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Golf Business News – GBN INTERVIEW: César Burguière, Director of Golf, Antognolla Resort & Residences, Italy

César Burguière talks to GBN about how the investment program on and off the golf course is taking the Perugian resort to new heights, and explains why the hosting of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome has sparked the interest of golfers in Italy’s many attractions as a golf holiday. destination

GBN: Can you tell us about your career and what led you to this position at Antognolla? What advice would you give to someone pursuing a similar career?

César Burguière: My golf journey began back in my university days in Valencia, Spain, where I met my qualifications as a golf professional and teacher. After graduation, I took a role at Golf USA, where I managed operations and had the exciting task of opening five new stores in just three years.
Wanting to expand my knowledge, I pursued further education at Les Roches Marbella International School of Hotel Management. This opened doors for me to work with Troon Golf in Morocco and Geneva. In 2011, I moved to Greece to become the Golf Operations Manager at Costa Navarino, and later, I served as the Director of Golf at Lumine Golf and Beach Club in Spain.
Since November 2017, I have been at Antognolla, leading its transformation and growth. It has been an amazing journey so far.
For anyone who wants to follow a similar path, I would suggest that they get a variety of international experiences and stay open to learning and adapting, as the golf industry is always changing.

What does your role involve?
My role covers all aspects of golf and F&B. I am directly responsible for customer experience, operations management, revenue growth and strategy for all departments.

Antognolla’s championship course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and is rated the second best course in Italy by Leading Courses.

How important is golf tourism to the Italian economy, and how do you think the sector will fare in the coming years?
Golf tourism in Italy is booming, especially with the success of the Ryder Cup highlighting the country’s potential as a golf destination. Italy’s combination of natural beauty, rich culture, and excellent cuisine make it an attractive option for golfers. We expect significant growth in this sector, as many international golfers find Italy to be a top destination.
This is not only due to the growing variety of world-class golf courses available to play, but also due to the success of Italian golfers such as Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Guido Migliozzi and Renato Paratore, who have all enjoyed success in it. international stage.
Indeed, there are many reasons why Italy attracts foreign tourists. These reasons, although found individually elsewhere, are not found collectively or to such a high degree elsewhere than in Italy. This gives us plenty of opportunities to grow, making the experience even more enjoyable.

Speaking of professional golfers, how did Antognolla Golf come to work with Costantino Rocca, and what impact do you hope this partnership will have?
The partnership with Costantino began as part of our strategy to raise Antognolla’s profile, and he is a great person to work with. The partnership is expected to enhance our visibility far and wide, attracting golf enthusiasts from around the world.
Costantino’s name is recorded in the history books. He is perhaps best known for his second-place finish in the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews, where he holed a 60-foot putt to force a tie with John Daly, and his hole-in-one in the 1995 Ryder Cup. when he won his singles against Tiger Woods, but now at the age of 67, he is still determined to continue helping to develop golf in Italy, so it really suits us.

Italian golf legend Costantino Rocca is the brand ambassador for Antognolla Golf

Can you tell us about Antognolla for those who may not know? What makes it different and how has it evolved in recent times?
Antognolla is truly a gem. It has an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, which is both challenging and spectacular. Since 2017, we have carried out significant renovations, and we are proud to have been named ‘Best Golf Course in Italy’ twice by Premier Courses.
We have integrated advanced irrigation systems and sustainable processes, which have greatly improved both the playability and the natural impact of the course, and we are transforming our 12th century castle into a luxurious resort operated by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, which will elevate Antognolla. and as one of the best places in Europe.

Can you tell us about the team you have at Antognolla, and how it helps to bring such a great experience to your guests?
Our team at Antognolla is amazing and incredibly dedicated. We have professionals like Laura Bortolato, our golf sales manager, who brings a wealth of experience and a true passion for guest satisfaction. Everyone works together to ensure that each guest has a personal and memorable experience. We always maintain high service standards and are always looking for new ways to innovate and improve what we offer.

What are your future plans and aspirations for Antognolla Golf, and are there any upcoming projects or developments that you are excited about?
We are focused on improving our facilities, including the construction of a new golf course and the renovation of the 12th century Antognolla castle. We also plan to host many international events, strengthening Antognolla as a premier golf destination.
Future projects include expanding our membership benefits and introducing new dining and lodging options to provide a more comprehensive luxury experience.

How do Antognolla courses cope with the hot climate compared to the UK, and what methods or technologies do you use to maintain their quality?
We have developed a modern irrigation system that effectively controls water use, which is important for maintaining the quality of the course in hot weather. Additionally, our water and humidity control systems ensure that the course stays in good condition all year round.

The 12th century castle on the site has been renovated

What steps do you take to ensure sustainability and environmental responsibility at Antognolla Golf?
Sustainability is at the core of our activities at Antognolla. We have installed a water conservation system that collects rainwater for irrigation, our landscaping uses native plants to ensure ecological harmony and the course is GEO certified, demonstrating our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. We continue to look for ways to improve our sustainability practices, aiming to set the benchmark in the golf industry.

Italian golf legend Costantino Rocca is the ambassador of Antognolla Golf

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