Where is the Ryder Cup? Meet Marco Simone Golf and Country Club
With both squads featuring some of the biggest names in golf, this year’s tournament is sure to provide thrilling moments throughout, only adding to the drama from past Ryder Cups.
While we all watch in anticipation waiting to see how things unfold, there’s one factor that is a relative unknown: How the host course, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, will challenge this year’s crop of golfers.
Below, we provide some information about Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, and even highlight some of the shots that could make-or-break this year’s Ryder Cup.
Where is the Ryder Cup?
As mentioned above, the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup is being held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, which is located on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. It’s the first time the Italian course has hosted the prestigious event.
What to know about Marco Simone Golf and Country Club
Beginning in August 2018, the course underwent quite the redesign. Under the guidance of both European Golf Design and esteemed course architect Tom Fazio II, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club now hopes to maximize its natural countryside. This means more opportunities for the ball to roll on its terrain.
Additionally, the layout focuses on high risk/reward shots. So Ryder Cup players will have key decisions to make from off the tee and with approach shots.
The entire course measures 7,181 yards, with a par of 71. While the distance isn’t all that intimidating — for reference, Augusta National measures 7,510 yards — the design will offer a difficult test for both Ryder Cup squads thanks to some tight fairways and long rough.
The shots that could make-or-break this year’s Ryder Cup
Part of the difficulty with Marco Simone Golf and Country Club is the great unknown. Prior to the Ryder Cup, the club has only hosted three professional golf tournaments: the 1994, 2021 and 2023 Italian Opens of the DP World Tour.
Below, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Lou Guzzi provides an in-depth look at what holes could make-or-break the entire tournament. Guzzi was able to step into a golf simulator and practice some of the difficult shots, providing some context in the videos.
Hole No. 1 (445-yard par-4)
Not pictured in the video above from Guzzi’s simulator? The massive grandstands that will overlook the first tee box — similar to what players experienced at Le Golf National (2018) and Whistling Straits (2021).
While there isn’t much drama on the first hole, players will need to do their best to breathe, keep their focus on hitting a good golf shot and get off to a solid start. Leave the drive short (as Guzzi does in the video), and the unforgiving rough at Marco Simone can leave even the best golfers scrambling.
Hole No. 16 (303-yard par-4)
The 16th hole at Marco Simone has all the pieces to be a game-changer in this year’s Ryder Cup. As my colleague Sean Zak recently put it, “everything on the putting surface — or short of it — feels like a good result. Anything that goes long is at the mercy of the thick, crabby rough grass that has been growing fast in the hot Italian air.”
Zak is on-location for this week’s Ryder Cup, so he’s seeing how difficult the entire course is playing — and why the 16th could become a do-or-die hole when pressure is at its highest.
Hole No. 17 (206-yard par-3)
Although the 17th hole at Marco Simone is a par 3, it can eat up any player who overlooks its difficult nature — especially with the layout pushing everything from right to left toward the water hazard.
Measuring 206 yards, Guzzi accurately describes it as “precision city,” with players required to hit a shot that doesn’t just land, but stays, on the sloped green.
Yes, it’s an attack hole where players can be aggressive going right at the pin, but this nifty par-3 can cause some anxiety for players who mishit their ball to the right of the green (with the amount of long fescue over there).
Hole No. 18 (597-yard par-5)
In a perfect world, the 18th hole of any golf tournament will play into the outcome. Could Marco Simone’s final hole do that during this Ryder Cup? Time will tell.
What we know is this: The fairway is nice and wide on this 597-yard par-5, and the green is absolutely reachable in two for big hitters. But players must be careful about the water hazard on the front left of the green. With the potential for creative pin placements, this hole could present some issues — especially if the tournament is to be decided here.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Team USA Ryder Cup Driver