Golf and Golfing in Italy

Information for the golfer on golfing in Italy: the Italian Golf Federation, the requirements to play (the handicap system, medical certificates) and information on who to contact locally...

Golf in Italy dates back to Roman times when a similar game, paganica, was played with a stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers.

The first golf course, the Circolo Golf di Roma, opened just outside Rome in 1903, and in 1927 the Italian Golf Federation, Federazione Italiana Golf, was formed.

Italian Golf Federation

The aim of the federation is to promote, organise and control golf activities in Italy. The federation organises national competitions, courses and training schemes, coordinates the various activities and also ensures that the rules set by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) are respected.

Requirements to Play

Before playing, a medical certificate is required from a doctor, stating that the player's physical condition allows them to play golf socially and in competitive matches.

To join official competitions a player must have a club membership, although this is not necessary to play a private course as a visitor for the price of the green fees. A handicap card may be required. Private clubs have the right to limit the number of visitors playing a course. It is advisable to book a tee time in advance for busier courses. There are some public courses open to all (a greens fee will be required).

Italy follows the handicap system set out by the European Golf Association (EGA). Therefore if the golfer's home country is a member of the EGA, the handicap is transferable. However, if from elsewhere, the Italian club will reassess the handicap and assign an equivalent.

To establish a handicap in Italy the player must undertake a course with an instructor, then pass an exam comprised of a theoretical test and three rounds of golf. Some courses might not be accredited so it is advisable to check with the regional golf committee regarding which golf clubs are registered.

Local Information


Local golf federation for the Lazio region:


There is no regional federation in Liguria.




Further Information

  • Golf Italy (in Italian) is a portal for golfers in Italy with tips, news, and advice