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Bella Toscana — Golden Tee 2010

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This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2010 Golden Tee course Bella Toscana, in Tuscany, Italy, which is considered the 2nd hardest course in Golden Tee 2010.  The recommended clubs for this course are the X22 set, along with the distance balls.  The driver has more loft than the Big Bertha set, the 9-wood is more consistent, you have less of a gap in your wedges, and you’ll need the 7-Wood and/or 9-Wood for a couple shots.  Read below for hole-by-hole breakdowns as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

GT Par Breakdown for Bella Toscana

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Bella Toscana relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 2 3 -2 -1
2 4 2 3 -4 -2
3 3 2 2 -5 -3
4 4 2 2 -7 -5
5 5 3 3 -9 -7
6 4 3 3 -10 -8
7 4 2 2 -12 -10
8 3 2 2 -13 -11
9 5 3 3 -15 -13
10 4 3 3 -16 -14
11 4 3 3 -17 -15
12 3 2 2 -18 -16
13 5 3 3 -20 -18
14 4 2 2 -22 -20
15 3 2 2 -23 -21
16 5 3 3 -25 -23
17 4 2 2 -27 -25
18 4 2 2 -29 -27

Bella Toscana — Hole #1: Par 4

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This hole can be driveable at times with the right wind and equipment — but, don’t just automatically crank the longest drive you can.  Know the gaps in your clubs and don’t put yourself in a situation where you have an uncomfortable distance into the first green.


Bella Toscana — Hole #2: Par 4

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This hole can be driveable from the front box, which might only be available in casual play.  It may also be driveable at times from the back box with the right wind and equipment!  Normally, you’re just thumbing a drive out into the fairway, because you don’t gain anything with extra distance — leave yourself a smaller gap in your club set, because you’re shooting into a pretty narrow green.

Here’s a hole-out from 150 in the fairway.

Bella Toscana — Hole #3: Par 3

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Bella Toscana — Hole #4: Par 4

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If you’re playing with the red distance balls, then this hole becomes much easier, but you certainly don’t need them.  Usually, even a 3-wood has enough loft to clear the center and left parts of the tree in your way.  If you control the distance, you’ll be on the green for an eagle putt!  Here’s a hole-out straight over with the 3-wood.  Here’s another perfect 5-wood dunk from the left box.

Always err to the right on this hole, because the sand still offers you an easy birdie, where the water will give you a disappointing par.

If need be, you can still curve a driver around the tree. Here’s one skipping off the water into the hole!

Worried about going around the left and having to skip water?  If a straight 3-wood doesn’t have enough distance, turn right and pound a C3 through the gap in the trees, using the length of the green to your advantage!  Damage Inc. has mastered this shot — watch it not once, but twice!

There’s another tee box off to the left (only available in casual play) that offers you an unimpeded shot at the green, but you’ll still have to carry the water.  Here’s a hole-out from there.

Bella Toscana — Hole #5: Par 5

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Most guys are always laying up in the same spot, every time, on this hole.  It’s towards the end of the fairway, just left of the orange bush straight ahead.  From here, you can hit either a 3-wood or 4-wood over the hill and under the tree on top of that hill right at the green!  Here’s an example hole-out with a 4-wood from that spot.  You can carry more distance on this approach because it plays slightly downhill, so your 3-wood can usually carry 300 yards without issue.  Just make sure you don’t go too far and end up in the rough — it’s better to be back just a bit in the fairway than too long!  Or, if you get just a bit too far left for your liking, you can still go the traditional route around the left — here’s a nice 3-wood.

If the pin is in the back left, or if there’s a strong headwind, you might consider laying up in the rough to the right just over the water.  You can either hit a straight shot or an A1-type shot into this area off the tee.  The approach shot is not as tough as you might think from here, because the rough seems to be “thinner”, allowing you still to shape a shot without losing much distance.  Still, be careful of the elevation and the hill guarding your approach, because short or right can mean water!  This tee shot got far enough to have an unimpeded shot under the tree!  And this one was way out there but almost had trouble with the elevated green.  Finally, check out this unbelievable roll up and over the hill!

The conventional route is to the left edge of the fairway, but this leaves the most difficult approach shot, because you have to shape the shot and also avoid the thin trees guarding the green.  Here’s a great 5-wood from there!

Finally, if you’re fortunate enough to get a tee box that allows you to carry the water to the second fairway, you can end up with a very easy approach shot for eagle!  From the tee box on the left, you can sometimes carry the water — here’s a 5-wood hole-out after clearing the river.  Don’t expect an A1 driver to clear the river easily though — that wall can certainly block a low-lofter.  Also, there’s another much closer tee box up and left from here (normally only available in casual play, but it can come up in live play!).  Here’s a hole-out from there after the drive. This tee box may also make this hole driveable!

Bella Toscana — Hole #6: Par 4

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It’s best to clear the stream if possible, so you can hole-out like this … but, if you can’t make it, lay up to the right.  Here’s a hole-out from a lay-up in front of the river.

The approach shot is not easy — the green is tricky and surrounded by water.  Be extra careful if you’re using backspin, and play the middle of the green to be safe.

