An abandoned and neglected gem. This used to be the Golf Club Castelfalfi, opened more than twenty years ago in an enchanted place in the heart of Tuscany, twenty kilometers from San Gimignano. This hamlet is so beautiful that director Roberto Benigni chose it in 2002 as the setting for some of the scenes in his film "Pinocchio". New funds and an ambitious project brought the golf course to life again: it was completely redesigned in 2010 and now totals 18 holes, the Mountain Course, and 9 more recent holes, the Lake Course. The minds behind the project are Bolzano natives and golf course designers Rainer Preissmann and Wilfriend Moroder, both members of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects EIGCA, who eliminated the holes that were too uphill as well as those with blind strokes, and who understood how to take advantage of the beauty of the landscape, which at times risks distracting golfers: gentle hills, cypresses, olive trees, vineyards and then the castle, which serves as backdrop for Hole 18 and its island green.
Even the medieval hamlet overlooking the golf course together with the castle and a series of farmhouses scattered over the 1100 hectare estate have undergone total restoration, which has transformed Castelfalfi from an almost uninhabited medieval village into a resort complete with a hotel, wellness center and conference center, restaurants, shops, apartments, villas, and in the middle of it all, a golf course.
Point of view of PGA Pro Giorgio Merletti:
The mountain course of Castelfalfi is wonderful and demanding; doglegs, ups and downs, well-defended greens in a truly unique context. Strategy plays a fundamental role in particular on Hole 5, a very long par 5 (580 meters from the furthest tees), a double dogleg that seems like it will never end and the stunning Hole 18, a closing hole worthy of an open championship for beauty and design. This course deserves to be visited, so don't miss it. If you have a high handicap on the other hand and want a course that is more within your reach, I recommend the 9-holes of the lake course, which are a little less demanding and offer a few more distractions.