Via Chiantigiana per Strada, 3
50023 Impruneta (Firenze)
The British community in Florence brought golf to Italy in 1889 when they built an 18 hole course on land belonging to the Princes Demidoff, just north of the city. In 1934 a new course was created at the edge of the beautiful Chianti country and the Ugolino golf club came into existence, taking over the mantle of the Florence golf club.
The new course was designed by an Englishman and an Irishman, Cecil Blandford and Peter Gannon. They used the natural contours of the Chianti slopes to produce an outstanding course, threaded through the indigenous vines, olive trees, maritime pines and broom. The course is not long, but demands a high degree of skill. The greens are small and well defended by bunkers. The sloping fairways also present a great challenge. To play Ugolino is not just to indulge in a game of golf, it is to wander through a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by olive and other fruit trees. It is an unforgettable and uplifting experience. In his book “fifty places to play golf before you die”, the writer Chris Santella includes Ugolino as one of the fifty.
Golf Club Achievements
Ugolino Golf has hosted numerous international competitions. Outstanding among these was the 40th Italian Open in 1983. This remains probably, the most enthralling tournament ever played in Italy. It was won, in the end, by Bernard Langer following a thrilling play-off with Severiano Ballesteros and Ken Brown. In addition to them, the field boasted such giants of the game as Greg Norman, Sam Torrance, Manuel Pinero, José Maria Canizares and Sandy Lyle, not to mention the leading italians of the time, Costantino Rocca and Baldovino Dassù. In 2009, in recognition of its long service to golf, the Italian Olympic Commitee awarded Ugolino the Gold Medal for sporting achievement. As a further honour, Ugolino can claim no fewer than three out of the eleven members of the Hall of Fame of Italian golf, nominated by the Italian PGA. These are Baldovino Dassù, Federica Dassù and Franco Rosi, recognised for their contribution to the development of golf in Italy.
Clubhouse, Restaurant, Pool, Pro Shop, Practice area, Golf School
The clubhouse of Ugolino is an example of the futuristic or art deco school of architecture. It is a listed building, protected by the Florentine institute responsible for cultural heritage. The building sits strategically on top of a hillock surrounded by meadowland, studded with cypresses and pines. All 18 holes are laid out in a circle around the clubhouse. The building itself is a three-storey construction. The ground floor has the secretarial offices, locker rooms and pro-shop. The first floor is dedicated to a spacious bar, a restaurant and lounge. All around this floor is a huge terrace giving marvellous panoramic views of the hilly countryside. The second floor has a card room, a billiard room and a terrace which overlooks the eighteenth green.
The restaurant is very light and spacious and boasts a superbly equipped kitchen.
Management is in the hands of the Societá Golf Forentia owned by the Scotto di Perotolo family originally from Campania and their passion is to combine the traditional tastes of Campania and Tuscany into exciting dishes. All of which are of course accompanied by quality wines. They provide a flexible all day service to accommodate the needs of golfers. During the summer an open air grill around the poolside on Thursday evenings has become a “must.” Guests who come to golf at Ugolino retain a warm and lasting memory of the restaurant.
Practice Grounds and Golf School
The driving range has 15 open bays and 7 under cover. A vast area is set aside for pitching practice. There is a large putting green, a practice bunker and an area for chipping. The club has one of the best golf schools in Italy. The current director is Federica Dassù who played with distinction for many years on the LET international circuit. She is still today the Italian player with the most wins to her credit on the international scene. Together with three other teaching professionals, she coaches a group of almost one hundred young golfers. Some of the youngsters are already part of the Italian national teams.
The latest golf technology is available at the School: Trackman, K-vest, Sam puttLab, Explanar
Ugolino Golf Club is situated 30 minutes from the international airport of Florence. Firenze/Florence 16.6km (27 min)