There’s also a front-left tee box (only available in casual play) that would make this hole driveable!

Bella Toscana — Hole #7: Par 4

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You can have all kinds of approach shots depending on your club set and the tee box.  From the back right box, hit a 9-wood if you have it.  A 7-wood works from the back of the box, like this, but you can clip the house from the front of the box, so use a 9-wood if you can!  Here’s a nice 9-wood dunk!

From the middle box, you can take a 9-wood over, or a 7-wood around the highest part, like this.

From the left box in this group of 3 boxes, a 7-iron will clear the corner of the roof and make the green.  Or, you can still stick with your 9-wood, like this.

There’s also a tee box out back and left (only available in casual play) that offers you a clean look into the green!  If you’re fortunate enough to get this box, it should be a pretty easy eagle.

Bella Toscana — Hole #8: Par 3

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Don’t get confused — there are two greens here and 4 possible tee boxes!


Bella Toscana — Hole #9: Par 5

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It’s easy to think you need to clear the river to have a chance at the green in 2, but that usually won’t pay off.  The fairway slopes back towards the mud and water, and you’ll probably get stuck here instead.  The reward isn’t worth the risk, even if you can hit a 7-wood or 9-wood into the green from there.

So, take it easy off the tee and lay back for a 5-wood approach, playing the ball a ways back from the river.  To be safe on your approach, you may also want to play a bit of a right-to-left shot, because it can be easy to clip the hill on the left side of the approach.  Here’s a hole-out from 233 that was still able to clear the right edge of the hill on the way in.  Better yet, try to leave yourself somewhere close to 260 yards — from this distance, a 5-wood flies right over the top with no issues!  This 4-wood went under, into, over, and in — amazing.  Also, if you have a 7-wood in your bag (and you should), you can get a bit closer and have more confidence in clearing the hill on your way to the green — here’s a 7-wood hole-out from 223.  And here’s a great 9-wood!

Another option several players are using is to turn right and hit a 3-wood to 5-wood up on that hill, by the house.  From there, you’ll have a level, straight shot to the hole with a 3-wood or driver!  Here’s one from half-way up the side of the hill with a 5-wood.

Finally, there’s a front-left tee box (only available in casual play) that would allow you to carry safely onto the second fairway, leaving a much easier approach shot in two.  There’s also a chance that this green could be driveable from there, maybe with a C3 5-wood over and around the hill!

Bella Toscana — Hole #10: Par 4

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This hole forces you to make another decision based on the wind and pin placement.  Most of the time, you’re fine going left down low.  Your approach will be way up hill, but unimpeded, and wind won’t affect it much.  So, if you go this route, club up one for your approach.  Here’s a hole-out from down there (notice how he clubbed up).

If you go right, blast it as far as you can, because there are trees guarding the approach.  The tee shot is safe, but your approach might be more challenging.  You’ll now be hitting downhill, where the wind will affect it more, and you might have to work a C3-type shot into the green for your birdie putt.  Here’s a hole-out after a very long tee shot — it was a great decision to go right because he has all the green to work with on the approach!

Bella Toscana — Hole #11: Par 4

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From the front boxes, you can clear the neck and the lake towards the bowl of the fairway, and then it’s a decent approach into the green — here’s an example hole-out from there.  It’s not automatic because it all slopes off into the sand, so try to hit the middle of the green.  Here’s another example hole-out.

From the back boxes, you can still lay up right before the neck of the fairway, in front of the water.  From here, you still have a manageable 3-wood or 5-wood into the green.  Here is a nice dunk with a 3-wood from there!

If you have a choice, always use the pin placement as your guide.  If the pin is on the right, lay back right, and if it’s on the left, hit your drive long and left.  Then you’ll always be carrying over a part of the green where you can use backspin to stop it by the cup.

Bella Toscana — Hole #12: Par 3

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There are two possible greens on this par 3 also, and errant shots here have a chance of backing up onto the green because of the backstop created by the hill behind either green.


Bella Toscana — Hole #13: Par 5

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You’ll need to hit one of a few green grassy pods out past the fairway in order to reach this green in two.  It’s not easy, and you’ll have to have a good handle on your distances to stick the landing here.  You may also take wind and pin placement into consideration when deciding which pod to aim for.  Even then, this green is really tough, so you’ll need 2 great shots to have an eagle putt!  Here’s a perfect driver with backspin after sticking the back middle pod.  Here’s a great 5-wood hole-out from a pod on the right, and here’s a nice hole-out with a 5-wood from the front middle pod.

If you miss off the tee and land in the dirt, be careful laying up!  A driver might not get over the small wall guarding the fairway, so use a 3-wood to lay up in the fairway for your 3rd shot if need be.

This hole also has a front tee box (only available in casual play) allowing you to clear the dirt to the bottom fairway, and here’s a hole-out from there.

Bella Toscana — Hole #14: Par 4

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Believe it or not, this hole is driveable from almost any setup.  Read on!

If you’re on the far right box, a 5-wood can get over the corner of the house to the green with a minor C3-type shot — here’s an example. Better yet, if you’re towards the back of this box, the 5-wood goes straight over.

