We The Italians | Italian sport: Rome, here comes the Ryder Cup

Italian sport: Rome, here comes the Ryder Cup

Italian sport: Rome, here comes the Ryder Cup

  • WTI Magazine #166 Aug 19, 2023
  • 143

Almost one hundred years after the first edition was played Worcester CC, Worcester, Massachusetts, the Ryder Cup will arrive for the first time in Italy, where golf is not among the most popular sports but since the beginning of the new millennium has won thousands of new fans.

Waiting for the two selections from the United States and Europe will be the renovated course at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, a jewel located just a stone's throw from the heart of the Eternal City that was founded by one of the world's most famous Italian fashion designers, Laura Biagiotti, who died six years ago.

The 12 players from Team USA and 12 from Team Europe, will compete from September 29 to October 1 to win the oldest and most prestigious team trophy in golf history in front of a record crowd. For the three days of competition, all 150,000 available tickets have been sold, and another 100,000 have been sold for the three days of practice, most of them to U.S. fans.

Captain Luke Donald's United States will defend the title it won in 2021 in Wisconsin and aim to dominate overseas 30 years after the last time. While the Old Continent of captain Zach Johnson, and vice-captain Edoardo Molinari, a golfer from Turin, will try to redeem the sharp defeat of two years ago.

It will be a fantastic experience for the fans, because they will be able to enjoy the spectacle of great golf and visit the wonders of the Eternal City which, is ready to welcome them with open arms.

We The Italians was able to take a sneak peek and study the course, and as a preview we reveal the characteristics of the 18 holes, so you can follow the event on television already knowing what difficulties the champions of the two teams will encounter.

Hole 1 (par 4, 819 yards), already famous for the over 4500-seat grandstand that will welcome spectators, before reaching the green has a slight right-left with two bunkers on either side, and choosing the direction of the right bunker to reach the green is easier. Hole 2 (par 4, 463 yards) has five bunkers, including one in the middle of the fairway, and you will only be able to use the long iron for the approach if your first shot went well. Hole 3 (par 4, 414 yards) has the green as the maximum difficulty because it is has several slopes.

For hole 4 (par 3, 172 yards), players can take a risk by going for the right bunker, or be more comfortable by choosing the left one, but taking a risk would give the chance to close it under par. Hole 5 (par 4, 344 yards) has the first pond on the course, and the ideal trajectory to follow is to the right: then they will have to watch out for the bunker in front of the green, which is treacherous. Hole 6 (par 4, 348 yards): among the least complex holes on the course, if one does not go to hit the bunkers in front and to the right of the green, it is among the most quoted to close with a birdie. You need to go long with the first shot, however.

On hole 7 (par 3, 203 yards) the tee shot is higher than the green, and there is a dangerous slope before the green, so avoid it. Hole 8 (par 5, 480 yards), features a water course to the left, to be overcome or avoided by circling around, and a bunker in front of the green to the right. On hole 9 (par 5, 537 yards), the second longest after the last, there are seven, including one in front of the green, so you will need to approach the green with at least a couple of shots.

Hole 10 (par 4, 414 yards) is reached uphill and the slopes are dangerous, especially to the right. Hole 11 (par 4, 301 yards) is very fast, has two large bunkers on either side, a very wide green and many slopes that make it dangerous. Hole 12 (par 5, 499 yards) has four bunkers at the beginning of the fairway and three in front of the green, which is also very small, so it is very difficult to make an eagle.

Hole 13 (par 3, 137 yards) is among the easiest, but has the green with many slopes. Hole 14 (par 4, 465 yards) has as its main difficulty the presence of many trees, especially on the left side, but the green is easy. Hole 15 (par 4, 438 meters) is full of bunkers in tricky positions, so they will have to be very careful to stay within par.

Hole 16 (par 4, 277 yards) is short for a par 4 but the presence of a pond on the right makes things difficult. Hole 17 (par 3, 188 yards) has a bunker in front of the green and a river on the left side, so you will need to be very precise. And we are at the end, with hole 18, the longest of all (par 5, 546 yards). It has lots of bunkers left and right, it has the river on the left, but it is downhill so you will be able to risk getting to the green even with two shots and then close the hole under par.