Head to Switzerland’s Ticino
Ascona, Switzerland, August 2015: The unique micro-climate of Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland, allows golfers to continue playing in warm, balmy weather well into October. To make the most of the fantastic playing conditions, Giardino Ascona (www.giardino-ascona.ch/) has teamed up with its next-door neighbor Golf Club Patriziale Ascona, where the course was designed with the help of the legendary Harry Colt.
Located along the banks of Lake Maggiore against a backdrop of magnificent Alpine mountains, the feel of the golf club remains very much that of a private, stylish golf facility, even though it is now managed by the City of Ascona. Established in 1928 as a nine-hole layout, the golf club soon became a meeting place for local businessmen, wealthy tourists and celebrities who chose this little paradise at the foothills of the Alps as their regular spot to play golf.
Such was the popularity of the club that the course was extended to 18 holes with the help of eminent golf course architects, Harry Colt & Charles Alison, who created a classic, tree-lined parkland course that weaves its way down to one of Europe’s most famous lakes. The par-4 16th and par-3 17th holes run directly alongside the picturesque lake whilst the rest of the course meanders through avenues of mature trees and expansive but shallow bunkers that defend many of the tricky, undulating greens. This par 71 course, which is open all year round, was awarded the title of “Best Golf Course in Switzerland” in 1999.
Golfers stay at the 72-room Giardino Ascona, a luxurious retreat hotel adjacent to the golf club, which offers fine dining in the 2 Michelinstarred Ecco where Rolf Fliegauf (one of Switzerland’s most decorated chefs) resides, a less formal restaurant known as Aphrodite, the HotelBar overlooking a lush Mediterranean garden and extensive fitness facilities, including a dipiù Spa.
For golfers experiencing a few aches and pains after a busy summer of