Molto Magnifico - Montecatini Golf Club Italy
By Dave Finn
The first thing I noticed as we drove up to the front entrance of the Montecatini Golf Club was the beautifully restored Tuscan stone estate home turned clubhouse that dates back to the 11th century. From the terrace, we had an unparalleled view of the course we were about to play.
Celebrating its 25 anniversary in 2010, this 18-hole par 72 is only 46 km drive northwest of Florence near the city of Montecatini Terme. Designed by Architect A. Croze, this very hilly 5700 meter (around 6300 yards) layout lets you play through the valleys and along the ridges. Set amongst the olive groves, Montecatini features many doglegs and multi-level greens that put emphasis on accuracy rather then distance. There are 4 sets of tees to test all levels of players and your driver is not needed for the first 3 holes.
When you reach the 9th, take a moment to absorb the panoramic view of the previous eight holes you have just played. At this point, you will have a hard time deciding whether you should pull out your camera or your club!
The 18th is definitely Montecatini’s signature hole. This 145 yard par 3 finishing hole is without a doubt, the most photographed hole in all of Tuscany featuring a wood retaining walled pond in the foreground with the clubhouse and countryside in the background.
The gentle Montalbano Hills form the backdrop for the lakes, streams, forests and ditches that are part of the natural contours of the land so artfully arranged it’s hard to believe that you are not staring at a painting and rightfully so. Italian artist and inventor, Leonardo DeVinci was born in the nearby village of Vinci and here you can see what inspired his masterpieces. No doubt a round at Montecatini will also inspire your game!
September is their transition month and it is the perfect time of year to visit Italy. Relax and unwind in a timeless landscape of villages, castles, wine festivals, fine flavours, warm colours and of course, golf!