Verdura Resort in Sicily, Italy, has reopened its East course following a redesign by Kyle Phillips.
In 2019, Phillips started work on 14 coastline holes – spanning the resort’s East and West courses – that were damaged by a freak flood at the end of 2018.
Nine holes of the East course were back in play in August, and the full 18 reopened earlier this month.
“Players returning to Verdura are most likely to notice the changes that have occurred along the coastline and how we have incorporated them into the design of the course,” said Phillips. “All of which will add to the drama and pleasure, of what is effectively, a new course, with new surfaces on the greens, freshened bunkers and new turf in the fairways and rough.”
Phillips has altered the routing, which previously saw golfers cross the West course. His new routing has more clearly defined the two courses, with the East now a par 73, while the West is a par 70.
The par-four sixth, which plays along the coastline and offers views across the Mediterranean, is one of the entirely new holes. Players need to be careful of water left and right when teeing off, and for their approach, they need to negotiate two greenside bunkers and more water to reach the undulating green.
“The drama of the coastline has been improved, so we have made the most of it,” said Phillips. “That sixth hole is an example of what happened and how we have managed to make a fantastic new hole out of it. We have certainly made the most out of what was available to us and we’re proud of what has been achieved.”
Phillips’ work has also included designing a double green for the new par-five eighth and par-four tenth holes. “It will be a bit like some of those huge greens at St Andrews,” he said.
Sir Rocco Forte, founder and chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, said: “I am tremendously excited by the new course and layout, which will enhance both the playing experience and magnificent views over the spectacular Sicilian coastline.”