Greece, Costa Navarino - June 2018
We had the privilege to visit the westcoast of the Athens mainland and drove 3 1/2 hours from Athens Airport to Costa Navarino Westin Beach and Golf Resort. Costa Navarino is located in Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, in one of the most unspoiled and breathtaking landscapes in the Mediterranean. The Westin Resort current has two golf course - we played them both! Both with their individual beauty and style. Our new quest is to golf all the Marriott Resorts in the USA. Liz, being a 25+ year Marriott associate, and knowing the many beautiful properties we have - why not?
The Dunes course is located on the property of the hotel. It was in immaculate condition, probably because it just hosted the Aegean Airlines Open a few weeks ago. The buggies were almost perfect with ball and club washers, as well as shoe cleaners and a cooler filled with water bottles. The only thing missing was a Tee dispenser! The GPS was very helpful – but was in meters, so we had to remember to shave off about 10% for our yardage. The front 9 we played just us. At the 10th, we were joined by a very nice fellow, Heinz, who was visiting from Germany with his wife (not a golfer). The course is smothered in flowers, shrubs including Oregano and Sage, Olive Trees and some view of the Sea. So much beauty it was hard to pay attention to golfing. It’s a relatively short course – even from the back Tees (just over 6,000 yards) but still challenging with tons of bunkers. The Greens were large and had a lot of undulation adding some strokes to our score. While we did take a Buggy, it’s definitely a walking course with the holes not too far from each other. It was an amazing round – both the course and our scores.. Liz almost broke 100 (102.. so close!) – with no warm up and rented clubs too…the clubs were excellent and now Jeff has his eye on a new Driver.
The Bay Course which is about 15 minutes down the road outside of the hotel complex. The Bay Course is under construction and will be adding a Clubhouse, and another hotel. Then also 2 additional golf courses are planned for the surrounding area. The course was beautiful in a different way and had the Bay in sight at almost all the holes. The construction was a bit noisy but it was fine. We were behind a 4-ball so we had a wait at each hole, but it was a beautiful day so we found our patience and enjoyed our surroundings. The Bay Course was filled with twists and turns and hills and dips. There were 3 Par 3 holes on each 9 – which Liz loved! We actually found this course a bit harder than The Dunes. We enjoyed another great round and can now check Greece off golfing the world! The staff was friendly and we learned a bit about Olive harvesting that is done in the Oct/November times – just toward the end of the season. And there are two types of Olive Trees – the ones with small olives are for Olive Oil, the larger olives remain the Olives we get to enjoy.
Thank you to the hospitality of the Costa Navarino staff - it's a spectacular location and we highly recommend a visit for anyone that loves to relax, pool, spa, beach, golf and participate in fitness and cultural activities!