On the shores of the Mediterranean in the South West region of Peloponnese, lies the resort of Costa Navarino. The area is laid-back and a largely undiscovered part of Greece yet now possesses facilities that will surely make it the top golfing destination in Europe in the next few years.
After registration the previous evening, the group awoke to a truly stunning morning. Just a short walk from the hotel is the first tee of The Dunes course at Costa Navarino. Built in 2010 and designed by Bernhard Langer it was the first course to be constructed at the resort. It is characterized by wide fairways and large undulating greens many with several plateaus and slopes making 3- putting common place. The early holes take you to the waterfront before bringing you inland to play amongst the olive trees and citrus groves.
The stunning scenery did not distract the concentration of Mick & Hazel Jameison in the first group out. They returned to the clubhouse to sign for a fantastic 41pts. It wasn’t until the Hertfordshire duo of Mike & Wendy Martindale, out in the middle of the field returned, that this score was threatened when they posted a very respectable 40pts.
Only last month at our previous event in Buenavista, Tenerife was a “Hole in One” achieved. This marvellous feat was repeated on Day 1 when Neil Davies from Eaton GC, holed his shot with a 9-iron on the short par-3 5th hole. Only the 2nd Englishman on The Dunes to do so his name will now sit proudly on the honours board in the clubhouse.
Late in the day Hazel & Mick’s score was finally matched as Bill Bowell & Jane Coleman joined them at the top of the leaderboard matching their “best of the day” total of 41pts.
The group enjoyed their first group dinner together in the evening at the steakhouse restaurant “Flame” set in a wonderful location overlooking the 18th green of The Dunes where we all toasted Neil’s fantastic achievement.
Just a 15 minute ride from the hotel lies the Robert Trent Jones Jnr. designed Bay course. Built just a year after The Dunes it offers spectacular views across The Bay of Navarino with 2 holes running alongside The Ionian Sea. Slightly shorter and less demanding than The Dunes, it could offer the chance for some of our couples to race up the leaderboard.
As the day before, the very first group back to the clubhouse would set the pace, but this time it was a more formidable score. John Adam & Pam Little from Abbeydale GC scorched their way around the stunning setting to card a wonderful 44pts. Would any team be able to match their feat? One pair came close, when Matt & Angie Harrison signed for a great 42pts, but they would not deny John & Pam who after 8 years of trying finally claimed a 1st place on a Fairways event. We were all delighted for them.
Day 3 (Moving Day)
After a days rest to re-charge the batteries we returned to the #1 ranked course in Greece for our second round on The Dunes. This would prove to be a much tighter affair to claim “best score of the day” Paul & Sue Rees from Childwall & the ever consistent Essex duo of Mick & Hazel Jameison both produced solid rounds of 40pts. But pipping them both by just 1 shot, David & Lesley Barnes claimed top spot for the day. This all left the leaderboard after 54 holes extremely close with 5 couples separated by just 3 shots. It was going to be all to play for in the final round.
In the evening the group once again met this time at the hotel’s Italian restaurant Da Luigi’s. Fun and laughter went on until late into the night with John Adam at last being able to make a winning speech 8 years in the making.
Day 4 (Final Round)
We returned for the final round to The Bay course with the weather just like it had been all week, fantastic. Clear blue skies and just a hint of wind coming off the Navarino Bay. Most of the leaders were placed at the rear of the field so the result would not be known until the very end of the day. One pair amongst the leaders that were out early was David & Lesley. Having played consistent golf all week they would sign off with another great round of 40pts. With a total of 153pts this meant the rest of the leaders would not have it easy and would have to produce a fine score to take the title.
John & Mary Watson shot their best score of the week posting a wonderful 41pts. The Hindhead duo of Stuart & Val Robinson would do the same and by doing so also claimed “the best of the day” score finishing off their campaign in style with a fabulous 42pts. This only left our leaders to jostle for podium positions. Matt & Angie Harrison returned with a solid 39pts but the Castle Royal team of Bill & Jane continued their wonderful play of all week to card 40pts and with it claim the title of Navarino Mixed Pairs Champions.
For our final presentation group dinner we dined at the beautiful setting which is the hotel’s Armyra restaurant. A wonderful Al Fresco meal was enjoyed where all our winners for the week were applauded. Bill & Jane both made wonderful speeches and all agreed this was one week that would live long in the memory.
Our thanks go to everyone at The Westin Costa Navarino resort for making our visit so special. Every member of staff from the management especially Nicole, caddy master, bus driver and especially the lads that took care of our clubs all week. This is a special venue and with 2 new courses already built and plans in the pipeline for 2 more, we have no doubt this will be the premier resort in Europe in the next few years. So much so we have already booked for May 2024. Get in quick because it’s sure to fill!
The Final Score
Winners: Bill Bowell & Jane Coleman 41+39+35+40 Total 155pts
2nd Place: David & Lesley Barnes 38+34+41+40 Total 153pts
3rd Place: Matt & Angie Harrison 35+42+36+39 Total 152pts
Congratulations to all our Winners!