Módena, March 2017: Luca enjoys the first rays at his local golf club in Modena, not far from Ferrari’s official test track. The up and coming Italian talent prepares himself for THE OPEN, his first major appearance in his young career.
Royal St George’s (United Kingdom), June 2017: „British Amateur Open“, one of the most prestigeous amateur events in Europe is the last serious test before THE OPEN. He beats serious competition in the first four matchplay rounds and only loses in the semi-finals to Harry Ellis (ENG), who is eventually turning out to be the winner – a successful final rehearsal. Now, his focus is shifted towards Royal Birkdale, a more than 7,000-yard-long par 70 links course, located outside of Liverpool. An exciting challenge for Luca, who sees himself confronted with very different conditions to those of his favourite course Oakland Hills (MI).
“I am incredibly excited for THE OPEN, and will start focusing on it now!”
Back in Módena, during our meet, he causes amazement with pin-point precision and manages one birdie after the other, while we joke on the fairway and talk about Luca´s talent for golf. Luca is a very determined golfer: the foundation for a successful career will be laid down by turning pro in August and he plans to move to London once his finances match his idea, as he jokingly points out. London is a city Luca knows well and really values.
His concentration is impressive, this ever-returning pre-shot routine – positioned behind the ball, club aimed at the target, searching and finding an intermediate point, and then approaching the ball. A successful stroke is signalled by Luca twirling the club in his hand in the finish position. An automatic sign of danger for his competitor – next birdie chance to come! Even when that doesn’t quite work out, the Italian refuses to be disconcerted, he has a “one stroke at a time mentality”, a proven recipe for mental composure over the past. His parents and friends, always cheering him up and on, are his great support during those unsatisfying rounds.
He chews the fat with his manager, jokes, walks up to his ball and immediately reaches that state of maximum concentration, no longer hearing the wailing race car engines of the nearby Ferrari test track. Today, he “just” plays a foursome with his manager Umberto Artoli Gnoli and us, the guys from VICE GOLF. Luca meanwhile dreams of a foursome with Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Bubba Watson. Chances are favourably aligned for his wish.
The 21-year-old radiates confidence, control, and friendliness; after seeing his drive land on the fairway almost 300 metres away, nobody doubts that Luca speaks the truth when he calls the driver his favourite club.
He laughingly adds that “I only favour the
Driver if the fairways are wide enough!”
His favorite part of the game is the bunker game. We only get to see this strength once walking around the 18-hole course with him, he subsequently leaves the ball 30 centimetre away from the hole and it is a „gimme“.
Hole 16, a narrow and long par 4, Luca tees off with a 1-iron and tells us that this hole is in some ways similar to Royal Birkdale – this is why the tee shot is especially important – the “stinger” with his 1-iron “under the wind to bring the ball into play”, is one of his favourite strokes. With a 1 iron (!) mind you. Said, done, the ball touches ground at the left-hand side of the fairway, leaving him in the green with a short iron, he will move on to the next hole satisfied with a par even when he doesn’t make the birdie putt.
Rounding off with two birdies, Luca shoots a 65 and is visibly pleased. With the result, with the ball, and with his round!