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The Best Golf Experiences in Northern Italy

By: Andy Waple | Wed 09 Aug 2023

All eyes are on Rome when the 2023 Ryder Cup takes place at Marco Simone Golf Club near the Italian capital. Yet there are many more opportunities for travelling golfers in this wonderful country. Travel Editor Andy Waple headed to the nation’s first capital, Turin, to see what the best courses in the region of Piedmont have to offer.

The Eternal City may be on every golfer’s lips at the moment yet Italy’s original capital Turin and the region of Piedmont offers perhaps a greater choice to golfing tourists.

Piedmont, meaning “at the foot of the mountains”, is tucked into the north west corner. As well as boasting 57 golf clubs, many of which are the best in the country, this enticing region has plenty to offer both on and off the fairways.

Home to some legendary cuisine, Barolo wine and superb scenery, it is a little undiscovered by the community of travelling European golfers, something that the tourist board hopes to address.

Many of the top quality courses are found within striking distance of Turin, and also within near reach of Milan, the famous city in neighbouring Lombardy.

Bogogno Golf Resort


This relatively new resort with two courses sums up the Italian golfing experience in a nutshell.

The quality of the courses designed by Robert von Hagge are exceptional; the views simply stunning, catering and hospitality are outstanding.

Italians aren’t content with making sure the playing conditions are in tip-top shape. They insist excellence must extend to the clubhouse and restaurant - and Bogogno is no exception.

The entire operation is unquestionably top class which is why it is so popular.

Its clubhouse and restaurant are superb and there’s a large patio, ideal for lunch and drinks, whilst watching golfers tackle the tricky approach to the final hole of the Conte course, with a fine view of the Monte Rosa massif rising in the distance towards the Swiss border.

It has a smart on-site hotel built in 2014 in contemporary style.

Bogogno Resort

Both courses opened for play in 1997. Well maintained and fairly demanding, with plenty of water hazards to contend with, they form an ideal pair.

The par 72 Bonora course is considered the best, at least in terms of challenge, and is typified by the large number of trees and an abundance of water hazards, man-made and natural.

It starts with an incredibly scenic uphill par five where water comes into play across the fairway and to the sides. An enormous bunker complex to the left of the green steers players towards the right hand side of the fairway. 

The hilly terrain is evident throughout and the land rises between swathes of deciduous trees and native alpine pines.

The back nine is very difficult even off the standard men’s yellow tees, mainly due to ever present waters hazards lurking by tight fairways. Good players will find much to admire here as they plot their way around the various playing options.

The sister par 72 Conte course is less hilly but still demanding. Like the Bonara, it has a number of teeing options, stretching 6,300 yards of the standard men’s tees.

It starts off with a tricky par four featuring water, deep bunkers and a two tier green which gives a good indication of what is to come over the rest of the course.

Royal Park I Roveri Golf Club

Royal Park Golf

There are two layouts at Edoardo Molinari’s home club - the Robert Trent Jones Snr Allianz Course dating to 1971 and the Allianz Bank Course, designed by Hurdzan Fry in 2006.

Set within a 16th century hunting estate of the House of Savoy, now one of Turin’s conservation areas, it was the American’s first Italian job.

It didn’t take long for the Allianz Course to be recognised as one of the best in Italy, and it’s still regarded as one of the finest. It has staged the Italian Open and the European Amateur Championship and still regularly stages prestigious tournaments.

Reasonably flat, it runs through mature trees, crossing several streams before reaching its finale by the side of a large pond.

This is a player’s course and one of the best parkland layouts in continental Europe.

The sister course is similar in style and makes a very adequate alternative.

Circolo Golf Torino La Mandria Golf Club

Golf Torino

Just across the estate is Francesco Molinari’s home club again featuring two courses, the first designed by Morrison and Harris, and a second by Croze and Cooke both in 1956, simply known today as the blue and yellow courses respectively.

Being surrounded by a forested former royal hunting reserve it is easy to picture yourself in the heart of England, a feeling reinforced by the overall philosophy of creating and maintaining a typical English members’ club ambience - there are no properties on the perimeters, just mature trees and rough. The focus is entirely on golf.

These courses are very much like their near neighbour in style - mature mixed woodland line the fairways and water hazards are in abundance.

This means you need to be straight off the tee, and thoughtful in your approach play. Conditioning throughout is excellent and the greens are immaculate.

The Morrison course (blue) is considered the better, and playing it is a joyful experience.

Golf Club Biella - Le Betulle

Golf Northern Italy

In contrast to the other courses mentioned in this guide, Biella is out in the sticks in a remote part of the wooded foothills of the Alps. You could imagine coming across wild animals as you walk round the fairways, it is that secluded.

Well known among the European golfing cognoscenti, it has regularly staged national and international competitions, hosting Seve Ballesteros in 1976, and Rory McIlroy, who won the European Amateur Championship there in 2006, shooting 65 when he was a mere 17 years old. It has been awarded the best course in Italy 18 out of the last 27 years by a leading Italian golf publication.

The course is another John Morrison design and the British heathland feel extends to the charming hotel which is dormy house in style and its rustic restaurant serving hearty classics.

“Le Betulle” ( the birches”) plays as a par 73 running at 6,644 yards off the yellow tees with the option of more than 7,000 yards off the championship whites. Due to its altitude it’s closed over the winter when skiiing becomes the preferred pastime.

The course is typical mature parkland in style with fairways lined by sturdy deciduous and pine trees. While the fairways are fairly wide, the greens are particularly small.

It runs over a very distinctive geological feature - the Serra d’Ivrea glacial moraine, which has left a rolling landscape dotted with large rocks deposited by the retreating ice, and numerous fast running streams.

The rocks on the 16th which form a gateway to the fairway beyond are testament to the power of nature and make for a great photo from the tee especially if it is clear enough to see the snow covered Alps in the distance.

Continual investment in the course by an enthusiastic board and proud members makes this a stand-out venue and well worth the journey if you cherish quality golf in a traditional and tranquil environment.

Turin & Other Highlights

Turin may come as a surprise to visitors to Piedmont expecting to find an industrial city famed for motor car manufacturing. While its long association with Fiat can be seen in the marvellous National Museum of Automobile there is much more to see and enjoy in this city.

The first capital of Italy from 1861-1865 it has a rich history and a wander around the centre reveals elegant squares, the palaces and courts of the Royal House of Savoy, more than 50 museums, many churches and imposing boulevards. Dig deeper and you will find a networks of small alleys packed with independent shops, gelateria and artisan pizzerie.

Turin straddles the River Po, creating a Parisian feel, and a walk along the river banks, home to several rowing clubs, is a restful delight.

It is also famous for the quality of its food with an abundant supply of historic cafes, trattorie, and is the birthplace of vermouth and gianduja chocolate.

Other Piedmont highlights include the well known Lake Maggiore and its lesser discovered sibling Lake Orta.

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