The highly anticipated Ryder Cup is set to begin on Friday, September 29. This biennial golf tournament showcases the best golfers from the United States and Europe as they compete for international bragging rights. This year’s event will take place at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia, Rome, Italy, making it the first time an Italian course has hosted the Ryder Cup.
The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club holds historical significance as it was named after the castle of Marco Simone. The course was designed by American architect Jim Fazio and was built in 1989. However, in preparation for the 2023 Ryder Cup, the course underwent redesigns in 2018 and 2021 to optimize it for match-play. The remodel was conducted by European Golf Design in partnership with Tom Fazio II, son of Jim Fazio. The new design aims to create a consistent theme of “risk-reward” and “high-stakes.”
The course, known as Course Campionato, is a Par 72 and measures a total of 6343 yards. It is considered to be a shorter course overall, with the longest holes being Holes 1 and 16, both 501-yard Par 5s. However, the most challenging hole on the course is arguably Hole 7, a 203-yard Par 3 with a kidney-shaped green that leans to the right. This hole presents significant challenges for golfers, with sand traps on the short side of the green and difficulties when putting from a distance. Par 3s are generally the most difficult holes in golf, and Hole 7 at Marco Simone Golf Club seems particularly unforgiving.
While the European team may have an advantage in terms of familiarity with the course, with the Marco Simone Golf Club having hosted the Italian Open four times, the US team has taken steps to level the playing field. Nine out of the twelve US Ryder Cup team members, along with the captain and co-captains, arrived in Rome on September 10, in hopes of gaining more familiarity with the course. Unfortunately, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth were unable to join the scouting trip.
Golf fans and enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the start of the 2023 Ryder Cup. The intensity of the competition combined with the unique setting of the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome promises to make this tournament a memorable event. Whether it’s the US team’s efforts to become acquainted with the course or the challenges presented by the various holes, the Ryder Cup is sure to captivate golf fans around the world.