Menaggio & Cadenabbia Golf Club, Italy

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Set in a typically alpine terrain in the province of Combo at the Lombardia region, the Menaggio & Cadenabbia Golf Club is the second oldest Golf Club in Italy and a proud tribute to the best British golf tradition. History claims that in the early 1900’s an English man has  estabilished with the family in the region to enjoy his father’s inheritance from many years of colonial activity in India. As a typical English gentleman he could not quit golf and so he had a 9-hole-course arranged, which soon became the most popular meeting place for all golf enthusiasts of the region. Together with some friends they supported the building of a nine hole a course at Dervion which was out of the way as they needed to traverse the lake for a game of golf.

They have later found the ideal place for their course, an hilly area in Grandola ed Uniti near Menagggio which was much closer; finally the Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Club emerged. All do there are some discrepancies about the inauguration date (1903 or 1907) the Italian Golf Federation defines 1906 as the year of the club’s affiliation. The course is a Par 70 with 5476 meters overlooking the Lake Como and combining old-world values with a heritage of golfing culture. The elevated position of the course provides splendid views in all directions with its 18 holes running up and down according to its natural terrain. Some holes are steep and some fairways narrow and the greens are decidedly undulating.

The course was completely re-designed in 1965 by John Harris under the auspices of the then president, Antonio Roncoroni. British tradition still prevails on the course due to its numerous and sometimes difficult hazards. The Club House contains a great many old golfing prints. One of the examples is of Tom Morris, “a Great” of St. Andrews, which was given to Antonio Roncoroni in 1985 by R.A.L. Burnett, historian of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club to cement their long friendship.

The library in the Club House is an historical one. The entrance door is made of heavy dark wood and placed against the walls are glass enclosed shelves containing what is considered the most precious concentration of golf publications in the world. There are over 1200 volumes of which 180 are registered by hand in a well preserved catalogue. Amongst these famous text, leather bound with gold lettering are: “How to Play Golf” by Henry Vardon (1912), “The Rules of Golf” by Norman Lockyer (1896), “The Art of Golf” by Sir. W.G. Simpson (1887) as well as “Murder on the Links” by Agatha Christie (1923).

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