New horizons of possibility for the development of golf in Italy opened up recently…thanks to a grant from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust.
A country whose young people have been weaned predominantly on a diet of football, football and more football has opened its first public golf training course, in Turin.
Now, for the first time, would-be golfers in that vicinity can be seen learning the rudiments of the sport, or indulging in a round of golf, at the Colonnetti facility without the need to join a private club… and they are clearly enjoying the experience.
Local officials from the Municipality of Turin, the Piedmont Region of the Italian Golf Federation and University Sports Centre, who worked together in the three-way initiative, joined Ian Randell, chief executive of The PGAs of Europe to symbolically cut the ribbon in the opening ceremony.
Ian explained: “The project combines a full practice range, including short-game area and extensive putting green with six artificially surfaced greens that will allow for “par 3″ golf.”
The facilities are located within a ten-minute drive from the centre of Turin and will enable public access to golf facilities for the first time in Italy. The main beneficiaries will be children between the age of 8 and 14, who will be allowed free access, and university students, who will be able to strike 30 balls for €1.
“To see the facility in action with many children utilising the facility and gaining free coaching was a fantastic sight…” he added.
“The Colonnetti facility is exactly what is required for Italy to be able to open up golf to the wider society. It is a “no frills” facility that enables the public of Turin and students of the university to experience the game and gain tuition from PGA Professionals at either no, or low, cost.
“We are delighted that Ryder Cup European Development Trust has given its support to this project and believe that it will benefit the development of golf in Piedmont and hope that this will act as a model to be taken forward elsewhere in Italy.”
When Costatino Rocca earned his place in the European Ryder Cup team he could never have dreamed that it would help one day to lead to this.