The Golf Club Ca della Nave is one of only 11 courses in Europe designed by US PGA legend Arnold Palmer. The course forms part of the land that was originally developed in the 16th century by Venetian Nobel men looking for an inland retreat from the merchant trade that made their fortune. I visited this course as part of a tour organised by Golf Around Italy, company that specialises in organising golf holidays that take in a number of different courses in the region.
Piazza della Vittoria, 14, 30030 Martellago, Venezia, Italy
+39 041 540 1555
As you’d expect with an Arnold Palmer designed course Golf Club Ca della Nave is a highly intricate and technical 18 holes characterised by the prevalence of water hazards. Palmer is said to have taken his design inspiration for his course design from nearby Venice. There is barely a hole on this course that is not affected in some way by the presence of water in some way.
Golf Club Ca della Nave was once one of the most exclusive golf courses in Italy and while these days it’s open to more visitors than it used to be, the club house retains the air of a classic Italian villa golf retreat.
The facilities include a warm up area and driving range alongside a chipping and putting area. There are changing and showering facilities available to visitors with lockable lockers and a good pro shop on site. As with the other courses I visited on my golf holiday I would recommend buying your golf balls before you arrive at the course and the prices in the shop are a bit high, expect to find the water a few times so stock up on those balls.
There isn’t a single signature hole on this course, this is a course that’s full of signature holes. Golf Club Ca della Nave is a course of exceptional quality, from tee to green every shot presented a challenge.
The first hole is something of a gentle introduction, it’s a relatively ordinary fairway with a relatively green; I can’t help thinking that Arnold Palmer was thinking, “lets lull them into a false sense of security!” From then on every hole does everything it can to get inside your head. There is some relief at the 7th, with the Parrocchia di Martellago providing a spectacular architectural centerpiece surrounded by lush vegetation and impossibly expansive sand traps.
There were a couple of power lines crossing the fairways and the construction of what appears to be a new Autostrada nearby However, the power lines and the construction work are limited to a small corner of the course and otherwise this is a beautiful course.
There was more wildlife on this course than the others I’d played in Italy, many hares and egrets shared the course with the human guests however, we were surprised to come across a family of what appeared to beaver sized water voles living on the course. The castorino (which translates as “little beaver”) were found to be living happily along the generous water hazards.
Without a doubt the greens at Golf Club Ca’ della Nave were the best I’ve ever played. Just superb in terms of pace and movement, a pleasure to play from every position. I absolutely loved playing the greens at ca della Nave.
You must, if ever given the opportunity, play Golf Club Ca della Nave. This is a course with tremendous personality, it’s an incredibly challenging yet tremendously fun course. There is a hint of mischievousness about this course, it toys with you, it teases you into shots you would never think of taking on and either punishes or rewards you accordingly. A superb and unforgettable day out for any golfer.