In the heart of Baroque Sicily near Ragusa lies the Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, located in one of the most fascinating parts of Sicily. The pride and joy of the resort are the two exclusive 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two internationally renowned masters.
The “Parkland” north course designed by Gary Player flows among olive groves and carob trees, the characteristic landscape of Ragusa. The course is totally immersed in the world of nature and between holes the golfers can even explore a Greek cemetery from the 6th century A.D.
In contrast, you can take in the “Links” south course designed by Franco Piras with a single glance as it follows two valleys as if it were the palette of an artist displaying all the shades of the beautiful colours of Sicily.
Completely different to the Piras “Links”, the Gary Player “Parkland” nestles among the wild olives and carobs typical of the Ragusa countryside, found all around up to the slopes of the plateau that continues up to Ragusa.
The holes are well spread over the landscape and this is a feature of the course, making the player feel like he is completely surrounded by nature. The stone walls typical of the area, glimpses of which can be seen next to many of the holes, complement the course’s features.
Few sand obstacles along the tree-lined fairways, insidious greens well defended by deep bunkers close to the putting surface. Each successive hole is very different, requiring new golfing solutions and strategies. The 18 holes give onto an archaeological site and one hundred metres from hole 6 you can visit a 6th century B.C. Greek necropolis which is part of the property.
A “wet” zone between holes 2 and 3 provides a stopover for animals and birds while 2 lakes frame the last few holes. Holes 9 and 18 have their greens next to the resort and form a natural amphitheatre in which the suites, the clubhouse with swimming pool and the spa sit side by side.
South Course – Links
The 18 holes designed by Franco Piras stretch out over two big valleys, each with a lake that makes the golfing more interesting. The course blends perfectly with the nature reserve, the sea and the island of Malta on the horizon.
The fairways are incut with renaturalised areas that caress them and highlight their shapes, adding colours and fragrances that change through the seasons, recreating the original atmosphere of each place.
A huge maritime pine is the only tree on the course where large bunkers define the fairways. The course is like a links, except for the presence of the two large artificial lakes that serve as irrigation reserves and oases for migrating birds. Indeed many species find and return to their natural habitat here. The course is highly exposed to the dominant wind from the sea and has multiple tees for each hole to change the course from one day to the next.
One of the features of the course is its green approaches and collars in agrostis up to the mounds that surround the greens, thus accentuating the links characteristics. The landscaping with gentle slopes alternately hides players behind mounds, cutting them off from the rest of the course, and then provides them with incredible views of it and of the sea.
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