Private course debuts in Italian Alps


Private course debuts in Italian Alps
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

An exclusive mountain retreat in the Italian Alps has unveiled a private course at 1,200m altitude.

Named ‘a Hole in Heaven’, the course is the work of architects Ron Kirby and Paolo Gueltrini, and sits high up in the Dolomite mountains.

The lodge lies on the site of a 16th century hunting lodge, transformed into a four-bedroom mountain residence.

Geographically, the course is in a prominent golfing region on the continent, is a helicopter ride from the historic course at Padova, and 18 minutes flight from the course at Cortina. Across the border in Austria is also the course at Kitzbuhel.

Ron Kirby said of the project: “The San Lorenzo Lodge site presented us with a severe steep slope to develop a golf facility. The existing helipad was the only flat area we had and the owner Stefano agreed that we could use the helipad in our design.

“The early ideas were to build a par three golf hole, hitting from the helipad down hill to a secluded green. That concept of a down hill hole would never be very popular so this concept was put in the icebox. A reverse idea was to play to the helipad area.”

The course is comprised of nine flag positions and six tees, with three flags of different colours positioned on the green. The green is a replica of the Valley of Sin from the home hole at St Andrews Old Course.

“I am very happy and proud to have San Lorenzo now as part of my design history,” concluded Kirby.