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Sorrento Golf Club.

The Golfing Annual 1894-95 gives us the following information concerning a golf course at Sorrento near Naples:

“The first golf links in Italy have recently been established on the ridge of hills separating the Bay of Naples from the Gulf of Sorrento. They were laid out recently by an Anglo-Indian golfer, Mr J B Fuller, of the Bengal Civil Service, with the aid of the resident physician, Dr Dunbar-Brunton, and one or two other golfing enthusiasts. The ground is an undulating plateau, about a mile long, covered with strong short-cropped grass, and though bunkers are scarce, the course is by no means an easy one. Only nine-holes have been fixed at present, but there is room along another stretch of the same ridge for further extension, if the experiment should prove successful in attracting lovers of the game to this charming spot. The putting greens, of course, require time to be brought into good condition.

The site is one of the most picturesque in Southern Italy, commanding, as it does, a magnificent view of the two seas and of thee marvellously beautiful coasts of Naples, Vesuvius, Ischia, Capri, and Salerno. The height above sea-level is from 1600ft to 1700ft, and though the pull-up from Sorrento is a long one, a pleasant residence can be found for any golf-playing visitors who require a few weeks in the most salubrious air which the Mediterranean coasts affords, in the township of St Agata, where cheap lodgings and board are always obtainable, and which is situated on the ridge, within a few minutes walk of the links. In any case, however, the ascent can be made on donkey-back, if the donkey is a good one, in less than three-quarters of an hour from Sorrento itself. In October, and in November, and again from March to June, the climate is very enjoyable, and, owing to the almost insular position of the Sorrento hills, is cooler and fresher than that of any place in Continental Italy.”

The Golfing Annual 1895-96 gives the following information “The course, of nine-holes, is about 2400 yards in circuit.” This entry is repeated until the 1907/08 edition.

These are the only sources for Sorrento Golf Club and we do not know if this course really existed until 1908 or even longer, which seems doubtful.

Christoph Meister, November 2017.