Archive | March, 2010

Cal Club Moves Up in Top 100

For anyone who thinks that great golf course architecture is found only at old, stuffy private clubs, the 2010 Golfweek’s Best lists should be an eye-opener… Link to rest of article.

Golf Week’s Best Classic Courses Before 1960
54. California Golf Club 7.25
(60, p) South San Francisco, Calif.
1926, Vernon Macan; Alister MacKenzie (1928); Kyle Philips (2007)

Golf Week
March 2010
Brad Klein

Phillips’s Verdura Resort in Sicily Will Appeal to Ardent Golfers, Moneyed Aristocrats, Beach-loving Girlfriends

I knew I was in trouble when Britt saw the glossy photos of sun-drenched beaches, fragrant orchards, and Sicilian villas.

“Sicily?” she asked, suddenly interested in the pictures on my writing desk. It was the new 45-hole Kyle Phillips-designed Verdura Golf and Spa Resort. She opened the brochure to a two page spread of cliff-side green sites and an ultra-modern Sir Rocco Forte-owned luxury hotel overlooking a promontory on the Mediterranean. “This looks fantastic. But how are you reviewing a golf course you’ve never played in a country you’ve never visited?”

That’s a good question. I’m not actually reviewing the golf course. I can’t, I haven’t played it. But I can report that Kyle Phillips – still rightfully in highest demand after his brilliant work at Kingsbarns – was recruited by Sir Rocco to build a Kingsbarns for him, this time in a much more hospitable climate, and that – should you find yourself in Sicily – you will be able to get to play great seaside golf at quite a fair price a la carte and, apparently, there’s a hell of a hotel there if you have cash to bleed.

More importantly, while chatting with Phillips about Verdura, I got him to open up about his ideas about golf design, golf travel, and the future of the golf industry in general. By creating a natural looking landscape and incorporating the crucial ground game elements of links golf, Phillips accomplished the impossible at Kingsbarns: he built an indisputable modern masterpiece in the shadow of hallowed St. Andrews. Now he’s continuing to build a solid portfolio of high-end, but rock-solid strategic designs across the globe using the same principles. We can only hope we get to see him bring the same old-school golf design concepts to affordable public designs here in America soon and often.
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What Sir Rocco Forte says about his project…

“From the outset I wanted to create a truly luxurious resort which offered exceptional golf, spa and dining experiences amid panoramic views and spectacular design. The rugged south west coast of Sicily provided the ideal setting for the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort.

“The decision to move into resorts was a natural progression for us and a key element in the growth strategy of the business. We will be looking to attract the same leisure and corporate customers that currently stay in our other properties as well as expanding into the family market.

“For golfers Verdura offers a first-rate experience with 45 holes of the highest design set into the Sicilian countryside with superb views of the Mediterranean. As a resort it presents every possibility with a spectacular 4,000 square metre Spa, specialising in luxurious Thalassotherapy and Aromatherapy treatments.
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The Sicilian Job…

A partnership between Sir Rocco Forte and leading golf course architect Kyle Phillips has created a stunning new destination in Sicily called Verdura Golf and Spa.

Sicily’s southwest coast now promises much for the traveling golfer who samples the new Verdura Golf & Spa Resort. The resort’s excellent three courses, designed by world-renowned architect Kyle Phillips, will open for its first full year in March 2010, and it is expected that Verdura will quickly become a ‘must-play’ destination for golf aficionados.

According to Sir Rocco Forte, chairman and CEO of the luxury hotel company The Rocco Forte Collection, no other golf resort on the continent can compare to Verdura. “There wasn’t anywhere in Europe that offered the kind of golfing holiday I was after,” claims Sir Rocco, who spent eight years nurturing Verdura as the company’s first resort venture.
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