The care and the protection of the natural environment is a precious characteristic of the game of gold, not known and highlighted by all. The Rapallo Golf and Tennis Club is universally recognized as a concrete example of the above expressed: the richness of the tree park and the naturalistic beauty of the site are a characteristic and an absolutely precious resource.
This allows the facility to involve thousands of students and teachers and green enthusiasts and give them the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful green space and, often, through this opportunity, bring them closer to golf. The general emotion that you feel walking along the golf course has its peak when you reach the hole 7. The view of the ancient Monastery of Valle Christi is an unforgettable and unique experience.
For those reasons, in 2014 the Italian Golf Federation awarded the Club the Environmental Recognition for Golf courses in the LANDSCAPE CARE category. A short but intense book collects the rarest essences found on the golf course.
A short, interesting, detailed study hole by hole, capable of satisfying botany enthusiasts, but written above all to help everyone get to know the most beautiful and most important trees of the Rapallo Golf and Tennis Club, revealing the secrets and benefits of every single plant, botanical and historical curiosities, thus representing an unprecedented and precious encounter between sport and the natural environment. Still today, this document is widely used by the schools of the area and the numerous enthusiasts that it is easy to find both among golfers (especially foreigners) and among the Club's frequenters.
The landscape will continue to be the keystone to open the golfer to contemplation, to the enchantment of nature, to the sense and respect of admiration in the face of the grandeur and antiquity of the trees that populate his own field.
Yew (Taxus baccata)
It is an evergreen ornamental plant, belonging to the large family of coniferous. It is frequently used for the creation of hedges thanks to its ability to support pruning by assuming various shapes without suffering from it. Its leaves and seeds are very poisonous, for this reason the yew was called “tree of death” by Romans. It has a pleasant chromatic contrast with the green of the leaves. It generally occurs as an isolated specimen.
SOUTHERN BLUE GUM (Eucalyptus globulus)
It is a plant coming from Australia, it was introduced in the Mediterranean areas in 1800. In the growing areas, it is able to reach dimensions equal to those of the sequoia, while in Italy it reaches 40 meters in height. Its fruits are small globes (hence the name globules). Its fragrant leaves contain a balsamic substance very useful in the treatment of respiratory diseases.
BALD CYPRESS (Taxodium distichum)
It is a conifer which lives in the swamps of the southeastern United States. Imported in Italy as an ornamental plant in 1600, it needs a humid environment. When the soil is waterlogged, it uses the aerial roots that coming out the ground to breath. The name Taxodium, which means “similar to yew”, indicates the similarity between the two species. But the bald cypress is not poisonous and presents another very rare features in the conifers: it loses its leaves during the winter. This is the reason of its name “bald”.
Gingko (Gingko biloba)
It is the oldest living tree, in fact it has existed for over 250 million years. Imported from China in the 18th century, it is rarely available outside botanical gardens, resistant to pollution and immune to parasitic attacks and is the only conifer with broad leaf leaves. Its characteristic is the fan-shaped leaves divided into two finely innervated lobes, which turn bright yellow in autumn before falling. The biloba variety is the only survivor of the family.
Sequoia (Sequoia sempervirens)
A row of sequoias is placed on the left of the fairway, in addition of the driveway. Evergreen conifer, it takes its name from an Indian chief of the Cherokee tribe. Sequoias in the United States reach 112 meters, earning the title of the tallest tree in the world. This species belongs to the same family of the giant Sequoia whose trunk can reach a diameter of 9 meters. It was introduced in Europe in the mid-1800s and is used in Italy as an ornamental plant, thanks to its majestic bearing.
VIRGINIA TULIP TREE (Liriodendron tulipifera)
In plain sight in the fairway of hole 2, a splendid specimen of Tulipiferous so named for the very singular shape of the flowers that resemble tulips, yellow-orange in color. Tree that comes from Virginia, it grows in height before producing branches. Its foliage takes on splendid colors in autumn. It belongs to the same family as the Magnolia. Being right in front of the driving range it is often used by golfers as a parameter to evaluate the length of the shots.
STONE PINE (Pinus pinea)
The stone pines constitute, together with the maritime pines, the wood that runs along the second part of the fairway on the right side. It is a very common tree in our areas. It is often confused with the maritime pine from which it can easily be distinguished by the classic umbrella shape. The maritime pines, on the other hand, are more slender, with a tufted crown on the top of the trunk. It is grown for the pine nuts contained in its pine cones.
Mimosa (Acacia dealbata)
At the left age of the fairway, before it curves toward the right, we can see the beautiful clusters of yellow mimosa flowers at the end of winter. Originally from Tasmania, this small tree settled very well in our Rivieras until it became the protagonist of the famous Pieve Ligure festival. Fragrant and decorative plant, in the areas most exposed to the sun it blooms starting from January, with the risk of being ruined by late frost.
Plane Tree (Platanus acerifolia)
The majestic trees that provide shade to the driving range are mainly plane trees. It is a species widely used for road trees, thanks to its ability to withstand pollution. The plane tree is characterized by large five-lobed leaves and the bark that comes off in plates, creating a contrasting color on the trunk. During winter, when the tree is stripped, the round fruits remain on the branches. The plane tree is a very long-lived species, in fact it can reach five hundred years of age.
Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora)
It is a beautiful ornamental tree which is native to Asia. Its name recalls that of the botanist Pierre Magnol, to whom Linnaeus dedicated the species. Magnolia is a very old species, in fact fossil specimens have been found dating back to five million years ago. The leaves, which are renewed only every three years, are evergreen, glossy green on the upper side and rust-colored on the lower one. The wonderful cream-colored flowers are very fragrant, but they appear only after that the plant has turned 20 years of age.
Magnolia (Koelreuteria paniculata)
It is a small tree with leaves composed of a dozen toothed leaflets. Although not an imposing species, it is used as an ornamental plant for its yellow flowers gathered in clusters. Its fruits are also curious: a sort of air-filled capsule made up of leaf-like appendages, as shown in the photo, containing three rounded black seeds. We can admire two examples to the right of the green, as well as others scattered in the first holes of the course.