Marco Simone, home of the 2023 Ryder Cup
Premier Golf Travel Experts Provide The Inside Track on Marco Simone
The 44th edition of the Ryder Cup will be held in Italy for the first time. This will be the second consecutive European home match held on continental Europe, following Le Golf National, Paris in 2018.
Our Premier Golf Travel experts recently visited Marco Simone, and provide an inside track on what to expect from the Rome Venue.
Rome, the Eternal City, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why. With iconic monuments dating back thousands of years, great food, shopping and nightlife, the 2023 Ryder Cup provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore this iconic city alongside the greatest team event in golf. We’ve created a recommended tour of Rome for all guests to enjoy while at the Ryder Cup.
Marco Simone provides great access from the city of Rome. Each Premier Golf Ryder Cup package includes transfers from city center hotels, with average transfer times expected to be in the region of 45 minutes.
The first thing to note is the arrival at the course is somewhat subdued. The area doesn’t shout ‘major golfing venue’, in fact on the approach from the highway, you’d be forgiven for questioning if you’d taken a wrong turn.
On arrival you’re greeted by a classic Mediterranean style, terracotta roofed clubhouse. Which, while beautiful, again is somewhat understated. Lacking in the drama and grandeur you may expect from such an important venue.
The Ryder Cup brings together 12 of the best players on either side of the Atlantic. Rightly, the finest golfers expect the best facilities, Marco Simone undoubtedly provides this.
The clubhouse, pro shop and exceptional practice facilities will ensure the players are at their best before taking on the course.
Tantalizingly, you can’t see much of the course from the clubhouse and practice facilities, situated in one of the lowest points on the landscape. This will add to the anticipation for players, and provide little clues to the atmosphere building in front of them before taking to the first tee.
The golf course is all about the layout. The first thing that strikes you is it’s a perfect match play golf course. There are so many risk and reward holes. Many par 4’s can be shortened to be drivable for the longer hitters, but with danger. The water on the course is in play, adding further drama. Accuracy will be key, alongside strategy, deciding when to attack and when to play safe.
The quality of the playing surfaces are exceptional. Even one year out, the fairways were immaculate and the silky greens were striking. The course is expected to be set up to suit the European team, it won’t play long and the rough will be brought in to tighten the course, as we saw in Paris.
An area which has seen debate, since the 2021 Italian Open, is the greens. They are large and undulating, some feel overly so. Putting is usually the deciding factor at a Ryder Cup, and these greens won’t be easy. Whilst very true, you wouldn’t expect them to play too quickly, again in order to suit the European’s.
The closing holes will always be key to a tournament, and Marco Simone does not disappoint. 16 can play as a drivable par 4, certainly for the bigger hitters but brings water into play. 17 is a challenging long par 3, whilst the closing hole is a par 5 over water. For close matches that reach the closing holes, anything could happen, especially in foursomes. Try and get your match won 4&3!
The course rolls and meanders beautifully, this allows for great vantage points. Whilst the undulations have come in for some criticism from players, they will provide great viewing opportunities for fans.
Marco Simone is a true stadium course, lots of elevation, and a number of holes offer a natural amphitheatre. When the stands are built and filled, the roars will echo throughout the venue, providing a very atmospheric experience.
Undoubtedly one of the reasons Marco Simone was selected to host the Ryder Cup is the space surrounding the holes. With only 4 matches on the course on the first two days, the Ryder Cup has a tendency to get crowded, but we expect Marco Simone to be an ideal layout to avoid these bottlenecks.
The course is open to the elements, however, with the temperate climate of central Italy (average October temperatures in the mid 70s) it’ll make for ideal spectator viewing.
Once you get out to the extremities of the golf course, the views and scenery could be mistaken for Tuscany, with classic rolling hills and olive trees. In fall, particularly in the mornings, there may be a low-lying mist which is incredibly beautiful and atmospheric.
How about the first tee shot?
One of the prime positions at the Ryder Cup is the first tee. However, as tee shots go, this ‘should’ be straightforward. A standard par 4, not overly long, with no major hazards.
Only first-tee nerves will cause issues for the players here.