On our November 2016 trip to Sicily, we did our research with friends at Italian journalist Giancarlo Soulfo’s blog. One thing we discovered was the long, slow struggle to reach Ergio, one of the country’s greatest golf courses. The site is at a secluded natural gorge just outside of Siena, and during our visit it was off-limits to tourists. Soulfo and co-blogger Heba Rasouli took us to an old monastery nearby, a long genteel block of unspoiled beauty that’s home to a collection of ancient Tuscan pottery. When we visited, we had to try our luck on the traditional wooden carts, which were pulled by older couples in aprons. It didn’t take long before we were hauling the carts — so steeply and slowly that our shoe treads echoed through the valley — to Ergio. We got there a week before its Christmas preview, and the pressure of a full schedule was beginning to show, but without the chaos of a tour group. “It would be perfect to do if we’re here forever,” said Matt Goralek, the player in front of us on our cart ride. We were talking about a game in which patience is a virtue. “You must play Ergio 10 more times to learn everything,” said Nadia Goralek, his wife. They’d been there often enough to learn each other’s game. On a day on which our game was solid, it made the course a wonderful one.
David Atchley and Nadia Goralek, managing editor of Golf World