Reason for a Donnafugata (Parkland) Golf Club review

I was invited to play Donnafugata as part of a press tour of Sicily.

Where is Donnafugata?

Donnafugata is in the South Eastern region of Val fi Noto on the island of Sicily.

The historical town of Ragusa Ibla and Donnafugata Castle are just some of the nearby places of interest.


What to expect

A well-groomed Gary Player-designed course that has hosted the European Tour. The South African legend routed the holes over undulating terrain that is given definition by mature trees and native vegetation.

It mixes open landscape that allows you to swing freely off the tee with tighter holes that have you reaching for a three-wood or even a hybrid.

The greens have significant movement in them but while there are plenty of bunkers, they aren’t especially severe.

In summary, this is a strong woodland-parkland course that is playable by all levels.

Favourite hole

The 9th is played down a fairly narrow fairway lined by trees and bushes, but if you can hit a solid drive you get a lovely look at an approach that’s played from a plateau down to a green protected by a pond at the front and a deep bunker on the left.

If you don’t hit a straight drive, you’ll have the quandary of whether to chip out from the trees or take the gamble of still going for the green.

A fun hole, but one you’d prefer to play in matchplay rather than with a card and pencil on the go

What to look out for

The Links course here. We didn’t have time to play both Donnafugata’s courses, but those I spoke to who had said the Links course was at least the equal of the Parkland.

It is laid out on undulating, open land which has a huge lake that plays an intimidating part on several holes.

Don’t be fooled by its name though; while in low evening light its rippling fairways look like a British links, it doesn’t play like one. But it’s still a really enjoyable test.

When I go back

I’ll play the Links course for sure, and I’ll also know that there is very little point trying to be clever with the water hazards that dominate the closing holes on the Parkland.