Venetian find: Head for Grado in 2012April, 2012
Head for the Tenuta Primera complex east of Venice in 2012
ITALIAN golf is currently basking in the highest profile it has ever enjoyed, with the brothers Molinari playing in the last Ryder Cup and Matteo Manassero looking every inch a superstar in the making.
In fact, the game has a long tradition in Italy but has never managed to secure a foothold in the golf travel market.
Yet there are plenty of attractive options and few offer as good an all-round golf holiday experience as Tenuta Primero in the north of the country.
This fabulous holiday complex has as part of its myriad facilities a fine 18-hole course, Grado.
Situated 90 minutes’ drive along the Adriatic coast from the beguiling city of Venice, Tenuta Primero offers one of the best-value golf breaks in continental Europe.
Grado is laid out on lagoon land and is dominated by water.
A glance down the scorecard and over the relatively rough-free land suggests this is straightforward holiday golf where the shoulders can be opened and birdie chances will be forthcoming.
It even has a Sawgrass-style 17th hole to start – hardly a stress-free opener but one which quickly assimilates you to the challenge you can expect. In fact, such a policy is certain to end in disappointment as ball after ball is swallowed up by the water.
It even has a Sawgrass-style 17th hole to start – hardly a stress-free opener but one which quickly assimilates you to the challenge you can expect on this course, laid out between the Laguna of Grado and the Mediterranean.
Being designed out on such flat, coastal land also means the course is frequently buffeted by a stiff breeze.
But play conservatively off the tee and you will still have plenty of mid and short-iron approaches to greens which run true and encourage positive strokes.
Grado’s conditioning is always improving and is complemented by a nine-hole short course as well as a driving range – which always seems more inviting when the sky is clear blue and the evening sun casting shadows.
Lignano, a resort course an hour away, offers a bit of variety should you feel the need but in reality you may well decide Grado has enough to keep you interested all week.
An utterly charming clubhouse with olde worlde character is complemented by excellent facilities in terms of swish changing facilities and a pristine pro shop run by Marko Prekic.
The clubhouse’s main attraction is the elegant food served at its restaurant Al Casone.
It is a long way from a the burger and chips we demolish in Britain, offering a standard of cuisine more akin to fine dining. Neither the wine list nor the midweek barbecue are to be missed.
In addition to golf, there are a wealth of facilities including swimming pools, a beach, tennis courts and football pitches. You can hire bikes and explore this fabulous lagoon-land.
There are numerous accommodation options too; modern suites overlooking the Marina, spacious bungalows in the woodland or a tent or caravan in the campsite.
In addition to Al Casone, the campsite offers a superb Italian restaurant overlooking the sea where amazing pizzas and pastas are available for a scarcely believable £6.
Tenuta Primero offer some superb deals all year round.
Call 00 39 0431 896900 or visit tenuta-primero.com for further information.
Getting there is easy. Ryanair fly to the Venice airports from Leeds, Stansted, Bristol and East Midlands and to Trieste (even closer to Grado) from Birmingham and Stansted. Easyjet fly from Gatwick.