Rome Marco Simone the Home of the Italian Ryder Cup

The Background
In the 1970s, on the outskirts of Rome, an ancient castle long left abandoned was given a new lease on life. The decision to transform it came from Laura Biagiotti and her husband, who made it their residence. A few years later, in 1989, a golf course emerged from the grounds, marking the beginning of Italy’s journey to hosting the Ryder Cup. The event, now being held at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, is not just a milestone for the club but also for the entirety of Italian golf. It’s rare for the event, when in Europe, to be outside of Britain or Ireland, with the only previous occasions being Spain in 1997 and France in 2018.

Dream Turned Reality
Who would have thought that Italy, a country with a rich culture but not the first name associated with golf, would host a global event that attracts over a billion viewers? The journey began nearly eight years ago and faced numerous challenges. Yet, due to the relentless dedication and significant investment from Lavinia Biagiotti and the Federation’s efforts, Italy’s vision turned into reality. Overcoming the delay caused by the pandemic and still being ready showcases commendable efficiency.

Transforming Marco Simone
Ahead of the Ryder Cup, significant changes were made to the golf course. The layout was restructured to optimize viewers’ experience and competitiveness. Its amphitheater design resembles a stadium, allowing spectators to view multiple holes. The 16th hole, statistically where the Ryder Cup is often decided, stands out. Moreover, special grass was chosen for its vibrant color to enhance TV broadcasts.

Global Audience and Sustainability
The Ryder Cup is the third-largest sporting event in the world. With the event spanning six days, the club is expected to welcome approximately 50,000 spectators daily. Yet, the club hasn’t forgotten about the billions who will be tuning in from their homes, ensuring that the broadcasting is top-notch.

Environmental considerations were not overlooked. The course’s new design collects rainwater, addressing the vast water consumption often associated with golf. Sustainable grass varieties requiring less irrigation were used, and the club utilizes efficient lighting and renewable energy sources, like solar panels.

Italian Flair
Being in Rome, glimpses of the iconic St. Peter’s Dome can be seen from the course. The essence of Italy is omnipresent. The Ryder Cup team is predominantly Italian, bringing their unique culture and flair to the event. Efforts were made to encourage attendees to use public transportation, allowing them to experience the heart of Rome. Even within the club, elements of Italy’s rich history were infused, such as a stand designed to resemble the Colosseum.

The Legacy of the Event
Unlike major events like the Olympics or World Cup, where massive infrastructures often become white elephants, the renovations made for the Ryder Cup will remain functional. Golf tourists will be attracted to the revamped course. Moreover, new roads connecting Rome and Marco Simone have been developed, easing the commute.

Boosting Italian Golf
The event can catalyze growth in Italian golf in the years to come. The country’s aim is not just to increase the number of local golfers but also to lure golf enthusiasts from abroad. A clear testament to the event’s potential impact is the tripling of the club’s guests from the previous year. The real challenge lies in maximizing this momentum, looking at established golfing regions like Andalusia for inspiration. Connecting various golf courses across Italy will provide tourists with varied experiences, thus promoting Italy as a top golfing destination.

Redazione UPFD

Redazione UPFD

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