No.1 ranking gives Verdura Resort double reason to celebrate


Sicily’s Verdura Resort is riding high at the pinnacle of Italian golf after being named as the country’s number one golf course and resort in a comprehensive new ranking of the best courses in Italy.

The luxury venue’s East Course took top honours in Golf World’s inaugural list of the ‘Top 100 Courses in Italy’ just nine months after reopening following a major upgrade by acclaimed golf architect Kyle Phillips.

Verdura also finished first in the ‘Best Resorts’ category, while there was further good news for the Rocco Forte hotel with the venue’s West Course being rated as fifth in the poll of Italy’s best courses.

Chris Bertram, the Top 100 editor, said: “In late 2018, Kyle Phillips returned to Sicily to rework both the East and the West. Whereas before we would readily acknowledge there was little to choose between the courses, we are now absolutely certain that the East is the best. And, indeed, the best in Italy.

“Originally, the two were a bit like Walton Heath, with all the holes intertwined, to such an extent that the Sicilian Open combination course comprised nine holes from each. [Now] the holes are largely in similar positions, but the combination course has become the West. The remaining holes, remodelled significantly and for the better, have now become the East.

“This also has the advantage that the two courses are physically more separate, and with different characters. The West is muscular and masculine, the East a little more subtle.

“The East is actually a little longer than the West yet feels more forgiving and is more fun …. It has its dramatic moments, but it is its overall consistency and fun that really impress. Italy’s first no.1 for good reason.”

Phillips returned to the site of his original creation to upgrade the East and West courses and spent three years reworking his magic at Verdura Resort.

The extensive renovation has seen a number of new features added and modifications made to the routing of both courses. The reordering of hole numbers has allowed for the restoration of former favourite holes and brings exciting new additions, while the planting of fescue grasses throughout the course gives the layout added definition.

Giacomo Battafarano, General Manager at Verdura Resort, said: “To be named as the number one golf course and resort in Italy – what a fantastic honour and achievement for all our staff to receive.

“We’re thrilled with all the comments and feedback that we have received since we reopened the East Course last year, and the work that Kyle Phillips has done has not only matched but exceeded our expectations. We couldn’t be happier with the final result.”

The accolades are the second major recognition that Verdura Resort has received in as many months after the venue was recently named as a recipient of Golf Digest magazine’s coveted ‘2022 Editors’ Choice Award for the Best Resorts in Continental Europe’ for the seventh year in a row.

Home of the European Tour’s Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, Verdura is nestled in 230 hectares of stunning Mediterranean landscape on Sicily’s southern coast and features a choice of 203 elegant rooms and suites as well as 20 new Rocco Forte private villas. The courses and facilities combined have established Verdura as one of the world’s elite golf and lifestyle destinations.

A member of the exclusive European Tour Destinations network, the resort is famous for offering members and guests an unforgettable five-star golf experience in one of the most beautiful settings in world. Away from golf, guests can enjoy an extensive array of other luxury sports and lifestyle facilities, as well as the opportunity to sample wide variety of gastronomy, wine, history, and culture.

n Golfers can experience Verdura’s award-winning East and West courses for themselves this summer and autumn by booking one of the resort’s Golf Inclusive stay-and-play breaks – with prices starting from €315 per person. Available until November 12, the eye-catching packages feature five-star accommodation, full daily breakfast and one green fee per nightly stay.