Golf in Greece may be lacking in quantity, but the two lovely courses at Costa Navarino lead the way in quality...
Costa Navarino Golf Course Reviews
The south-western coastline of mainland Greece is a stunningly beautiful and unspoilt area, blessed with a superb climate and spectacular scenery. It is home to Costa Navarino, an extensive, award-winning destination that has the environment and sustainability at the core of all that it offers including the architecture, the delicious cuisine and two excellent golf courses.
The first course to be completed was the Dunes Course, a collaboration between Bernhard Langer and European Golf Design. With a par of 71, it opened in 2010 and is remarkably mature despite its tender age, offering great variety and a fresh set of challenges at every turn.
Rather than wordy descriptions, I have simply selected three holes from each nine and will let their pictures do the talking.
The back nine is equally strong and the course is probably the tougher of the two at Costa Navarino.
The Bay Course opened a little later, and in my view is even more photogenic and enjoyable offering breathtaking views from start to finish. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior, it is on dramatically undulating ground overlooking the Gialova Bay, with two holes running right alongside the beach before the course heads up and down through the hills on a thrilling rollercoaster ride. Once again, pictures speak louder than words.
There is risk and reward every inch of the way and the six-pack of short holes will each live long in the memory. As a combination of golfing test and scenic delight, the Bay Course is hard to beat.
Costa Navarino is about far more than just the golf and there is a story to tell of local and national culture and tradition. This is evident throughout the two superb hotels which border the Mediterranean. The Westin, Costa Navarino has more than 400 rooms and suites, the design of which is inspired by old Messinian mansions. Adjacent is The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort which has 321 airy rooms, suites and villas, and both hotels open out into the Agora, an authentically recreated village centre with a variety of bars, restaurants, entertainment areas and shops.
The pristine coastline is lined with dreamy, sandy beaches and peaceful lagoons, olive groves, waterfalls, and a wealth of flora and fauna. With more golf courses on the way, Costa Navarino is already a massive and very appealing destination that will continue to grow both in terms of what is on offer, and in its worldwide renown.
Having already been twice, I am really looking forward to going back again!
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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