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Author: Davide Santandrea

Emilia Romagna: perfect for lovers of golf and flavour

08 February 2023
6 min. read
Davide Santandrea
Strategically located, Emilia Romagna is a region rich with golf courses. From Piacenza to Rimini, along the more than 250 kilometres of the Via Emilia, there are no less than 27 facilities including 18-hole courses, 27-hole courses, pitch & putt and driving ranges. In addition to golf, the region boasts an incredible offer for food and wine enthusiasts; in short, a region waiting to be discovered.
Hole 18 at the Modena Golf & Country Club is one of the most well-known holes in Emilia Romagna. A par 5 that is not too long but requires carrying a double lake. (Photo: maudvp)

Golf enthusiasts will certainly not be bored spending time in Emilia Romagna. Those coming from abroad may find it convenient to base themselves in Bologna, the regional capital and central point for easy access to the most beautiful golf courses. It is a historical city with some truly fascinating sights to discover. But we will talk about this later. Let us assume that we are staying in these lands for a week, with the possibility of playing golf almost every day. I'll review the 5 most beautiful courses in Emilia Romagna.

Modena Golf & Country Club

Modena Golf & Country Club. (Photo: maudvp)

Just over half an hour's drive from Bologna, the course designed by the great Bernard Langer leaves no golfer disappointed. The course is not short, and has numerous obstacles, but is fun to play for the less experienced handicappers and at the same time challenging for the more skilled players. The quality of the course is also testified by the fact that in 1993 it was the venue for the 50th Italian Open, and in recent years it has hosted the Grand Final of the Alps Tour, the third continental circuit. The maintenance is always of a high standard, at all times of the year. The greens are large and well-maintained, rolling the ball into the hole is a pleasure!

Adriatic Golf Club Cervia

Adriatic Golf Club Cervia. (Photo: maudvp)

We move towards the Adriatic Sea, just over an hour's drive from Bologna, and find another golfing gem in the region: the Adriatic Golf Club Cervia. Undoubtedly the largest course in Emilia Romagna, with three 9-hole courses with different characteristics. The 18 championship holes consist of the red and yellow courses - with the first nine immersed in the pine forest, a type of woodland famous on the Adriatic coast - but woe betide the blue course, which is also fun thanks to the numerous doglegs and the constant presence of water hazards. Especially in summer, tee times should be booked ahead, given the large number of tourists. Special mention for the restaurant (one of the best there is), which from the second floor directly overlooks the course. It is here that, after a day of golf, enjoying the sunset is truly special.

Golf Club Bologna

Golf Club Bologna. (Photo: Golf Club Bologna)

A historic club, which bears the name of the city, but is located slightly further away, in the hills of Bologna. It is precisely the type of terrain that outlines the characteristics of the course: a very rough course, with short holes and several ups and downs. Unlike some of the other courses, the most important thing is precision from the tee, so it is better to keep the driver in the bag and place an iron or hybrid in the middle of the fairway because the trees are always in play. If this strategy is successful for the first 9 holes, the back nine becomes longer and wider. You do need your driver if you want to attack the greens that are always elevated and very undulating. Speaking of greens: they are among the best in the region, very fast, hard, almost like glass at different times of the season... they will put even the lowest handicaps to the test.

Golf Club Le Fonti

Golf Club Le Fonti. (Photo: Golf Club Le Fonti)

This has been my club for many years, therefore I have a strong relationship with this beautiful course just 20 minutes from Bologna. An appropriate slogan sums up a day at this club: here golf is for everyone! Although the course is not difficult, it is fun for anyone who plays it. The wide fairways, the non-punishing greens and the possibility of missing right with no major problems (if slice is your favourite shot, here you will still have fun!) allow even beginners low scores.

The variety of holes, however, is the strong point of this course: water, bunkers, doglegs alternate at a leisurely pace; getting bored is impossible. Watch out, however, because the Alps Tour qualifiers are also played here: if the wind blows (very likely) and the tournament committee decides to make the course difficult, even the pros have a hard time scoring. The driving range is beautiful and well maintained, where you can also take lessons in a well-run academy, with young professionals eager to enthusiastically pass on golfing knowledge.

Golf del Ducato – La Rocca

Golf del Ducato – La Rocca. (Photo: Golf del Ducato – La Rocca)

Finally, let's treat ourselves to 18 holes in Parma, on the La Rocca course in Sala Baganza, an hour and twenty minutes from Bologna. Thanks to a single sports management, the Parma Golf Experience, it is the first of three courses around the beautiful city of Parma. We talked about it a few months ago in this in-depth article: Golf in Parma, in the middle of the Food Valley. We invite you to read it.

Some practical tips

Ferrara is one of the many beautiful cities in Emilia Romagna. (Photo: Damian Trochanowski via Pixabay)

Due to its geographical position, golf can be played in Emilia Romagna all year round. It is clear that the best period, however, are the months from March to June as well as September and October. The heat of July and August may not be the best for playing 18 holes, but with a few tricks against the heat (carts, water, clubs with swimming pools) nothing is impossible.

When you're done golfing, the region still has plenty to offer. There are numerous cities rich in art and history - Bologna, Parma, Ferrara to name but three - and above all, it boasts a very long wine and food tradition. Those who have never eaten Italian pasta will certainly have to try tortellini, tortelli, tagliatelle and lasagne. Not to mention Parma ham or fish from the Romagna Riviera. There is no joking about wine either, the home of Sangiovese (a still red wine typical of Romagna) and Lambrusco (a sparkling red wine found in Emilia).

Buon golf e buon appetito!

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