Be part of the show of Italian Open

Back from Rome after a rewarding weekend to follow the golf champions along the golf course Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, for the 78th Italian Open, I started writing some notes about the experience of attending a professional european golf tournament. My desire was to share it on Facebook in favor of my small circle of friends and acquaintances, in the hope that it never dies that some non-player gets curious and tries to get closer to the wonderful sport and game that is Golf.

A view of Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Now I want to reproduce my thoughts also in the pages of this blog. My site was created for existing players who want to explore Italy but I am pleased if it could act as a sounding board and also intercept someone else out of the loop. Here is what I had written during the train trip.

More, you can read about my experience in Rome in the hours I wasn’t at the golf course, it is something particular far from the usual tourist routes. Later I will suggest also a place where to go for a fantastic dinner. Go ahead!

Let’s start a round of golf

What does it mean to attend an Italian Open of Golf? Listen to me for a moment. Here I give you some ideas because it is an experience that I recommend if you are just curious and you like beautiful parties. It is unique, there is nothing like it!

Let’s start a round of golf speaking about the environment: you are surrounded by nature and often the golf courses are out of town. Golf courses can really contribute to improving the environment, enhancing the territory and increasing biodiversity.

Passing to the event itself, at the beginning of the day you first pass through the shopping area where you will find many interesting things on display relating to golf but also tourism in general and food. Nearby there is also an area dedicated to other sports and where you can try golf for the first time. Then you head to the driving range and see the scrupulous and concentrated preparation of the players.

The driving range

The players

You can follow your favorite players and stay in close contact with them, all the way. Choose who to follow and whether to change, when you want. You always choose your perspective of each shot: stay close to the player to enjoy the technical gesture or will you prefer to wait in the shot landing area? Do you want to be in the midst of the fans or stay a bit on the sidelines? To follow the best or who is behind the lines?

The player’s loneliness

You really understand the slopes of the greens, the fairways, the gradients they face, the difficulty of the track, the trajectory of the shot, the lay of the ball, the wind. Television does not allow you this “4D” vision and you really realize that scary bombs they fire. You are inside the playing field, you are part of it. Be part of the show.

From the tee, hole 2nd

Take photos and videos at full speed. You exchange a few words with an English cameraman, see him again the next day and say goodbye. You also meet a TV commentator, someone compliments him on his jon and he replies that he enjoys doing it. And it shows!

One of the many professionals involved

Only a string separates the fairway / green from the public area. You have your idols there, literally on your doorstep. Some funny guy sometimes even addresses jokes to the players. In total silence, they reply and there is a general laughter (watch out that some players are more extroverted than others, each has their own character). And if they go wrong (it happens to them too and this makes you love golf even more) you will find them close at hand.

The respect

And here the respect from the public is always more than fundamental! At a birdie everyone rejoices, at a mistake everyone applauds to encourage. Sure, cheer on your favorites but you can’t help but enjoy so many great champions. You see their routine, everyone has their own sacred and private, you try to steal something useful for your game too.

Now we are at the Italian Open but, at the next Ryder Cup event, the stereotype of silence in the game of golf will be replaced by a lot of goliardia. The respect will continue to be present, but at a different level.

The people

As an audience at the Italian Open there are people of all nationalities mingling in one big party. Only cheer for, never against (I do not guarantee for the Ryder Cup, as already told you).

You can exchange amazed comments about the shots with complete strangers and feel accomplices in something beautiful. Together with some new travel mates, take a walk together and follow the same game flight for a few holes. So you tell them where you come from and where you usually play .. “Oh yes, I’ve been there, great golf course!” “Now I’m going on to hole 10th, you?” “I’m going to look for Molinari.” Your paths separate, you greet each other and maybe you exchange contacts to arrange playing together in the future.

All together for a big show, trying to imagine what Ryder Cup will be

It may happen that a player asks you if you saw the ball move when he had already taken stance on the ball. I had made a video and showed him directly to confirm that the ball hadn’t moved. At the end of the hole his caddy threw me a ball as a gift, coincidentally the brand I use. I don’t think I’ll ever play it with the confidence of losing it.

A nice present

The audience is made up of newbies, simple onlookers, more or less experienced players, women, men and children. The younger ones reach out for a high five. And then you see their smiles. Among them also Fleetwood’s son who instead walks almost disinterested in his father’s game (and what a game!) and in the love of Italian supporters towards him.

A beer please

A day on the golf course is physically long. Here you can stop at one of the many track foods scattered around to enjoy a hamburger or other delicious street food, you sit in the rough and a player passes by and looks at you. You look at him and tell him “it’s very good but they’ve run out of beer” and you bioth laugh. Fortunately, you can retrieve a beer shortly after and you sip it as you go back up the pitch to reach the last flight (more or less the first in the standings on the third and fourth day).

One of the street food shops present on the golf course

I’m happy to be there and enjoy the present with all my senses. Experience moments of glory and others instead of sports dramas. It is almost a must to finish the day at hole 18th for some final twist. General applause.

The 18th green

Life stories

Before leaving the Italian Open you see that the contenders who have already finished playing are back on the driving range, still working alone or with their coach for the next day. Everything closes in the shuttle bus that takes the fans out of the golf club, you turn around and ask if anyone is going to Rome and so you also gain a precious passage. “Just let me drop at any metro station, then I’ll make do”.

There by car, other life stories emerge. “And if you come close to where I live, let’s take a golf round together and then I’ll offer you a beer”. You thank everything, everyone and yourself for giving yourself such an experience.

Before leaving Rome, let me suggest you a place where to have an excellent dinner.

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