The countdown is on for the 2023 Ryder Cup, which will take place at the picturesque Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy.
With the Ryder Cup almost upon us, we take a look at the venue.
|The Ryder Cup
|Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Guidonia Montecelio, Rome, Italy
|30th September to 2nd October 2023
|How to Watch
|All three days of the match will be televised live on Sky Sports Golf. The match will also be available to follow on bet365's Live Golf Tracker
|Europe Evs, USA 11/10, Tie 12/1
The venue was built in the 1980s under the ownership of the fashion designer Laura Biagiotti and her husband Gianni Cigna.
They transformed 150 hectares of the countryside into the venue on the outskirts of Rome, but it has not featured as a regular venue on the European Tour.
The 1994 Italian Open took place at the venue, with Eduardo Romero eventually lifting the trophy.
Organisers had hoped to host the event regularly. Still, there were issues, and it was not until the 2021 Italian Open that they got the chance to host another professional event.
Ryder Cup players Nicolai Hojgaard and Robert MacIntyre have won at the course, which continues to host the Italian Open.
Jim Fazio and David Mezzacane designed the par-72 course originally, but it has been redesigned and now plays over 6,937 yards. It has a par of 72 and a slope rating of 140.
Fazio's son Tom and Jeremy Slessor have redesigned the course, and they've made it tricky, with any errors immediately punished by the pace of the greens.
In an interview with Golf Digest, Englishman Oliver Wilson confirmed that you could not see nine holes when approaching the green, with multiple elevation changes adding to the difficulty levels.
With several hills carving through the course, spectators should get a superb view of the action. From the 14th tee onwards, there are two difficult par 4s, but the big hitters could then attack the following par 4 in Rome.
A tough par three and a water-laden par five will await the two teams at 17 and 18, and it could be where the course starts to bite back in September 2023.
To prepare for the Ryder Cup, the full course was redesigned after nearly two decades without a major tournament.
The back nine was completed and reopened in October 2020, while the full 18 holes were finished in March 2021.
Due to the demands of hosting a Ryder Cup, new roads, lakes, cart paths and irrigation systems were introduced into the redesign.
Members and visitors are set to provide further feedback in the coming months but, with the work complete, attention will soon turn to the playing side of the tournament as players fight for the right to prove they belong in either team.