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Kyle Phillips Designs Courses at Oceanside Resort in Sicily


Golfers from around the world will find a new experience at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort on Sicily's southwest coast. The resort's three courses, designed by architect Kyle Phillips, will open for their first full year of operations in March 2010.

According to Sir Rocco Forte, chairman and CEO of the luxury hotel company the Rocco Forte Collection, no other golf resort on the continent can compare to Verdura. "There wasn't anywhere in Europe that offered the kind of golfing holiday I was after," claims Sir Rocco who spent eight years developing Verdura as the company's first resort venture.

Verdura's 570-acre site boasts some 1.2 miles of private coastline. Kyle Phillips, who created the universally acclaimed Kingsbarns Links near St. Andrews and The Grove near London, enjoyed a fine to create his vision for the two 18-hole championship courses, the East and the West, as well as a nine-hole par-3 layout.

"Sir Rocco Forte found a beautiful piece of seafront ground where we have combined our respective skills to develop a five-star hotel and spa, 36 holes of championship golf, plus a nine-hole par-3 course and full practice facility," says Phillips. "It's a unique low-density concept for a coastline property, with only electric vehicles allowed inside the resort. Golf purists will absolutely love it. Near the seashore, I tried to give the golf a linksland feel with a rougher seaside look, transitioning to large rolling Muirfield-like landforms as it moves back away from the sea."

Verdura's East Course is 7,221 yards and the West Course measures 7,474 yards from the tips. Phillips cleverly routed holes from both the East and West layouts so that a Composite Championship Course can be formed for a future professional tournament. This novel yet strategic design would play at 7,458 yards, with all of Verdura's ocean holes included.

The resort's director of golf, Niall Cameron, previously worked at such notable clubs as Turnberry, Royal St. George's and the ultra-exclusive Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. He also spent a number of years competing on the European Tour. According to Cameron, "The sheer size of the resort gives a wonderful feeling of being totally isolated and at one with nature. The peace and quiet of the courses, punctuated only by birdsong and the gentle rustle of the wind through the native Sicilian grasses, makes the stroll through the rolling fairways a genuine delight. The fairways are well-separated and with the deep pot bunkering you can easily imagine that you are playing on one of the historic Scottish links courses. On top of all this, we have strategically rich and enjoyable golf in a spectacular setting. Kyle Phillips has designed yet another masterpiece which is surely destined to become a must-play venue."

For more information about Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, visit www.verduraresort.com. For reservations in the U.S., call 888/667-9477.