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Italian Golf to be Promoted in the UK


Italian golf has hit the headlines over the last 12 months with the exploits of the Molinari brothers and top amateur Matteo Manassero. Now, the new Italian government has created an initiative aimed at attracting United Kingdom golfers.

ENIT, the country's national tourist board, plans to use the attention brought to the country by World Cup team champions Francesco and Edoardo Molinari and Manassero for its campaign to raise the profile of Italy as a golfing destination.

The initiative will include a nationwide media advertising and public relations campaign in magazines, clubs, driving ranges and newspapers in the UK to highlight Italian golf. The country has 260 courses but less than 100,000 golfers. Its warm climate and mixture of gastronomy, fine wines, spas, history, culture and beaches are also attractions.

"The golf product in Italy is something that has perhaps been overlooked in the past and we want to address that as part of a long-term strategy," Valerio Scoyni, director of ENIT said. "We have some of the best courses in Europe but that is a fact that is not as widely known as it should be, especially in the UK. With the combination of an idyllic climate, fine regional cuisine, wine, history and culture, Italy has all the ingredients that are needed for a golfing holiday, but has none of the overcrowding that other parts of Europe experience."

Visitors can find golf courses in Italy's Lake District, among the olive presses and vineyards in Tuscany, farther south in Puglia or on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Courses such as Villa D'Este G.C. and Milano Golf Club in Lombardy, Querce Golf Club near Rome and Poggio dei Medici in Tuscany have all won praise in recent years, while Royal Park Golf Club near Turin will host this year's Italian Open from May 6-9.

With 19 airports in the UK now operating regular flights to all over Italy, the country has never been so accessible. "We have excellent accessibility from the UK regarding airline routes and we can provide a golfing break product to rival anywhere else in Europe in terms of price, quality of product and accommodation," added Scoyni.

"We also have the benefit of a currently undersold golf product which means that tee times are readily available, and also green fee rates are extremely competitive compared to other European golf destinations."

For more information about golf in Italy call 020 7399 3550/7 or visit www.italiantouristboard.co.uk.