Costa Navarino (Dunes)Pilos, Greece
- AddressNavarino Dunes Messinia, Costa, Pilos 240 01, Greece
In 2010, the Dunes course was the inaugural signature 18-hole layout to open in Greece, the first of several intended courses to be constructed at the spectacular new Costa Navarino resort. Designed by Bernhard Langer in association with European Golf Design, the course debuted one year ahead of “The Bay,” a Robert Trent Jones II layout.
Costa Navarino is the upmarket creation of former shipping magnate, Vassilis Constantakopoulos, who formed the TEMES development company to transform his plan for the area into reality just before he died in 2011. Achilles, the son of Captain Vassilis, is the man now entrusted with further expansion of his father’s vision.
Much of the course has been shaped to create the ambience of a links course with tall 'dunes' shaped to separate the holes closest to the sea. Undulating greens and steep faced pot bunkers emphasize the links feel, but as the routing moves inland, the character softens to fit in with a typical Greek landscape of olive trees and citrus groves.
EGD Lead Designer Ross McMurray commented as follows:
“The inspiration for The Dunes was its spectacular location. It is one of the most beautiful places you could be asked to design a golf course and frankly the waterfront views are just breathtaking. Our ambition was to create a resort golf course which would be fun for average players but provide enough of a challenge so that better golfers would feel that they had been properly tested. Despite the generous playing areas the design of the greens and the positioning of the bunkers still reward accurate shot-making, which is made trickier by the windy conditions you often get being so close to the sea.
Navarino Dunes is characterised by generously wide fairways and large greens. However, the bunkering is very strategic and there is a lot of movement on the putting surfaces, so there’s plenty of interest and excitement. Many of the greens are divided into plateaus with some quite steep slopes between the different levels, so, although their size makes the greens relatively easy to hit, if your approach shots don’t find the right part of the green then you are going to be looking at a few three putts.
There are a great variety of holes and each has its own particular character which makes them easy to remember. We’ve included three or four short par fours, at least one of which (the 6th) is drivable, so there are lots of birdie opportunities, but we have balanced that with some longer, testing par fours, like the 4th and 11th holes. The par threes are pretty strong as well, but I think the par fives, as a group of holes, are my favourite. None are too long, so you always think you have a chance, but they test you in different ways, really making you think about each shot.”
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