In har­mony with the course’s tra­di­tional Ro­man coun­try­side set­ting, olive groves line the un­du­lat­ing fair­ways at Castel­gan­dolfo Golf Club near Rome.

Built in 1987, Castel­gan­dolfo is con­sid­ered to be one of Robert Trent Jones’ finest de­signs in Europe. The 18-hole course is tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing for golfers of all lev­els, in­clud­ing cham­pi­onship play­ers such as those com­pet­ing in the 2014 Ital­ian In­ter­na­tional Ladies Stroke­play Cham­pi­onship.

Oak trees, pines, cy­press, rose gar­dens and vine­yards en­hance the course’s nat­u­ral beauty, and a se­ries of ponds make sev­eral holes a lit­tle tricky to ne­go­ti­ate.

Any golfers with an in­ter­est in en­gi­neer­ing will marvel that the ducts and trenches used by hy­draulic engi­neers in im­pe­rial Ro­man times to drain the an­cient lake are still in use to­day. The ex­posed land, once cov­ered by an an­cient vol­canic crater lake, is now a rich, fer­tile area dense with mar­ket gar­dens sup­ply­ing metropoli­tan Rome’s 4.3 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants.

One of the de­light­ful as­pects of this course is the 17th cen­tury man­sion con­verted for use as a club­house. It perches on the crater lip and pro­vides the club’s 500 mem­bers, and visi­tors, with a panoramic view of the course.

The house was built for Flavio Chigi, Car­di­nal in Sas­sia, the nephew of Pope Alexan­der VII. The nearby town of Cas­tel Gan­dolfi still has links to the Vat­i­can, be­ing where the tra­di­tional pa­pal sum­mer res­i­dence is si­t­u­ated.

The nearby Cir­colo del Golf di Roma Ac­quas­anta, or

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