Golf Course Architecture - Issue 61, July 2020

67 “By breaking the rules of the 18-hole par 72 standard, the course provides a fun and dynamic experience while remaining light on the land,” he says. “The smaller footprint of the golf course did not come about due to a lack of available land, as the entire property is over 2,500 hectares,” says Phillips’ design associate Mark Thawley. “We could have pushed for a bigger envelope, but it was important to show restraint in order to create a special experience that fit with our client’s vision.” The resort sets out a configuration each day, sometimes nine and sometimes twelve holes, but with just twenty lodgings and various other activities on offer, golfers frequently have the course pretty much to themselves. This leaves them free to create their own routing suited to their whim for golf at the time. Match play is encouraged, with winners of the previous hole choosing the next direction to play in, and which green to play to. There is also a full-length practice fairway, a practice bunker and short game area. Rugged bunkers, used sparingly, complement the landscape and its dramatic setting, with views from the course out to the mountains and Mediterranean sea. The design at Murtoli includes preserved native vegetation and existing working agricultural land. With just 30 acres of irrigated and maintained turf, Phillips estimates the course will require less than half the water of an average 18-hole layout. “In keeping with the rest of the property, the course has been designed to sit naturally on the land so that players are negotiating the ground as it has existed for centuries,” says Phillips. “This of course, is how the game of golf began, across the natural linksland in Scotland.” GCA Photos: Domaine de Murtoli