The Rocco Forte Open
By Antonio Malara
Las month in Sicily took place one of the “European Tour” competition. This event is a series of 47 tournaments in 26 countries. Then one in Italy was the “The Rocco Forte Open”, it was a one million Jackpot tournament.
Personally I never follow golf competitions but one my friend does. He's e real fan, he watch on tv all the big names in this sport during all the year. He talked to me about this event and he say that we can't miss such a big challenge considering it was a prestige to live near (4 hours driving) the place of this event. Even if I didn't know nothing about golf I decided to go with him, especially because with this trip I could also visit other two beautiful place near there.
We leave early in the morning, we needed 4 hours of driving not because the place was so far but because here in southern Italy we have the worse infrastructures in the Country. Fortunately once there I could notice a great organization, many young guys guided us for parking, then they gave us the pass and all the informations to get the court and last but not least the entrance to the competition was free.
The place was the “Verdura Resort”, a five star bungalows hotel surrounded by this huge golf court, that is placed in a big valley and ends to the sea. The place is full of grace, trees, and of course what concerns on a golf court, greens and bunkers. Because it was strange for me I questioned my friend about the type of court. He explained to me the two types of golf courts: the parkland - which is a court built from nothing, away from the coast, with lots o trees, manicured in all the details that essentially is an artificial opera - while the link (where we were), that is a court that follows the natural form of the land, always near the sea, where normally there are no big trees or plants.
We decide to follow the Italian player Renato Paratore, which was in a group of three, we waited for him at the hole number 11. The first thing I realized watching them play, was that you need experience to see the ball trajectory. But I have to say that once I learned the basic rules I immediately enjoyed the game. Holes by holes this sport had no more secret for me, every time that something new was happening I just asked my friend the technical name of that action. The game wasn't a top one, the three players use to do great things and errors in the same hole, for almost all the holes.
It was a nice feeling walking in that scenario from top to bottom till the last hole, I liked to take pictures to the players and the landscape.
After the group finished the last hole we start to follow the players that were on top, Alvaro Quiros and Zander Lombard. We follow the 18th hole and that was a big show. The two were tie, they need to play the last hole for three times, but they gave us a great show. In fact at the end won Quiros, but not in a easy way but playing the most difficult shoot compared to his contender. In other words it's was more easy for him to loose rather than win.
Before the closing ceremony we did other pics around the bunkers and then we had a little relax before to leave. The thing that surprised me was the fact that despite the access to tournament was completely free, there wasn't so many people, for example beyond the relatives there was only around other ten people to follow Paratore and his competitors.
My first experience on a golf tournament has been so positive. Watching golf is not like watching other sport. You're always near the player, you live with him, sometimes you're really close so you can feel the same emotion he feels. All this in a beautiful and natural environment is something different. You follow the game and you're in contact with the nature, the silent that is the first rule, give you a sense of peace, the long walk on the grace between one hole and another makes you “breathe” this nature. I found out that this is more than a simple sport. I was really satisfied at the end, even if I didn't had much sleep the night before, this is an experience that I want to do again in better conditions!
Next time I'll study the tournament, I'll learn more rules so I'll be ready to enjoy even better the show and of course I'll take better pics based on the experience I had here.
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