If you’re on the middle-left box, you can take a 5-wood, or even a 4-wood, pretty much straight over towards the green, or with a small curve around the corner.

From the back box is where you get creative.  The most common way of attacking the green from here is to rotate left and play an A1 driver with roll around the corner, skipping across the water if needed!  Or you can still try the traditional route, where a driver can get under that last tree and skip onto the green, like this amazing shot!

Even if you don’t think you can reach the green, try to get your drive on the hill towards the back-right of the green.  You can sometimes get lucky and kick towards the green, but even if you stick up on the hill, you can often times putt from up there!  Check out how this shot rolled back down the hill into the hole!

Bella Toscana — Hole #15: Par 3

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This short little par 3 can be very tough, because most club sets have a gap in their wedges, and you’ll find that a lot of times here you’ll be in between clubs!  So, if you’re in between clubs here, you’ll have to hit a 3/4 shot with the longer club, which is difficult.  Don’t forget how much the wind affects high-lofted clubs, and you still might need to cut into a cross-wind to prevent the ball from blowing off the green.

Here’s a bouncing hole-out to a back right pin.  Here’s a short dunk to a left pin!

Bella Toscana — Hole #16: Par 5

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You’ll have a choice here too depending on the wind and tee.  The best option is to clear the lake to the fairway on the other side, which gives you an open approach with your second shot.  If you get the generous front tee (only available in casual play), you can easily clear the lake and have a fairly short approach shot for eagle, like this one.  From the back tees, even if you can get to the rough on the other side of the water, you’ll have a chance — here’s a 5-wood hole-out from there that gets just enough through the tree!  At worst, from this rough, you can hit a driver that still gets through the tree onto the green.

If you can’t make it, you can also try to stick the grass between the 2 houses perched up to the left.  If you can’t make the distance with a straight shot, try a C3 driver at that spot — you can even skip it across the water and have it bounce up in that area, so no excuses for laying up anywhere!  If you can land it here, you’ll also have an approach for a chance at eagle — here’s a great hole-out from that spot! And here’s another one, applying some nice hook and backspin into the green.  You can also take this path, avoiding the tree and using the slope of the hill for help!  Need to curve it?  No problem — check out this handsome shot! There’s also grass to the left of the left house, and whether you intend to land here or get a lucky bounce, you can hole out from here too! Here’s one more from the corn — watch the roll take it all the way in!

The green has an awful slope here, so if you have the luxury of shaping a shot, cut into the slope.

This one’s for fun because your ball may never be here, much less end up in the hole on the next shot!

Bella Toscana — Hole #17: Par 4

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Here is a 5-wood from the farthest right box that the tree cuts down just a tiny bit to make it a perfect shot!  You can try this shot with a 4-wood too if you have it.  I’ve also found that a 7-wood can cut over the corner of the tree with an A2-type shot.  Finally, if you’re convinced you just can’t cut it around, take a look at the orange trees in line with the green.  If you can manage only to clip them, you can thumb a driver right through.  If you’ll be going through a lot of heavy stuff, you can pound a B2 driver that should still get there.

If you’re really pinned on the right box, consider this shot — you can take a 9-wood or 7-wood (X22 set) over the building and over the right orange tree!  Take a look at this option (this was a 7W) next time you’re on this box.  You won’t get this lucky, but here’s a 2-iron that cut right through the trees!

From the back middle box, play a 3-wood or 5-wood A1 backspin shot.  Here is a gorgeous hole-out with a 3-wood from there, and here’s one with a 5-wood!  OR, take a look if a C2 type shot over the house is possible!  Here’s an incredible shot with a 5-wood from the other angle!

From the middle box, a 9-wood goes right over the tree if the wind allows you to get it there!  This 9W went 255 and was still coming in hot!  Otherwise, you can cut a 7-wood around the corner.  There is a gap in the trees too that some lucky shots might exploit.

From the left box (only available in casual play), you can follow this example — a perfectly shaped low-lofted shot with backspin.  Better yet, you should have a mostly unimpeded straight shot into the green from here!

Bella Toscana — Hole #18: Par 4

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A typically tough finishing hole, this green is awful and will take tremendous skill to stick it.  From the right tee box, a driver won’t clear the tree blocking your path, so take this into account.

You’ll have an offset look, so you’ll have to be precise with your aim to hold this narrow green.

Use a driver as a last resort normally — the low loft might not clear the hill guarding the front, and it’s harder to stop on the green with backspin.

Laying up will certainly be an option and should always be done with the wind in consideration.  Even so, you’ll still have a difficult chip shot, and this hole is never over until your ball is in the cup.

Here’s a 3-wood dunk from the left middle box.
And here’s an amazing dunk from the right middle box!
Here’s a crazy-good 3-wood from the far left box.
This is an outstanding 3-wood from the far right box.
Here’s an outstanding cut shot with a high-teed 5-wood…wow.

Check out this incredible A1 driver skipped off the hill!

Finally, a shot-of-the-year candidate…a miraculous bounce turning a water ball into an ace!  Here it happens again from a different angle — looks like the water spits the ball out into the hole!