Golf in Greece has suddenly over the last few years taken off and progressively more people are picking up the game. There are seven 18-hole courses of real quality spread over the country and more than 1,000 people play regularly. The islands and the coast are probably the most popular place to take golf holidays in Greece due to the beautiful weather and surroundings.
With a history rich in sporting tradition and a tourism office – the Hellenic Golf Federation – dedicated to golf, it’s a surprise that golf has only recently taken off. It is hoped by the tourism board that the new course, Dunes at Costa Navarino, which was designed by German golfing legend, Bernhard Langer, will encourage more golfers to the country.
The Greek Islands, such as Crete and Corfu, have long been a hugely popular holiday destination for families yet they don’t have the draw of the likes of Spain and Portugal as a golfing destination. The lack of courses and there lack of proximity to one another make it a less attractive golfing holiday as only playing one course gets a bit repetitive.
However the Costa Navarino in the south west of the country, home of the aforementioned Bernhard Langer designed Dunes course, is also the site of another world-class course. The Bay course, designed by the leading American architect Robert Trent Jones, provides you with a brilliant experience – check out the brilliant golf packages available that include both these courses.
As the courses are primarily played by tourists, there are a variety of tee areas to suit those of all abilities as well as aiming to really challenge the best players. The Dunes course has wide fairways in order to help out the more casual golfers in tough, breezy conditions expected on links courses. Both courses offer an inventive layout with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea.
The best island course is probably found in Crete with the fittingly named, Crete Golf Club. Opened in 2003, after investment of more than 16 million euro, the course was built over rocky, mountainous terrain. The course is very open, allowing casual golfers to enjoy their round without spending hours looking for balls and the more accomplished golfers the chance to really go for it from the tee. It was hoped that the course would encourage more investment into other courses in the area but the cost outweighing the potential income really shut down the investors’ plans.
All of the Greek courses have had substantial investment into their clubhouses allowing you to enjoy a drink or meal après-golf to can an enjoyable round.
Away from the courses and resorts, Greece has some of the best beaches in the whole of Europe – the pristine water and fine sand found across all the islands makes for a pleasurable experience for all. For the culture buffs, Greece probably has one of the richest and longest histories in the world. The historic sites draw tourists to the country in masses every year without fail!
With fifteen international airports, it is more than easy to get to Greece and Athens Airport was voted as one of the best in Europe in 2001. Once arrived in Greece, the road system is easy to navigate and although the railway system is not the best, there are considerable renovations taking place at the moment. To get to the islands, there are many ferries daily to and from the mainland.
All in all, the quality of golf in Greece is undeniably improving all the time but it’s the quantity and variety that it perhaps lacks. However, with quality resorts like Costa Navarino setting the bar for future plans in progress it looks as if the futures bright! Be sure to check out the golf packages in Greece that are available on our website!