Italy: The Latest Home to Links Golf

An American golf course architect designing a seaside links in Scotland, just down the coast from St. Andrews, is akin to an English chef cooking coq au vin at Le Cordon Bleu. But that’s just what California-based Kyle Phillips managed to do a decade ago at Kingsbarns Golf Links. In his latest overseas venture, Phillips has laid out two spectacularly scenic yet understated 18-hole courses at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, the new Rocco Forte Collection resort on the southern coast of Sicily.

The five-star resort–just over an hour from the international airport in Palermo and near the historic city of Agrigento, with its Valley of the Temples–has much to speak for itself, as Luxist noted in reporting the opening of the property. Not the least of Verdura’s attributes are suites and villas appointed with assorted mosaics, ceramics and artifacts culled from this primordial island by the interior designer Olga Polizzi, Sir Rocco Forte’s sister. The amenities also include four restaurants, among them a Sicilian trattoria, and a gelateria.

For golfers, however, it is Phillips’s pair of links courses that will be Verdura’s biggest draw. Six greens perch at the edge of the Mediterranean, and views of the sea can be found on nearly all of the 36 holes. In keeping with his seamless work at Kingsbarns, Phillips employed a light hand, making excellent use of the natural, and often subtle, contours of the land. “You should stand on a tee and have a sense of where you’re going, where you need to hit it,” he explained at a recent luncheon in New York. “But there should be some mystery, some things you don’t see the first time.”

Paul Rogers
May 2010
See the article


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply