Golf Course Architecture - Issue 67, January 2022

The Costa Navarino destination in the south-west of Greece will open two new golf courses, created by Olazábal Design, in February. The 6,961-yard International Olympic Academy course and the 6,867-yard Hills course are part of the Navarino Hills development at Costa Navarino, joining layouts by European Golf Design and Robert Trent Jones II to give the resort a total of four courses. “Our brief was to create two eighteenhole golf courses and state-of-the-art practice facilities that blend seamlessly with the wonderful surrounding macchia/garrigue Messinian nature,” said Olazabal Design lead architect Toni Ortner. “We drew inspiration from the already existing Dunes and Bay courses as well as from tree-lined heathland courses such as Sunningdale Old and Liphook. Instead of the well-draining sandy turfs of typical heathland courses we faced heavy clay on top of rock on the Hills site. “Existing rock walls and rock outcrops have been incorporated in the design. Virtually every hole is played in splendid and beautiful solitude, and in harmony with nature. There will be subtlety, a part of drama and a richness of the one fundamental ingredient: pleasurable excitement.” Both new courses overlook the Bay of Navarino and offer panoramic views of mountains, valleys and the Ionian Sea. “The setting at Navarino Hills is one of the most spectacular that I have seen,” said José María Olazábal. “The characteristics of the site are wonderful for golf, and it surely ranks among the most beautiful properties we have ever had the chance to work on. “The International Olympic Academy golf course is the longer and tougher of the two. It’s more compact and, in style, different to the Hills course, which is set in the valley and has more room, especially off the tee.” A new clubhouse, located between the two new courses, has recently been completed, and the Navarino Hills practice facilities will include a driving range with capacity for 60 people and a short-game area. Costa Navarino prepares for opening of new Olazábal courses The International Olympic Academy golf course offers views over the Bay of Navarino and the Ionian Sea, as seen here on the par-three twelfth Image: Fabian Sixt 23