Italian golf has hit the headlines over the last 12 months with the exploits of the Molinari brothers and top amateur Matteo Manassero and momentum is set to build further in 2010 with a new government initiative aimed at promoting the game in Italy to UK golfers.
ENIT, the country’s national tourist board, is keen to continue the good work started by World Cup team champions Francesco and Edoardo Molinari and top-ranked world amateur Manassero and has launched a campaign to raise the profile of Italy as a golfing destination.
The initiative will include a nationwide media advertising and public relations campaign in magazines, clubs, driving ranges and newspapers to the UK market to highlight the benefits of taking a golfing break in Italy.
Italy has around 260 courses including some of the best in mainland Europe but has less than 100,000 affiliated golfers, while its warm climate and mixture of excellent gastronomy, fine wines, spas, history, culture and beaches make it the perfect location for a holiday.
Valerio Scoyni, director of ENIT, said: “The golf product in Italy is something that has perhaps been overlooked in the past and we want to address that as part of a long-term strategy.
“We have some of the best courses in Europe but that is a fact that is not as widely known as it should be, especially in the UK.
“With the combination of an idyllic climate, fine regional cuisine, wine, history and culture, Italy has all the ingredients that are needed for a golfing holiday, but has none of the overcrowding that other parts of Europe experience.”
Whether you are looking to play against a white backdrop of alpine peaks in Italy’s Lake District, among the olive presses and vineyards in Tuscany or further down south in Puglia or on the beautiful islands of Sardinia and Sicily, Italy has something for every golf enthusiast.
Courses including Villa D‘Este and Milano in Lombardy, Le Querce near Rome and Poggio dei Medici in Tuscany have all won widespread praise in recent years while Royal Park Golf Club, near Turin, will host this year’s Italian Open from 6-9 May.
And with 19 airports in the UK now operating regular flights to all over Italy, the country has never been so accessible.
Scoyni added: “We have excellent accessibility from the UK regarding airline routes and we can provide a golfing break product to rival anywhere else in Europe in terms of price, quality of product and accommodation.
“We also have the benefit of a currently undersold golf product which means that tee times are readily available, and also green fee rates are extremely competitive compared to other European golf destinations.”
To enquire about a golf break or for further information on golf in Italy, please phone 020 7399 3550/7 or go to www.italiantouristboard.co.uk