Have you been searching for the perfect golf getaway in the pastoral hills of Northern Italy? It might feature an engagingly beautiful and challenging golf course, full-service practice facilities, good food and drink, excellent service, and a tariff that won’t blow your budget. So have I, however, my search as ended. I have just described Golf & Country Valcurone in Momperone, Alessandria, Italy. It actually accurately fits the too-often-used term of “Hidden Gem!”
Cast upon the panoramic sweeping hills in rural surrounds about forty-five minutes from Milan, Valcurone Golf Country is a Tuscany delight. Awash in nature, it’s the perfect antidote for the hurries and pressures of life – a perfect weekend getaway or better yet, a sublime weekday excursion with its golf and spa the main attractions. Ever wonder what it is like to have your own private golf course, hotel, spa, and all? Well, during the weekdays that’s pretty much what you will find. I did. As I discovered, Valcurone does nearly all their business on the weekends and you may only encounter a handful of fellow golfers on the property on a pleasant sunny weekday – just about like having your own golf course!
The above 10th hole is “picture perfect” and also the beginning of Valcurone’s “Amen Corner. Below is the par-four 3rd hole that illustrates the sidehill terrain characterizing the outgoing nine where often the worse you hit it to one side of the holes, you are okay. That is not the case on the 10th or 12th! (Photos by Robert S. Fagan)
Golfwise, you will encounter a modern-style golf challenge with large, sloped putting surfaces and abundantly bold white bunkering sprinkled generously around the landing areas and greensites. The putting surfaces all have slopes that are a challenge. The outgoing nine is particularly hilly played across and then up and down a hillside that looks back down upon the clubhouse area. The tenth hole begins Valcurone’s version of “Amen Corner” as the 3-hole stretch of a par-three sandwiched by two par-fours is both difficult and picture postcard beautiful. In fact, I count the narrow 12th as one of the most difficult holes I have ever played. Even playing for a bogey is not easy! You must thread your tee ball onto a firm fairway with out-of-bounds, bunkering, and trees to the left and a sizeable lake to the right. There is little margin for error, but it’s the next shot of usually more than 160-yards over a creek with thick forest both left and right to a slightly angled green that is equally as intimidating. A miss to either side can spell a lost ball. Anyway, the rest of the golf course is imminently playable provided you play the proper tees. You will encounter water throughout and enough elevation changes to spell nice variety. If you can score here, your game will likely travel well, but the test will entertain most levels.
Above is the beginning of one of the most demanding and intimidating two-shotters I’ve ever encountered – long, tight, and dangerous. What you don’t see here is that there is out-of-bound immediately to the left and the firm, running fairway will not slow down a shot headed in that direction. Assuming that you can find the fairway more than a couple of football fields distant, the approach shot to the smallish green below is perhaps even more demanding! (Photos by Robert S. Fagan)
A full range of practice facilities, electric carts (course is walkable, but hilly), and a full-service golf shop and staff will take care of your needs. And if you want to stay in a real-life castle, they even own one just a mile or two away!
Retire after the round and you can dine or drink in or outside and feel as if you are on your own country estate. It’s a pretty special place in which you can sip wine or enjoy a brew while looking out over the valley golf course and the pristine hills beyond. The atmosphere at Valcurone is informal, and as beautiful a setting as it is, the people are just as friendly with the service excellent. And for those weary muscles, there is a day spa on site with an outdoor swimming pool. Imagine a wonderful massage and soothing oils followed by relaxing fragrances. Comfortable, clean, and somewhat spartan furnishings akin to the lodging at America’s Bandon Dunes are part of the separate modern lodging that is but a par-five from the clubhouse. It also makes for a nice hub to explore the surrounding countryside, but best of all Valcurone is the perfect place to simply relax, refresh, and work on your golf game.
Legendary Marketing Founder & President Andrew Wood rockets a powerful strike off of the tee of the par-five 13th. Andrew was kind enough to introduce me to this “hidden gem.” (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)
Yes, Golf & Country Valcurone mixes that perfect blend of nice folks, an exemplary golf experience, the rejuvenating spa, good food, drink, and comfortable lodging to qualify as a perfect golf getaway!
Below, author Bob Fagan enjoys a fine Italian Red after a round with the gorgeous Valcurone golf course just beyond.
Bob Fagan features one of the most interesting backgrounds in travel and golf. Not only it is likely that Bob has played more American golf courses than any living person, he has been an accomplished player and instructor, holds a Ph.D. in Counseling, has been an innovative golf and life coach, PGA Section Executive Director, golf company executive, “Expert Golf Witness,” and, of course, a highly acclaimed travel and golf writer.