcases holes that border the Appia Antica archaeological park. On the 10th hole, the out of bounds is marked by the remains of an aqueduct.

To the north on Via Cassia, towards Viterbo, Olgiata Golf Club is a challenging course among statuary maritime pines. The club has hosted key international events, such as the Italian Open in 2002 and 2019, and the Philip Morris Golf World Cup in 1968 and 1984. The property was once a stud farm that produced thoroughbreds, and there’s still an adjacent horse racing track.

Just outside the Eternal City’s borders, other notable courses are within easy driving distance. Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, official home of the 2023 Ryder Cup, is also hosting the next three editions of the Italian Open. Just 15 kilometers from the center of Rome, it was recently renovated. Its beauty will leave visitors speechless.

In Upper Lazio, along the Via Francigena, Golf Nazionale became the home of the Italian Golf Federation in 2011. Within its 70 hectares, future coaches, directors, club secretaries, superintendents and greenkeepers are perpetually being trained. This was also the venue of the 1991 Philip Morris Golf World Cup.

Not far away in Monterosi, Terre dei Consoli Golf Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It’s hosted European Challenge Tour events twice, and is perhaps best-known for its signature par-3 9th hole that features an island green.

South of Rome, the clubhouse at Castelgandolfo Golf Club is now housed in the villa originally built for Cardinal in Sassia Flavio Chigi, a nephew of Pope Alessandro VII. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed the course that actually sits inside a volcanic crater.

Finally, Golf Club Fiuggi in the Frosinone region opened in 1928, and is presumed to be the country’s first public course. The thermal water here is famous for its natural healing properties—there are several therapeutic baths nearby—and the 18 holes are a great challenge where precision wins over power.