Last week IGolfItaly 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 early 2019, in Italy there are around 150 golf courses with 18 holes or more. If we add the driving ranges and smaller courses with 9 holes, there are 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 Italian 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 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 100 euro).
The statistics provided by the Italian Golf Federation show that in December 2018 there were about 90.000 registered golfers. 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 other countries around the world.
Golf Vacation in Italy: play in the best golf courses
Not all courses are equipped to provide great service and facilities for travelers. If you are planning a golf vacation in Italy and are looking for the best golf courses, IGolfItaly can be your local partner and help you find the best solutions for a stress-free experience. We do all the “dirty” work you don’t want to do. You need the local knowledge to pay the right prices and enjoy Italy as the Italians do, avoiding tourist traps and unpleasant surprises. This is what we can do for you:
- Local authenticity: we organize your golf experience so that it blends in with the local culture, sights, restaurants and customized activities you choose
- Train with style: we help you improve your game through organized training sessions with our golf clinics and qualified team of professionals
- Location, location, location: we select the best and challenging golf courses in Tuscany (or, upon request, in the rest of Italy) where you can test your skills and enjoy beautiful settings
- Customer service: we can provide assistance in all the aspects of your golf trip including logistics, bookings and travel advice; plus tips on where to eat and sleep, from sea-view independent apartments to golf resorts, from budget or luxury hotel rooms to rustic bed & breakfasts