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The Best of the Best 2003: Undiscovered Bests - Sperone Golf Club

James Y. Bartlett

Corsica, home island of Napoléon Bonaparte, often plays second fiddle to Italy’s neighboring Sardinia, where Europe’s beautiful people tend to gather at the Agha Khan’s Costa Smeralda resort area. That is too bad, especially for golfers, because the Sperone Golf Club, located just outside the medieval fortress town of Bonifacio, is perhaps Europe’s most scenic golf course, and among the world’s top 10.

The course is listed as a Robert Trent Jones design, but his European partner, Cabell Robinson, did the actual work. From the first tee you can see the sparkling Mediterranean along with the Lavezzi Islands and the not-too-distant peaks of Sardinia. But the best scenery is reserved for the back nine, which is routed along seaside cliffs and comprises one amazing hole after another. After a while, you stop caring about how many balls you send careening down to the rocks and crystalline water below. Final scores become irrelevant in such a sublime setting.

The golf course is the centerpiece of a lovely residential and resort community, which features sleek, modern glass-and-wood villas that contrast smartly with Bonifacio’s thick stone walls, steep cobblestoned streets, and ancient harbor.

Sperone Golf Club, www.sperone.net

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