The Club’s Foundation
A group of friends with a passion for golf created their own driving range.
Like a story from a great film, their first attempt did not go well: the land was so steep that the balls rolled back down to them. Not long after, they learned that the Cascina Spinola was abandoned. It was the perfect place and the perfect time. On 1 May 1990 the first ball was played on what was then known as the “Riasco Driving Range”.
The First Executive Holes
More friends soon joined the original group and so, one year later, they created the first three executive holes, characterized by a levelled hilltop, near the current greens: the primitive raised greens.
In 1992 the other 6 executive holes were created.
The changing rooms were built out of a shipping container divided into two areas, one for men and one for women.
The Riasco Golf Club continued to attract golfing enthusiasts. Tournaments saw the participation of over 100 players, with queues of up to 4 teams.
Given the initiative’s rapid growth, Derna was established, a joint-stock company that purchased the fields surrounding the Cascina Spinola in cash or in exchange for shares issued by the same company. Derna hired golf course designer Luigi Rota Caremoli to oversee the creation of an 18-hole championship golf course.
At the same time the concession to the Lomellina Dam was purchased, whose reservoir would supply the water necessary for irrigation.
The design and the subsequent construction went very quickly. At the end of 1996 the first ten holes were inaugurated (which now correspond to holes 1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17).
The Most Difficult Year
Due to a slackening in the real estate operations originally expected, Derna Golf S.p.A. found itself in the midst of a delicate financial crisis: between the high costs of connecting to the water supply and designing the 18 holes and various disagreements with suppliers, their confidence vacillated so much so that they considered downsizing the project. The perspicuity, obstinacy, and far-sightedness of most of its members prompted the creation of a financial operation with increases in capital, to be subscribed at a later date.
That year total investments were such that everyone finally breathed a sigh of relief; this also thanks to the persuasive work of Luigi Rota Caremoli, who had assumed the role of Director, Secretary, and Founder of the club at the end of 1996.
A New Name
Confident that the increase in capital would go through, they resumed construction of the last 8 championship holes (what are now holes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 18), which were inaugurated that September.
Several management issues which made it impossible to move forward with obtaining a subsidized loan led to the creation of a new Athletic Association, called Golf Colline del Gavi. This new name provided greater visibility to the club also because it was easier to identify its location in the area.
During this time the two legal entities were operating rather peacefully, despite grappling constantly with financial issues.
Derna patiently dealt with problems in attracting an income proportionate to the Athletic Association’s ability to cover fees and ordinary expenses, which were mainly due to the management of the dam and of the Lomellina reservoir. At times these fees were also accompanied by additional expenses derived from meteorological events or legal restrictions involving water supply. Little by little it also began once more planning the sale of privately owned lots suitable for building.
The Golf Colline del Gavi Association, which in 2005 acquired the new legal status of A.S.D. (Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica or Amateur Athletic Association) as advised by the Federation, peacefully continued its activities, successfully conducting high quality ordinary maintenance of all of its rented structures (Club House, executive course, driving range) and its championship course, as well as improving its 18 holes.
- Dal 2005
The Work Continues
The golf club’s activity has increased dramatically, both socially and athletically. The administrative boards that have led the club have given life to initiatives aimed at consolidating and developing its strengths.
The business-like model is bearing fruit.
Are there any complaints? Yes, of course there are, otherwise what sort of club would it be?
And they’re all justified, but for each one we’ve found a solution. Thanks to the enthusiasm of all those who work at Golf Club Colline del Gavi we really can say that here “Not having to come up with a nice way to pass the time for the next 100 years” is absolutely true.