Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and enjoys a similar to African sun during the entire year. This island is regarded in many ways as one with an almost mythical aura, possibly inspired by its long and turbulent history, of various invasions and civilisations.
The food and wine excellence of Sicily are legendary and with the sparkling, clear warmth of the Ionian Sea, hilltop towns with ornate baroque cathedrals, this is a golfing experience that is completely fascinating and unique. From days on the golf course, you are able to change gear and view extraordinary archaeological sights. The locals are friendly with a character all their own and even if you cannot speak their language, you will find them passionate and helpful about their island in the sun.
A city with long golfing history
Delving into the golfing history of Sicily, we can go back to the 1920’s and to the golf courses of that time, at Mondello in Palermo and to Taormina, which today are covered with villas and houses. A point of interest for the modern golfing fraternity, are photographic records showing that women used to play the game on these courses, which was a remarkable foresight compared to most golf courses at that time!
The Madonie Course
Situated in the mountains, the Madonie course is easily accessible and offers excellent 4 star lodge facilities, as does the one in Picciolo. Although the Madonie Mountains provide a magnificent background for golfers, this could be challenged by the striking beauty of Mount Etna, which is generally regarded by players as being beyond compare. On certain occasions, golfers have been treated to the experience of playing on the greens, with smoke from the volcano as a backdrop.
The Donnafugata Gold Resort
In 2011 the Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa, hosted the Sicilian Open, the first time this European Tour men’s professional golf tournament had been held. Donnafugata, designed by the renowned Gary Player, is near Ragusa in south-eastern Sicily and like Verdura, is a PGA course. This was followed in 2012 at the Verdura Golf and Spa Resort, on their links-styled course that runs to the coastline.
Verdura, designed by Kyle Phillips, is located near Sciacca in the south-west of Sicily, offers two eighteen-holes courses as well as a nine-hole. The landscape is set amongst rolling hills along the shoreline and is one of the Sicilian courses which all have their own particular uniqueness.
The impressive expanse of the resort provides a wonderful feeling of isolation with nature; the peace of the course is emphasized by the sounds of birds and the rustle of the wind through the grass. Walking casually through the rolling fairways, you will find them well-separated; with deep-pot bunkering giving you an impression of playing on one of the historic Scottish links courses.