World's first International Olympic Academy Golf Course launched at Costa Navarino

28 June 2021

The new golf course at Navarino Hills will constitute a landmark moment for this innovative partnership

In an exciting and ground-breaking new initiative, the International Olympic Academy (IOA), the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) and Costa Navarino in Greece, have announced during a virtual event, the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course. The name of the new course, which is located at Costa Navarino’s Navarino Hills symbolises the links between golf and Olympism, as it is the nearest golf development to Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Today’s announcement – on the occasion when the International Olympic Day is celebrated across the world – comes at a time when golf’s popularity continues to soar and is expected to be one of the main attractions in Tokyo this summer, following its spectacular return to the Olympics at Rio in 2016.

The new partnership between the IOA and Costa Navarino, with the significant contribution of the HOC, is guided by the principles and values of Olympism and aims to promote Olympic Education through a variety of activities in both Costa Navarino and the IOA premises, and will play a key role in helping to promote golf to an expanding worldwide audience. The naming of the new International Olympic Academy Golf Course reflects the IOA, HOC and Costa Navarino’s shared values of sustainability, personal welfare, education, and growth. The course is one of two 18-hole signature courses at Navarino Hills, which have been designed by two-time Masters champion José María Olazábal and will fully open in spring 2022.

During today’s event, moderated by Sky Sports’ David Jones, the General Manager of Costa Navarino Golf, Nuno Sepulveda, joined live from Navarino Hills, together with members from Costa Navarino’s Junior Golf Academy, representing the sport’s future bright stars. Representatives from the HOC, the IOA, the Hellenic Golf Federation and Costa Navarino spoke at the event, while its special guests were the course designer José María Olazábal and GEO Sustainable Golf Champion, Suzann Pettersen (former Olympian at Rio 2016 and 15-time winner on the LPGA Tour).

Spyros Capralos, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and IOC Member, said: “It is with great pleasure that we announce today, during the Olympic day, the cooperation between the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Academy and Costa Navarino, for the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course. We are therefore given the opportunity, through golf, which is a sport without age limits, to call on all citizens to participate in sports activities and to integrate exercise into daily life.”

Isidoros Kouvelos, President of the International Olympic Academy, added: “The outcome of this cooperation will affirm the fact that Olympic Education, through which the Youth approaches Olympism, is not limited to traditional means but also extents itself to new methods which lead to innovative paths for further development.”

On behalf of the Hellenic Golf Federation, President Thomas Tokas, said: “The reintroduction of golf at the Olympic Games was a very important milestone for the sport which is played in 207 countries around the world. The International Olympic Academy Golf Course will further boost the sport’s development and will attract younger generations, and I would like to congratulate the IOA and Costa Navarino for this innovative partnership”.

Tomas Nemec, Chairman of Consillium SA (co-founders at Navarino Hills), said: “Through the IOA Golf Course, we are happy to contribute to the essence of the Olympic Spirit for all generations of golfers. Our vision for Navarino Hills was to create the perfect environment for golf in this incredible location in the Messinian land, and introduce a unique development which reflects Costa Navarino’s commitment to sustainable development.”

Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES – Developers of Costa Navarino, said: “We are very honoured that the new course will contribute to building a strong alliance between sport and education and conveying the principles of the Olympic Movement. Through Costa Navarino’s growth, we aim to continue having a positive impact in the areas where we operate – and to establish an upscale golf and sports destination that appeals to the global community.”

José María Olazábal said: “It is a great honour to have designed the first International Olympic Academy Golf Course at Navarino Hills. The development of the game is very close to my heart and I am proud that future generations of golfers will have the opportunity to be educated in the Olympic values at this wonderful new facility."

Suzann Pettersen added: “My experience of competing at the Olympics in 2016 was inspirational and the development of the first International Olympic Academy Golf Course is a great moment for golf, as it strives to deliver a bright and sustainable outlook for future generations.”

Named as the ‘World’s Best New Golf Development’ at the 2020 World Golf Awards, Navarino Hills is one of Europe’s most eagerly awaited golf developments. Situated over 125 hectares overlooking the historic Bay of Navarino and the Ionian Sea, the International Olympic Academy Golf Course will measure  6,366m in length and will open exclusively for the 5th Messinia Pro-Am which will take place from the 24th to the 27th of November.

When both Navarino Hills courses open to all visitors in spring 2022, Costa Navarino will offer its guests four signature golf courses to enjoy within a maximum distance of 13km from each other, further enhancing its status as one of Europe’s unrivalled golf destinations.

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The aim of the International Olympic Academy is to create an international cultural centre in Olympia, to preserve and spread the Olympic Spirit, study and implement the educational and social principles of Olympism and consolidate the scientific basis of the Olympic Ideal, in conformity with the principles laid down by the ancient Greeks and the revivers of the contemporary Olympic Movement, through Baron de Coubertin's initiative.

The mission of the HOC is to ensure the development, promotion and safeguarding of the Olympic Movement, the spirit of fair play and out-of-school physical activity, in accordance with the principles of the Olympic Ideal and the traditions of the Hellenic sport. The HOC’s role is to supervise the Olympic Sports and cooperate with the State as well as with the public and private bodies for the promotion of healthy sport policies. Moreover, to encourage love for sports and respect for the spirit of sportsmanship among the young and to organise in cooperation with the National Federations the Olympic preparation of athletes. Last but not least, it is HOC’s sole responsibility to proceed to the final selection of athletes who will represent Greece at the Olympic and Mediterranean Games.

Costa Navarino is the prime, sustainable destination in the Mediterranean, located in the Greek region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese. One of the most unspoiled and breathtaking seaside Mediterranean landscapes, this area has been shaped by 4,500 years of history.

Its philosophy is driven by a genuine desire to promote Messinia, while protecting and preserving its natural beauty and heritage. It will comprise a number of distinct sites featuring five-star deluxe hotels, luxury private residences, conference facilities, spa and thalassotherapy centres, signature golf courses, as well as a wide range of unique year-round activities for adults and children.

Navarino Dunes, the first area, is home to two luxury five-star hotels, The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, and The Westin Resort Costa Navarino; Navarino Residences, a collection of luxury villas for private ownership; and The Residences at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino – fully furnished resort apartments for sale; the signature golf course The Dunes Course; Anazoe Spa, a 4,000m2 spa and thalassotherapy centre; the state-of-the-art conference centre House of Events; specially designed facilities for children; and a variety of gastronomy venues, sports, outdoor and cultural activities.

Navarino Bay, the second area, is home to the signature golf course, The Bay Course and to the earth-sheltered Bay Clubhouse, while an ultra-luxury, all suite and pool villas resort is currently under construction, alongside an upscale, vibrant, lifestyle resort at the nearby site Navarino Waterfront.

At Navarino Hills, two new 18-hole signature golf courses are also being constructed and will open in spring 2022.

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For media enquiries please contact:

TEMES S.A. – Developers of Costa Navarino

Valia Vanezi, Communications Director  
T: +30 210 949 0152

Maria Karapandeli, Communications Manager
T: +30 211 016 0649


Nuno Sepulveda - Golf & Sports Business Development Director
Costa Navarino
Tel: +30 27230 90200
Fax: +30 210 949 0218