Arias’ passion for the game, her course and her team is evident. When talking about the Italian Open held at Marco Simone last May, she smiles at the memory of how well her team handled the pressure.

“I was so proud of them, and they were not nervous,” Arias says. “They had everything under control.”

With the Ryder Cup set to tee off Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, Arias and her crew are ready to take on their biggest challenge yet.

And it’s been a long time coming.

From the Ground Up

Arias came to Marco Simone in 2020 as the course was under a full redesign. 

“For three years, we’ve been working very hard to create and grow the golf course and our team,” Arias says. “We started from zero … That’s a huge process and we knew the biggest challenge was going to be the Ryder Cup, so we needed to make sure this golf course is at the highest level during tournament week.”

Once the course was complete, Marco Simone was host to three consecutive Italian Opens in 2021, 2022 and 2023, which proved valuable for Arias and her crew, who now know what it’s like to work a golf tournament on an international scale. 

Ryder Cup Preparation at Marco Simone

Ahead of the Ryder Cup, the crew at Marco Simone has been aerating the greens and working to maintain high-quality cuts throughout the course. As Europe continues to experience severe drought, Arias, like other European greenkeepers, will be focused on water management. Toro irrigation, including the Lynx® Central Control System and INFINITY® sprinkler heads will be pivotal in providing world-class playing conditions.

During the tournament, Arias says a major challenge will be finishing daily course preparations on time before a sea of 45,000 spectators file into the stands and surrounding areas.

“It’s very difficult to move the team or a fairway mower or a green mower through the golf course if you have 45,000 spectators, so we need to make sure that the whole team is outside the golf course by the time all the crowd arrives onsite,” Arias says.

As the official turf maintenance equipment and irrigation provider for the Ryder Cup through 2029, Toro and local distributor Pratoverde will provide Marco Simone with the necessary equipment to prepare the course efficiently and sustainably.

“With support from Toro, we are going to have triple the machinery to prepare the golf course faster and be outside the course in time,” Arias says. 

The week of the tournament, Arias and the 20 regular greenkeepers will be joined by 100 volunteer greenkeepers from all over the world. The influx of volunteers and equipment will make it much easier to complete daily operations quickly and efficiently.

To be chosen as a volunteer at the Ryder Cup is a special opportunity for a greenkeeper. As the superintendent at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, host site of the 2023 Ryder Cup, Lara Arias takes great pride in notifying the volunteers who have been chosen to work the international team tournament that pits the best players from America against the best players from Europe.

“It’s a great moment for me when I send the email to all of them saying ‘you’ve been selected for the Ryder Cup,'” Arias says.

After “starting at zero,” Arias and Marco Simone are almost across the finish line of a project they started years ago.

“For me, it’s going to be very, very emotional because the team is going to make it,” Arias said. “A team that started from zero … I’m super, super proud of the team.” 

To learn more about Toro equipment and irrigation, contact your local Toro distributor or visit