Ascona, Switzerland, August 2015: The unique micro-climate of Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland, allows golfers to continue playing in warm, balmy weather well into October. To make the most of the fantastic playing conditions, Giardino Ascona (www.giardino-ascona.ch/) has teamed up with its next-door neighbour Golf Club Patriziale Ascona, where the course was designed with the help of the legendary Harry Colt.
Located along the banks of Lake Maggiore against a backdrop of magnificent Alpine mountains, the feel of the golf club remains very much that of a private, stylish golf facility, even though it is now managed by the City of Ascona. Established in 1928 as a nine-hole layout, the golf club soon became a meeting place for local businessmen, wealthy tourists and celebrities who chose this little paradise at the foothills of the Alps as their regular spot to play golf.
Such was the popularity of the club that the course was extended to 18 holes with the help of eminent golf course architects, Harry Colt & Charles Alison, who created a classic, tree-lined parkland course that weaves its way down to one of Europe’s most famous lakes. The par-4 16th and par-3 17th holes run directly alongside the picturesque lake whilst the rest of the course meanders through avenues of mature trees and expansive but shallow bunkers that defend many of the tricky, undulating greens. This par 71 course, which is open all year round, was awarded the title of “Best Golf Course in Switzerland” in 1999.
Golfers stay at the 72-room Giardino Ascona, a luxurious retreat hotel adjacent to the golf club, which offers fine dining in the 2 Michelin-starred Ecco where Rolf Fliegauf (one of Switzerland’s most decorated chefs) resides, a less formal restaurant known as Aphrodite, the HotelBar overlooking a lush Mediterranean garden and extensive fitness facilities, including a dipiù Spa.
For golfers experiencing a few aches and pains after a busy summer of golf, the Giardino Ascona offers an exclusive ‘Golf Perfekt’ programme run in collaboration with renowned physiotherapist Cornelia Albrecht.
After a full body check-up lasting an hour and a half, Cornelia accompanies her clients onto the golf course to get a detailed picture of the rotation, stability and coordination of their bodies as they play golf so that she can then provide advice and individually-tailored exercises to suit each golfer’s own body and movement.
Cornelia aims to resolve any issues that are affecting player performance and, with her help, many golfers have managed to increase their driving capability considerably. A dipiù massage in the hotel spa provides the perfect way to relax after Cornelia’s session and is included in the offer, which is priced at CHF355 (approx Euros326/UK£234).
For those just looking for an 18-hole green fee at the Golf Club Patriziale Ascona, the cost is CHF130 (approx Euros120/UK£85) during the week and CHF150 (approx Euros138/UK£98) at the weekends and on public holidays.
Dedicated golfers may wish to travel further afield to the other two courses in the area. The Golf Gerre Losone, opened in 2001, offers a complete contrast from Ascona Patriziale; it is a modern, open and very challenging course thanks to a number of tight fairways, unnerving OB possibilities and several rock-lined streams and ponds that demand good course management and accurate shot making. A few kilometres away on the shores of Lake Lugano, the Lugano golf course is laid out over gently undulating terrain that is bisected by the River Magliasina that often brings water into play. The tight, technical layout with numerous bunkers is tempered by large greens, whilst azaleas and rhododendrons add splashes of colour on various holes.
For further information on the golf offer, visit www.giardino-ascona.ch/en/news/golf-perfekt or to book the hotel and/or a ‘Golf Perfekt’ package, call the hotel on +41 91 785 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.