Countdown Underway To Navarino Hills Launch At Costa Navarino

Preparations in full force for the completion of the newest golf destination in Europe

Navarino Hills Olazabal Q&A
(Image credit: Azalea)

Preparations in full force for the completion of the newest golf destination in Europe

Countdown Underway To Navarino Hills Launch At Costa Navarino

With less than a year to go to the opening of Europe’s most eagerly-awaited 36-hole golf-design project – Navarino Hills at Costa Navarino in Greece – course preparations are gathering pace and are now 70 per cent complete.

Both of the new 18-hole courses at Navarino Hills – named as the ‘World’s Best New Golf Development’ at the 2020 World Golf Awards – have been designed by two-time Masters champion José María Olazábal, who has inherited an incredible canvas on which to pen the new designs.

A unique location affords views to the sea, mountains and valleys, with the two courses measuring 6,366m and 6,280m in length respectively and featuring an average green size of 669m².

Olazábal explained: “The first course is closer to the cliffs … the breeze is always going to be a factor and it’s going to be a little bit tougher.

“… on the second course, you are more protected, and guests will experience increased tree-lined holes, with forest and mountains in the background. I think it’s going to be ideal for anybody who wants to come and play at Costa Navarino for a few days and enjoy a different feeling and a different view when they are playing.”

Even during the global pandemic, construction made fast progress at Navarino Hills. 

All infrastructure works, including electrical installations, rainwater drainage works and an additional irrigation lake of 15,000 m3, were completed last summer.

Full seeding has been finished on the first course, along with the maintenance building, cart paths and bunkers.

Meanwhile, all the excavation work has been completed on the second course, with the next step to begin placing the topsoil on playing surfaces. In line with Costa Navarino’s commitment to sustainable development, a water reservoir with a capacity of 485,000m3 has been built to meet the irrigation needs of both courses, while 52,000 indigenous forest plants, shrubs and seasonal local flowers and herbs have been planted.\

Nuno Sepulveda, General Manager at Dunes Golf SA, said: “We are delighted with the progress of the project and eager to welcome golf enthusiasts early next year. With a total of four signature courses, we believe Costa Navarino will truly become Europe’s newest golfing destination. Offering variety in playing experiences set in a striking natural landscape, paired with an idyllic climate and a wide range of premium leisure, sports and hospitality facilities, Navarino Hills is sure to have a strong appeal to the international golfing community.”

In addition, a new clubhouse is under construction and scheduled to be finished by December. Designed by acclaimed architect Lubomír Zeman and built using local stone materials, it aims to achieve class A+ in energy efficiency and will feature photovoltaic panels. When completed next spring, the Navarino Hills golf facilities will also include a driving range with a capacity for 60 people and a 15,000m² short game area.

Participants at the 5th Messinia Pro-Am will have the exclusive chance to play the first of the two courses in November, with the second layout scheduled to be completed early next year.

Navarino Hills will provide the ideal complement to Costa Navarino’s two signature golf courses, The Dunes Course (designed by Bernhard Langer in association with European Golf Design) and The Bay Course (created by Robert Trent Jones II).

When the two courses at Navarino Hills open for play in spring 2022, the Mediterranean’s prime sustainable destination will be in the rare position of offering its guests the challenge of four signature golf courses to enjoy within a 13km radius, further enhancing its status as one of Europe’s elite golf destinations.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x