A Ferrari parked in the middle of the clubhouse entrance hall is not something you expect to find at a golf club, but seeing as the Modena Golf & Country Club is just a stone’s throw from Ferrari’s factory at Maranello, I think we can let sleeping dogs lie. This is after all golf in Italy.
Not to be outdone, there are also a few Maserati knick knacks dotted about here too, not to mention the odd Ducati and Lamborghini to make up the numbers.
As you would expect, with such esteemed neighbours on its doorstep, Modena Golf & Country Club is the pick of my tour of Emilia’s golf courses. Everything about it is classy, from the rolling manicured fairways of a very impressive golf course to the huge outdoor pool area festooned with sun loungers adjacent to the clubhouse.
The parkland style Bernhard Langer designed course has enough hazards on it to test any and all levels of players with no less than 7 holes using water as their main threat. Not any old water you understand, but lily laden posh water of course with the rest making do with huge bunkers, dog legs and forest. The par 3 6th and 11th in particular are all carry across large expanses of water whilst the the long par 5 closing hole is a classic test of nerve and risk versus reward.
Plenty of opportunities for golf here and Leonardo Da Vinci’s lovely canal town of Cesenatico lies midway along the coast, a perfect place to base yourself. A few kilometres north of here, next to the historic salt flats of Cervia and the famous glamour of Milano Marittima lies the Adriatic Golf Club.
Although surprisingly, there are no sweeping views of the aforementioned sea the golf club is named after, there are plenty of views of the surrounding pinewood that hides the coastline if you don’t keep the ball on the fairway.
The club has three 9 hole tracks to choose from, (yellow, red and blue) and whilst the original red course is long and narrow, if you yearn for more water based tests you’ll find plenty of it on the aptly named blue course, whilst the yellow takes its inspiration from links type Scottish terrain. So three very different courses under one roof, more than enough variety to keep you interested. The Adriatic has a very local feel to it, even to the extent of allowing me to join the members in the monthly medal competition held that day, rather than turn me away. The greens may not be championship standard, and the mosquitoes on the Blue course call for plenty of repellent, but it is enjoyable golfing test all the same and the terrace restaurant serves some great local dishes.
Driving south towards the foothills of San Marino, you’ll unearth Rimini-Verucchio Golf Club, a course practically off the tourist radar, but a little goldmine in my opinion. Nestled amongst the vineyards with San Marino’s mount rising in the distance this course designed by American designer Brian Silva has more than a touch of the USA about it; fast sloping greens, plenty of sweeping dog legs and long carries over man-made lakes.Verucchio has however been in need of a good amount of TLC for some time to fully realise its potential and thankfully now, under new ownership it has the opportunity to really stand out.
Emilia-Romagna may well boast of its supercars, its famous Parmigiano Regiagno and its Parma Ham, but perhaps the golf courses might just demand some attention too
About the Emilia Romagna Golf Circuit
There are.25 golf courses included on the Emilia Romagna Golf circuit (see the full list at www.emiliaromagnagolf.com)
There is a heavily discounted rate on offer for International visitors of €48 per round on any course providing your tee times are booked directly through Emilia Romagna Golf
Emilia Romagna Golf also represents 24 Golf Hotels too so you can wrap up all your golfing needs in one place.