Biella

Biella

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Course Information

Biella is known as ‘Le Betulle’, which translates into English as ‘The Birches’, and that instantly tells you a lot about one of Italy’s oldest courses.

It was designed by Harry Colt’s associate JSF Morrison, who used what is a breathtaking Alpine landscape to create one of the continent’s finest courses.

Morrison oversaw in detail most of the construction of the course from 1956 and while it has undoubtedly changed over time from from the one he left, it remains one of the continent’s elite venues.

Some tree management would be welcome, with the pines, beech and of course silver birch varying in how much they affect the play.

They are often well set back from the fairways but occasionally – such as on the 9th – they encroach significantly, and when that is the case it is clearly playing differently from a Morrison/Colt course.

While the green shapes and slopes will also have likely lost some of his influence over time, they are immaculate.

However, away from the greens Biella otherwise has a raw feel, and that relatively sparse attitude to conditioning means it has an old-fashioned hue.

That is also reflected in a clubhouse that oozes history too. And it’s worth noting you can stay on site, and if do, you won’t regret it once there.

The beating heart of Biella is in the middle of the back nine, starting with the 12th and 13th that run in opposite directions among towering pines and are separated by a stream.

The Biella experience begins with a twisting, alpine-esque drive from Turin that heightens the anticipation. Every corner takes you higher and offers increasingly spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The par-5 start is modest compared to most of the rest, but the short hole that follows – an exquisite, uphill par 3 in the opposite direction among gorgeous scenery – assures you you’ve arrived somewhere special.

Its appeal is matched by the other par 3 on this nine, played over a pond with a backdrop of pine trees, and the second half begins with another high-class short hole.

This one plays slightly downhill to a table-top green with echoes of the 1st on Gleneagles’ King’s course.

The beating heart of Biella is in the middle of the back nine, starting with the 12th and 13th that run in opposite directions among towering pines and are separated by a stream.

The 15th is played from an unforgettable elevated tee from which panoramic views of the mountain countryside are drunk in before hitting your drive.

The greens are guarded in different ways; whereas the stream is hard to the left of the 12th, the following target has Dornoch-sequel run-off that will require as much as a 20-yard pitch onto the green if your initial approach is diverted away by its banks.

The 14th has the stream in play to add to your calculations and while the uphill 15th is a bit of a slog, the climb does reward you with a breathtaking view on the following hole.

It is played from an unforgettable elevated tee from which panoramic views of the mountain countryside are drunk in before hitting your drive, and the interest is maintained with an approach played between two boulders in the fairway.

One of the continent’s most memorable holes caps a consistently pleasant experience at Biella. Chris Bertram

 

Information

John Morrison

+39 015 679151

Regione Valcarrozza 2 , Magnano , Biella , Italy , 13887