Phil Smith returns to Castiglion del Bosco for renovation

  • Castiglion
    Steve Carr

    The golf course at The Club at Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, Italy, is set for a renovation led by architect Phil Smith

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The golf course at The Club at Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, Italy, is set for a major renovation.

The project will begin this winter and is being overseen by architect Phil Smith, who collaborated with the late Tom Weiskopf on the original design in 2012. Smith will be working alongside Atlantic Golf Construction, Turfgrass Consulting, Bunker Solution and advisor Patrick Fogarty of Golf IQ.

“Our objective has always been to make Castiglion del Bosco the finest golf experience in Italy,” said Smith. “As with all great courses, it is important to continue to invest and evolve and that is what we are doing, by extending the course to professional tournament length, ensuring world-class playing conditions all year round, and resilience in a changing climate.”

The course will be lengthened to 7,500 yards, more than 135,000 metres of new drainage will be installed, and bunkers will be restored to their original shape, with new lining from Bunker Solution, which will be its first installation in Italy.

“We are very proud and excited that those involved with the renovation selected Bunker Solution,” said Morris Johnson, the firm’s US national sales director. “Our bunker lining system uses no rocks, concrete or gravel. Therefore, clubs that use the Bunker Solution liner take out any potential for golfers to hit rocks or concrete when they play. In fact, you can literally hit golf balls right off the liner. The liner also holds sand in place incredibly well, which reduces repositioning labour time after rain events.”

The project will also see the introduction of drought-tolerant grasses, an increase in native grass areas, and irrigation upgrades.

“The new turf variations and improvements to the closed drainage system will ensure the traditional Tuscan-style and sustainable roots remain an integral part of the course design and ensure The Club at Castiglion del Bosco continues to be regarded as one of the top courses in Italy,” said Smith.

David Waters, general manager of the club, said: “As Tom Weiskopf’s only golf course design in Europe, we are committed to continually maintaining and improving the course in the way he envisioned, with sustainability at the forefront of our long-term plans. We are delighted to welcome back Phil Smith, to lead the work and help realise our shared ambitions for The Club to be seen as one of the very best golf courses in the world.”

The Castiglion del Bosco estate is within the Unesco World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia, located in the Brunello di Montalcino winemaking region of Tuscany. The 5,000-acre estate is also home to Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, a five-star hilltop resort, and its members and resident guests have exclusive access to the club.