Navarino Dunes, the first of several courses planned for the Costa Navarino development in Greece, will play host to Nick Faldo’s junior golf event, the Faldo Series, this summer.
The inaugural Faldo Series Greece Championship will take place on 26-28 July at the resort in the region of Messinia in the southwest of the country.
Faldo said the Greece Championship will provide a stern test and an important development opportunity for many of the region’s young golfers, both boys and girls aged 12-21, as they look to secure one of five available spots for the 2010 Faldo Series Grand Final, hosted by the six-time Major winner.
With support from the R&A and the European Tour, it is hoped the Faldo Series’ blend of top-level competition and golf-specific education will help progress golf development in the region. The series already has a presence in more than 20 countries worldwide and has helped shape the careers of European Tour stars like Nick Dougherty and Rory McIlroy.
Faldo commented: “It’s great we can offer young players in our Greece Championship the same opportunities we are offering throughout Europe, Asia and South America. Greece is not necessarily seen as an established golfing nation but this is exactly the kind of place where our combination of competition and education can really help to make a difference. I’m sure that the tournament will be a complete success and I look forward to meeting the winners at the Faldo Series Grand Final.”
Spyros Rokadakis, who has been instrumental in bringing the tournament to Greece, commented: “Bringing a Faldo Series Championship to Greece is part of a growing initiative to develop the game in the country and educate the best young Greek golfers in all aspects of the game to the very highest level. With golf officially re-admitted as an Olympic sport, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics, must waste no time in fostering the conditions required to produce a competitive national team. Can one of Greece’s number of talented young players win the inaugural Faldo Series Greece Championship in 2010 and go on to be a 2016 Olympian?”
Navarino Dunes, designed by European Golf Design architect Ross McMurray, with Bernhard Langer’s signature, is part of a huge tourist development backed by the shipowning Constantakopoulous family. The overall development calls for four golf resorts, with multiple courses and hotels, to be built on the Messinian coast, four hours drive from Athens.
GCA reviewed the Costa Navarino development in 2008 - for more, see this link.