Golfing in Venice

golfing at the circolo de golf

The most famous golf course in Venice, Italy is the Venetian Golf Club at Circolo Golf Venezia.  The course has been open since the late 1920’s.  It’s believe that Henry Ford was actually the inspiration behind it.  On a break, he was looking to play some golf and there were no courses to be found in all of Venice.  The architect searched far and wide for the perfect location and eventually found it. To kick-off and promote the grand opening, 7 days of golf events were held to attract the interest and participation of wealthy individuals and families representing the aristocracy of Venice.

The course would be run by a president who would oversee all operations and maintain the integrity of the organization.  To date, there have been 17 presidents of Circolo Golf Venezia, with #18 currently in office.  Over the years, numerous famous individuals, from kings to counts, have played the course and provided feedback which has been taken into consideration and subsequently applied.  For example, the original golf course was only 9 holes.  It was expanded to 18 nearly 20 years later to add to and extend the playing experience.

The 18 hole course features dog legs to the left and right, interspersed in the forest of pine trees and willow trees.  Lush green grass grows on each hole and if one looks up, they see beautiful views of the Italian countryside and mountains in the distance.  The course in an area of natural undulation, creating inherently challenging shots.  Every single hole on the course is guarded by multiple bunkers.  If your aim is not pure, expect to be spending more time in the sand than you would at the beach.  Where is Phil Mickelson when you need him?  Water affects the players’ shots on 10 of the 18 holes, so be careful here as well.  The only way to play this course is with no fear or you will not score well.  In total, there are 6 different distances players can choose from each accumulating to a standard par of 72 – orange, green, red, yellow, blue, and white (championship) tees.  Orange tees amount to 4,814 meters in distance for the course, and the white tees are totaled at 6,086 meters; the significant length difference is apparent when you step on the tees and see their positioning.

Regarding the facility, Circolo de Golf has a driving range, pitching, sand, and putting areas.  Caddies are available upon request if you don’t want to pay for a golf cart or a pull cart.  Rates for the course are classified by people with memberships and “foreign players.”  I’m still not 100% sure whether that means foreign to the course or foreign as in people from abroad.  Regardless, a typical 18 hole greens fee on a weekday would be 80 Euros for a member and 96 Euros for a “foreign player.”  That may sound expensive, but based on how nice this course is and the number of national events that are hosted here, the fee is reasonable.  Bag rentals are 20 Euros and golf cart rentals are 40 Euros, which is more expensive than American golf courses.

For those players who wants lessons, there is a youth golf training program available.  More information on that can be found here.