Players pampered in picturesque Puglia

25/10/2012 13:27:16
The ninth hole at San Domenico Golf (pic by Phil Inglis) ()
The ninth hole at San Domenico Golf (pic by Phil Inglis) ()

The Apulia San Domenico Grand Final is, for many players competing this week, the final step to The European Tour and the glamourous Italian venue for the Challenge Tour’s season-ending event certainly makes them feel like superstars.

This is the eighth year in which the grand finale of the Challenge Tour season has taken place at the Puglia resort and there is no doubt that it gets better every year.

From the beautiful coastal golf course to the stunning five-star Borgo Egnazia Resort – which last week hosted the wedding of celebrities Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel – this place has it all.

Borgo Egnazia is a place that is unique and virtually unrivalled in terms of its beauty. With views of the Adriatic Sea from its balconies and terraces, the hotel comprises a village which resembles something from the Roman ages, and a collection of luxury villas, each with its own swimming pool.

Made from local stone, quicklime and dry wall, walking around the bright white village of rooms and villas is like taking a step back through time.

The players’ every whim is attended to with a beautiful restaurant in the hotel as well as various indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a luxurious spa.

The area surrounding the venue, where olive trees line the roads and white limestone buildings can be seen on every street corner, is also teeming with historical gems and charming restaurants.

Further afield, the Puglia region has some of the country’s best beaches and a fine selection of golf courses, including Acaya Golf Club, the host of the Challenge Tour’s Doubletree by Hilton Acaya Open, which is played in July.

Home favourite Marco Crespi, for one, has been revelling in the splendour of the area. “I love playing here,” said the Italian. “The food is great and the hotel is unbelievable.”

If it is good enough for Justin Timberlake, it is good enough for our Challenge Tour stars.