José María Olazábal recently headed to Costa Navarino to play Navarino Hills as his eagerly anticipated new 36-hole Mediterranean development approaches its completion.
Olazábal flew to Greece to play his full part in the final preparations for the two 18-hole courses he has designed at Navarino Hills – the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course and the Hills Course.
Both layouts are set to fully open in February next year and, after inspecting both courses, the two-time Masters champion couldn’t be happier as the design project nears its conclusion.
“I’m thrilled with how good the two courses are looking ahead of opening early next year” said Olazábal. “The setting at Navarino Hills is one of the most spectacular that I have seen. 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 courses I have designed. It's more compact and, in style, different to the Hills Course, which is set in a valley and has more room, especially off the tee.
"We are spoiled as golfers because there are so many great places to go, but Costa Navarino is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It is more than just the golf offering here. It is the whole experience that is exceptional – from the nature, the culture and the people with their amazing hospitality to the food, the beach and so many activities to choose from."
Named as the 'World's Best New Golf Development' at the 2020 World Golf Awards and situated over 125 hectares overlooking the historic Bay of Navarino and the Ionian Sea, Olazábal has inherited an incredible site to pen his designs at Navarino Hills.
The 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.
In addition, a new clubhouse - locted between the two courses - is under construction and scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. Designed by acclaimed architect Lubomír Zeman and built using local stone materials, it aims to achieve class A+ in energy efficiency and features photovoltaic panels.
Nearing completion, the Navarino Hills golf facilities will also include a driving range with a capacity for 60 people and a 15,000m² short game area.
Navarino Hills will provide the ideal complement to Costa Navarino's two other 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 Jr.).
When the two courses at Navarino Hills are open for play, 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.