Courses of premium quality combine with a desirable climate, legendary cuisine, fine wine and convenient access to make these five complexes highly appealing to travelling golfers.
Overview: It was created by the Robert von Hagge-Rick Baril axis of Les Bordes fame. The clubhouse food is run by the owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Where is it? NW of Milan, close to Lake Maggiore, 30 minutes from Milan Malpensa airport.
On the course: Baril rates the Del Conte highly, suggesting it is the course where design intentions were translated on site with most sophistication. As well as the woodland Del Conte, the Bonora is a fine 'second' course – some like it every bit as much as the premier attraction.
Off the course: The brand-new hotel has 28 rooms, and four suites overlooking the 18th, 50m from the clubhouse. There is a pool and a terrace with a Jacuzzi as well as four villas to rent.
Overview: A luxury retreat with a superb course in the Maremma, a beautiful but still-unexplored part of Southern Tuscany. There is an emphasis on high-end style in 73 designer bedrooms and independent golf villas.
Where is it? Off the E80 north of Rome, 90 minutes away from the city’s Fiumicino airport.
On the course: An aesthetically-pleasing course designed by former European Tour player Baldovino Dassù and architect David Mezzacane. Its location on a chip of land almost completely surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea, gives it a microclimate as well as uncommon beauty.
Off the course: A 2,700m2 spa, a heated indoor swimming pool, outdoor pools, a hi-tech gym and tennis courts. Dama Dama Restaurant offers Tuscan food using produce grown on site.
Overview: A resort where golf truly is the top priority. There is a spa, delightful accommodation, an infinity pool, and wonderful dining options – but Donnafugata is principally for golfers.
Where is it? Near Ragusa in the south-west corner of Sicily, 20 minutes from Comiso airport.
On the course: There are two courses here, the Parkland and the Links. The former was designed by Gary Player and is a fine woodland-parkland track that hosted the European Tour. The Links by Franco Piras is spread over open, crumpled terrain punctuated by water.
Off the course: A spa and gym, a huge pool with views over the Parkland course, four restaurants and loads of style. There are lots of World Heritage Sites to explore nearby too.
Grado, Friuli Venezia
Overview: Tenuta Primero is a comprehensive holiday resort that is renowned in Italy. It is situated in coastal woodland on a spit of land lapped by the gorgeous Adriatic Sea. Its wealth of facilties include Grado golf course.
Where is it? Near Monfalcone south of Udine, two hours’ drive east of Venice, close to Slovenia.
On the course: It has echoes of the Florida everglades as a result of being routed among wetlands next to the coast. This exhilarating course is fairly flat, so is affected by wind and the fairways are not especially wide; it looks like holiday
golf, but flailing away will lose you balls...
Off the course: You can choose to stay in the wooden cabins of the campsite or in the swish marina suites. The clubhouse’s food is sensational – and the non-golf leisure facilities are endless!
Overview: There are 27 holes at Castelfalfi golf club, while Il Castelfalfi is a five-star hotel being built within the resort that will open in March 2017. In the meantime, you can stay at La Tabaccaia and enjoy great green fee prices.
Where is it? Just over an hour’s drive south-west of Florence, close to Pontedera.
On the course: The Mountain course is close to 7,000 yards and a strong strategic test laid out among mature woodland by Rainer Preismann and Wilfried Moroder. The Lake is just nine holes but is 3,500 yards and, while unquestionably being picturesque, is also a proper test.
Off the course: La Tabaccaia is a beautifully restored former tobacco-drying barn. There are swimming pools, tennis courts, guided trekking, bike rental, yoga and a spa.