Italy's five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa, in Sicily, has launched a series of new learn-to-play and improver golf academies for guests, all inspired by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke.

Having opened in March, the Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence at the five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa, in Sicily, will provide guests with a choice of three tuition programmes dependent on length of stay, with prices starting from €275 (£229 approx).

The AZZURRO academy is an intensive two-day programme, which provides six-and-a-half hours' of expert tuition, including a 90-minute playing lesson, while the EMERALD academy offers the same quantity of tuition but spread across three days. Both are priced at €275 per person based on two participating.

The CLARET academy has been designed for guests who wish to balance daily tuition with plenty of playing time on the resort's two championship golf courses, and runs over a full week, with a 50-minute lesson each day and one 90-minute playing lesson. It is priced at €310 (£259 approx) per person based on two students.

Available to golfers aged six years and above, the new centre is Darren Clarke's first in mainland Europe and offers expert teaching under the guidance of the resort's head professional, Davide Terrinoni, with individual 50-minute lessons costing €65.

The Darren Clarke Golf brand has gone from strength to strength since opening its first full-time school in Antrim, Northern Ireland, and has achieved great success developing players such as Allan Dunbar and Paul Cutler, who have now progressed on to the European Tour.

Featuring two 18-hole championship courses - the Parkland and the Links - and extensive practice facilities, Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has won widespread acclaim across the golf industry since opening in 2010 and was the venue for the 2011 Sicilian Open, won by Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin.

Located just 20 minutes from Comiso airport and set in the beautiful area of Donnafugata, a natural reserve and famous tourist destination known for the imposing castle which bears the same name, the resort also boasts a number of fantastic historical cities nearby. These include Val di Noto, the heart of Sicilian baroque; Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Noto and Scicli. All are deemed fitting of UNESCO World Heritage status.

As well as its outstanding golf facilities, Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has 202 rooms, an award-winning spa and health club, swimming pools and three restaurants offering a broad selection of gastronomic delights, well accompanied by perfect Sicilian wines to enhance flavour.

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