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Discover The Incredible Verdura Golf Resort in Sicily

By: Andy Waple | Wed 09 Aug 2023

Travelling golfers who enjoy testing their abilities in the most luxurious yet secluded environments need look no further than the Verdura Resort in Sicily.

Established in 2009 as one of Europe’s most exclusive golfing destinations by hotelier Rocco Forte, Verdura has it all; two top class courses and practice areas, tennis and yoga activities, a high-end hotel and restaurants, apartments and the excellent Irene Forte Spa. 

Set on a coastal plain on the south coast of this stunning island, (see The Best of Golf in Sicily), this five-star resort, which has a private beach, oozes high quality throughout.

Verdura Resort Golf


Rocco Forte is a golfer himself and he wasn’t going to compromise when he decided to go about creating the ultimate golf resort in the Mediterranean.

He hired one of the world’s top architects, Kyle Phillips, to design a pair of 18 hole layouts and the ambition was to make it one of the best golfing experiences in Europe.

The resort opened to a fanfare and soon both courses cemented their place among the finest in Italy.

Known simply as the East and West, the pair of courses seemingly intermingle along the river plain bordering the invitingly deep blue sea. 

Citrus groves, olive trees, native wildflowers and herbs dot the landscape with views of the sea, mountains and the low level hotel buildings making golf here a treat.

All was well until calamity struck in 2018. A violent storm caused the river flowing adjacent to the property to breach its banks and a huge section of the 36 hole layout was swamped.

Millions of litres of water and tonnes of silt were deposited on seven holes of both the East and West courses, turning the manicured lush fairways into quagmires.

Sir Rocco Forte wasn’t going to let the forces of nature destroy his pride and joy however, so he quickly recalled Kyle Phillips to restore order and use the disaster as an opportunity to make both courses even better.

New routing was required to re-incorporate all of the 14 lost holes and four others were remodelled.

Looking today it is hard to believe that such a disaster happened at all, let alone just a few years ago.

Manicured undulating fairways fringed with golden fescues, beautifully crafted bunkers and rolling greens are the order of the day.

While the courses have similarities, including rather penal rough and hidden water hazards, there are distinct features to both.

Verdura Resort East

Most consider the East to be the tougher of the pair. After a gentle start the course begins to show its teeth on the long 4th with its hidden water hazard before it heads out towards the coastline where it takes on a links-like appearance, notably at the 6th where water and sand run the entire length of the fairway on the right. The 7th and 8th require carefully thinking as water lurks menacingly. This is the toughest section of the course and the double greened 8th and 10th are both extremely demanding holes.

The West starts off in similar fashion to its sibling, although the dogleg is reversed. It then runs inland before returning to the coastline where a spectacular finishing trio runs along the side of the private beach.

Verdura Resort West

Few would choose to regularly frequent one course over the other, they are both a joy to play.

A nine hole par three course, driving range and comprehensive practice area complete the golfing offer.

The Resort

Verdura Resort

The driveway from the highway to the resort is a long and winding road, but the views it affords over the courses and the hotel by the beach heightens anticipation.

The contemporary style low level hotel, its rooms, suites and apartments are adorned with modern artworks. Bedrooms are spacious and glamorous as well as functional.

Guests can choose to walk between buildings, use one of the many complimentary bikes, or call for a lift on a buggy.

There are several restaurants and dinner at the Zagara is certainly recommended for its contemporary take on Sicilian classics.

Spa lovers are particularly well catered for and those in need of a gym session have a choice of two rooms, one well equipped with machines and weights and the other free for floor exercises.

Verdura Resort

Off Course

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is fascinating. Shaped over centuries by the forces of nature and its rich cultural diversity it offers everything a curious traveller may seek. Looming Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes dominates, and associated geological features create unearthly structures seen on the landscape everywhere.

It has attracted many settlers; Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Germans, Arabs, French, Spanish and more, all of whom saw its strategic importance. It eventually became one of the 20 regions of Italy.  

From Verdura it’s a short drive to the nearest seaside town, Sciacca, an ancient fishing port, where you can get a true taste of Sicilian life as well as magnificent fish dishes. Sicilian wines and craft beers are also of exceptional quality.

About one hour’s drive to the east lies Agrigento and its UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Valley of the Temples, which is Europe’s largest archaeological park featuring ancient Greek art and architecture.

Getting There

Sicily has two airports; Palermo, a two hour’s drive from Verdura, and Catania, which is a three hour journey.

For more information and the best packages, please visit our travel partners Golfbreaks.


Related Content: travel Italy golfshake golfbreaks Golf Guide Italy Golf Courses Courses

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