30 June 2015
VERDURA: A NEW WORLD-CLASS GOLF DESTINATION
Three spectacular, world-class, golf courses have been built at Verdura, one of very few sites on the rugged, rolling island of Sicily where such an opportunity is possible.
California-based Kyle Phillips has created two exciting 18-hole championship courses and a nine-hole course that meander around indigenous orange and olive groves, using terrain that undulates from mountain foothills down to the Mediterranean seashore.
Phillips, who designed the stunning Kingsbarns Links just outside St Andrews in Scotland, and also the immaculate parkland courses at The Grove in Hertfordshire, as well as numerous US projects, is renowned for preserving and accentuating the essential character of the site, through his creative use of both natural and man-made landforms.
The Director of Golf is Niall Cameron, a former European Tour player, who has also headed up golf operations at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas and at Royal St George’s in Kent, England. He says: “The sheer size of the resort gives a wonderful feeling of being totally isolated and at one with nature. The peace and quiet of the courses, punctuated only by birdsong and the gentle rustle of the wind through the native Sicilian grasses, makes the stroll through the rolling fairways a genuine delight. The fairways are well-separated and with the deep pot bunkering you can easily imagine that you are playing on one of the historic Scottish links courses – apart from the sweet smell of oranges coming from the groves through which we play on several holes. On top of all this we have tremendously challenging golf in a spectacular setting. Kyle Phillips has designed yet another masterpiece which is surely destined to become a must-play venue.”
The East Course is 7,221 yards long and the West Course is 7,474 yards from the championship tees; the Short Course, a nine-hole par-3, is 1,056 yards. There is also a Composite Championship Course made up of holes from the East and West, should a professional championship be staged in the future, measured at 7,458 yards.
Each hole on the East and West has five tee positions to choose from: the minimum length of the East is 5,505 yards, and the West 5,753 yards. Tee times are arranged at 12-minute intervals to ensure free-flowing play, and each day one of the courses will be dedicated to two-ball play only. Golfers can choose between electric caddy-carts or hand-drawn trolleys; a caddy programme will be introduced at a later stage.
Practice facilities are every bit as excellent as the courses and include a double-ended driving range with 80-yard wide tees providing the perfect hitting direction away from the sun. Other practice facilities include three chipping and putting greens and three bunkers. Complimentary Titleist Pro V1 balls are provided for practising.
The clubhouse, built around a small piazza, houses a pro shop which sells equipment and clothing from luxury golf brands; a restaurant and bar overlooking one of the 18th holes; male and female changing rooms with showers and lockers; and a gelateria. Clubs, trolleys and carts can be rented, and complimentary club and shoe cleaning and bag storage will be part of the very personal, ‘private club’ service that visitors will enjoy here.
Golf Director Niall Cameron and his team of PGA qualified professionals are available for one-to-one private lessons or group clinics; there are also plans to set up mini-academies for junior players. Players of all ages and abilities are welcomed.
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Note to editors
Verdura Resort, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, faces the crystal azure Mediterranean Sea on the south coast of Sicily. Set in 230 hectares of stunning landscape, with over a mile of private coastline, has just 203 rooms and suites, giving a true sense of both space and privacy. Three world-class golf courses designed by Kyle Philips make Verdura the perfect all-year-round golf destination. There are six tennis courts; a 60m infinity pool; a soccer pitch; a fully-equipped gym; a wide-ranging sports and fitness choice and running trails through olive and lemon groves. The resort's restaurants and bars celebrate Sicilian cuisine with menus created from fresh organic ingredients complimented by a superb wine list. For a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, the 4.000 sqm Verdura Spa has four thalassotherapy pools, two saunas and one capacious steam bath, an extensive treatment menu and personalised well-being programmes. The resort has a 4.000sqm conference centre.
Tel: +39 0925 998175
Rocco Forte Hotels
Established by Sir Rocco Forte and sister, Olga Polizzi in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is a family of 10 individual hotels and resorts. All of the hotels are landmarks, both old and new, occupying magnificent buildings in exceptional locations. Led by a family who has been in hospitality for four generations, the hotels are united by their distinctive approach to service ensuring guests experience the best of the cities and surrounding areas.
Rocco Forte Hotels comprises: Hotel de Russie, Rome; Hotel Savoy, Florence; Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily; The Balmoral, Edinburgh; Brown’s Hotel, London; The Charles Hotel, Munich; Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt; Hotel de Rome, Berlin; Hotel Amigo, Brussels; Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg.