European Tour Reports

European Tour Reports

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“The 18th scares me to death”

Donnafugata’s Parkland course, some advice

The Par 72, 6,666 meters Parkland Course offers a challenge to the players that compete for the main prize at the next Sicily Open. Two lakes affect the play of the final three holes that will make up the last exciting and uncertain outcome of the game. No matter how the battle develops, the finish will be special, as hole 18 has the green next to the resort, forming a natural amphitheatre overlooked by suites, clubhouse, pool and spa. There are lots of interesting features to keep players´ minds occupied. The course management has some advice for them.

The Parkland Course

  • At hole 1 a traditional stone wall runs the length of the hole providing a cultural feature as well as signifying Out Of Bounds.  
  • The 425 metres hole 2 is a par 5 for members, but a long par 4 for the Tour players. If the tee shot manages to clear the long fairway bunker on the right, a birdie 3 could be the reward.
  • Hole 3 (199 Metres) is a good Par 3, well protected by huge bunkers left and right. A perfect draw from the right hand bunker is recommended, especially if the flag is positioned to the back of another long green.
  • Hole 5 (424 metres) is an interesting dog leg left with the wind generally from the right and helping, encourages players to hit the driver. Finding the fairway is a must, so choose your club wisely to secure this task. The finish is at a green which is accompanied by a sprawling bunker running the full length of the putting surface.
  • Accuracy is needed at hole 6, a par 4. A wall designed in the local way behind the green gives it a secluded feel, but there is some room on the right hand side.
  • Hole 7 (Par 5 501 metres) is a good risk/reward hole. Those attempting to reach the green in 2 shots should be mindful that an errant approach will almost certainly find the water. The safe play would be to lay up short to let the ball filter down the slope, and rely on a pitch and putt for birdie.
  • Hole 9, 354 Meter Par 4, offers an opportunity for long hitters, but beware: anything other than a long precise drive can find trouble with water and out of bounds lurking. Spectators on the balcony of the neighbouring clubhouse will be wondering how you will overcome your difficulties...
  • What a view awaits at the par 5 hole 12! The panoramic tee invites to wind up for a big drive, however trouble awaits if you miss the fairway!
  • Hole 13 (a 179 metres par 3) is one of the most beautiful holes of this course. An artistic piece of work with sand, palm trees, ancient stone walls, pomegranate and orange orchards with tall reeds in the wasteland providing a natural background. A signature hole.
  • Hole 15 (another par 3) is another gem in the valley, featuring an old stone house which collects the errant Tee shot to the right. The raised green is well protected again with large bunkers and there is a high importance here on club selection. Anything short and left will run away down the valley into the bushes and long grass.
  • When we asked Marc-Pierre Campos, Golf Director of Donnafugata about the par 4 hole 18, this was his answer: “The 18th scares me to death on a normal day but coming down the stretch to make the cut or win the Tournament it will definitely be decisive!!” Here is what will happen at the 18th: the elevated tee begs you to hit your best ever drive, with a hint of draw. The idyllic Terraces of the hotel suites create the perfect background. Be careful not to overdo it from the tee as a big lake guards the left side of the hole. A good drive will set up a realistic birdie opportunity. And may even win you the tournament!

Have you ever played the Parkland Course? What other difficulties did you encounter?

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