A Golf & Wellness Oasis in southern Tuscany 

04/21/2022 by Golf Post Editors

A Golf & Wellness Oasis in southern Tuscany 

The harbour town of Porto Ercole in Italy. (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

It takes us less than two hours by rental car from Rome-Fiumicino airport to reach the five-star Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort. It is situated on a peninsula in the heart of the Maremma. This is the name of the coastal strip and its hinterland in southern Tuscany. In the past, the Maremma was a swampy area where malaria was prevalent. But this has long been a thing of the past. Just like the Etruscans, who were once at home here. Most of the Maremma lies in Grosseto, the second largest of the ten Tuscan provinces with its capital of the same name. This typically Tuscan region is not densely populated. Around 220,000 inhabitants live on an area of 4,500 square kilometres.

Argentario Golf Club (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

Stylish design in a natural setting. The modern designed, luxurious resort was opened in 2008. It is situated above a green valley, in the midst of the Mediterranean Maccia in a beautiful area. It is surrounded by cork oak forests and centuries-old olive trees. The resort has a magnificent view of the golf course, the lagoon of Orbetello, the silver coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond and the hills of Monte Argentario.

18th green in front of the resort complex (Photo: Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort) 

The 73 rooms, the seven suites and the seven luxurious villas have been furnished with great attention to detail, combining comfort with the latest technology. All accommodation units have balconies or terraces of different sizes with beautiful views. Construction has begun on a further 20 rooms. The furnishings vary depending on the room type. From the functionally furnished standard double room to the elegant suite, there is something for every taste and budget. White walls contrast with dark brown wooden floors and furniture.

Impressive design throughout the resort. Exceptional design runs throughout the resort. Its contemporary style features a combination of retro and extravagant elements. Materials from the region are skilfully combined with modern ones. The most impressive example of this is the majestic entrance hall, designed in the shape of a dragonfly, where the intense blue of the sky falls through the oversized glass windows.

Imposing resort lobby (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

The black frames of the lift cladding contrast with the white wooden ceiling, the floor of sand- coloured Tabarca stones and the curved light wooden counters of the reception and the boutique. The entrance to the restaurants also attracts the eye. The wild boars found in this region greet the guests.

Entrance area to the restaurants (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

Wellness and well-being are a priority. The 2,700-square-metre ESPACE Wellness Centre has, among other things, a fitness centre with state-of-the-art technogym equipment, two saunas and a heated indoor saltwater pool with an exit to the outside. A second pool in the outdoor area offers the desired cooling in summer. At the ESPACE Wellness Centre, guests can discover various wellbeing services aimed at achieving an overall balanced  physical and mental state. Tennis and padel tennis courts are available, as well as a panoramic jogging course, a small football pitch and electric mountain bikes.

Indoor pool with view into the gym (Photo: Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort) 

Argentario Golf Club opened in 2006. The club’s course was designed by golf architect David Mezzacane and golf pro Baldovino Dassu. Adjustments were later made by Brian Jorgensen. Due to the prevailing microclimate, the course is playable year-round. Testament to the quality of the course, Argentario’s golf course was awarded PGA National Italy status by The PGA in 2019.

Challenging golf in charming surroundings. Precision is just as important as distance on the technically challenging par-71, 6,218-metre championship course. From yellow it is 5,895 metres long, from red 5,003 metres. After a soft start with a short par-4, we cross the hilltop and play the next two holes deep down into the valley. The views down to the sea and lagoon in the background are fantastic. First, we are impressed by a par-3, whose green is well guarded by seven bunkers. From the yellow tee it is 177 m downhill.

Magnificent view from the tee of the second hole (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

This is followed by the longest hole on the course. From the elevated tee box, you can let the driver run free into the fairway far below. The par-5, 573 metres long from the yellow tee, plays like a par-6. The frontal wind coming from the sea also contributes to this.

573 metres to the green of the three (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

The next holes then run level through the flat terrain. The fairways offer enough space to hit the ball, but the greens have their work cut out for them. They are not overly large, oftenundulated and well guarded by bunkers or water hazards.

Overview Front Nine (Photo: Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort) 

From the elevated terrace of the clubhouse, you have a great view of the ninth and the tenth hole, where water comes into play.

View of the nine (right) and ten from the clubhouse (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

The back nine is more open and wider than the front nine. It passes numerous olive trees and impressive, huge trees that attract our gaze on several holes.

Giant trees line the fairways (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

As is the case throughout the resort, sustainability is also a top priority on the golf course. Only organic products are used to maintain the course. For this, the club received the BioAgri Cert award. The seal of quality, which only a few clubs in Italy bear, stands for excellent water management, among other things. The rainwater coming from the mountains is collected in two cisterns in winter and thus ensures irrigation in the summer months.

The Bermuda grass of the fairways is still dormant in April. That’s why they still have quite a few brown spots when we visit. The greens, on the other hand, are already in top condition. The covered driving range is a real eye-catcher. In the academy, which is equipped with the latest technology, group and individual lessons are offered, sometimes by well-known professionals such as Emanuele Canonica.

Stylish driving range (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

When booking through the hotel, resort guests receive attractive green fee discounts on other courses in the region. These include the Ryder Cup course Marco Simone in Rome.

The palate is also pampered. We dine superbly in the cosy Clubhouse restaurant and on its terrace. The menu features tasty dishes of Maremma, Tuscan and Italian cuisine, using mainly products from the region. We were particularly taken with the tortelli with wild boar ragout and the fish and seafood platter. The Vermentino is an excellent accompaniment. The gourmet restaurant Dama Dama was still closed during our visit.

Cosy Clubhouse Restaurant (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

There is much to discover. To explore the charming region, we recommend a rental car. We didn’t see any taxis in any of the small towns. The towns of Porto Ercole and Orbetello with their sandy beaches Feniglia and Giannella are only a few kilometres away. Porto Ercole with its historic Hercules harbour, its four fortresses and its pretty old town should be included here, as well as the larger town of Porto Santo Stefano, where we let ourselves be spoilt with fresh fish and enjoy the evening atmosphere in the Trattoria Il Moletto right by the sea.

Evening atmosphere in Porto Santo Stefano (Photo: Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort) 

We also recommend a visit to the municipality of Capalbio, whose fortified settlement towers high above the sea. The tour of the city walls offers magnificent views over the entire region. In its winding alleys, a new surprise awaits around every corner.

Town fortress in Capalbio (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

Art lovers will not miss out either. The artist Niki de Saint Phalle, known for her voluptuous figures, has created an art garden with 22 sculptures up to 15 metres high depicting the cards of the Tarot. It is also located in the municipality of Capalbio. Here we are immersed in a world of our own with imaginative figures made of mirror mosaics, colourful ceramics and glass and are completely enthralled.

Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

Grazie mille to the entire team of the Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort and Golf Club for the friendly and perfect service at all times. We felt very much at home. Ciao et a presto!

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