Two-time Masters Champion welcomes Pros & Amateurs for the 2nd Olazabal & Friends Charity Pro-Am

27 November 2023

José María Olazábal was on hand to extend a warm welcome to professional friends and amateurs from across the world to Costa Navarino, for the second edition of the Olazábal & Friends Charity Pro-Am, which took place from November 16-18.

Global golf legend Miguel Ángel Jiménez, winner of 34 titles worldwide, was among the players who joined the two-time Masters champion for the exclusive golf event at the sustainably driven destination, named as the ‘World’s Best Golf Venue’ and ‘Europe’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’ at the 2023 World Golf Awards.

Golf fans had the unique opportunity for an up-close and intimate experience with Olazábal and his professional friends, with the pro-am played on the two new courses at Navarino Hills that were designed by Olazábal and opened in 2022.

Featuring 14 teams, each team comprised of one professional and three amateurs, with the pro-am including a practice round and two separate 18-hole competitions on the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course and The Hills Course.

This year’s line-up of professionals featured many well-known players throughout European golf and winners of numerous European Tour tournaments, including the winner of the inaugural event last year, José Manuel Lara; Spanish compatriots Carlos Suneson, José Manuel Carriles and Santiago Luna; Markus Brier from Austria; Scotland’s Euan McIntosh, Thomas Gögele from Germany, Italian duo Emanuele Canonica and Lorenzo Gagli; 2021 Senior Open champion Stephen Dodd and Welsh compatriot Phillip Price, a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning team in 2002.

Olazábal took the top spot in a head-to-head team competition against Jiménez with a winning score of two-under-par while Lara claimed the top honours in the individual professional competition for the second year running with a 36-hole total of one-over par, one shot ahead of Carriles and Jiménez.

Olazábal said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome so many new and familiar faces to Greece for a wonderful few days at Costa Navarino. The event and destination are both very special and close to my heart and I would like to thank everyone who participated, especially my great friend Miguel, who has been a part of some of my fondest memories in golf, including playing in Ryder Cups together and at tournaments all around the world.“

David Ashington, General Manager at Costa Navarino Golf, said: “It is truly a pleasure to host this exclusive event with José María Olazábal here at the home of the two golf courses he designed. In addition, and of equal importance to us all, is to support such great charitable causes that are very important to both José María and our local area which really enhances the overall meaning of the event.”

In addition to golf, social events including two dinners, a prize-giving lunch and a post-event party were also included, with the prize-giving held at ‘Piqantro’ – the new Spanish restaurant at The Hills Clubhouse. Before the awards ceremony, Michelin star-winning chef Léon Griffioen – a keen golfer who also played in the event – treated participants to an exclusive live cooking demonstration and an array of mouth-watering tapas dishes from the Spanish-themed menu.

All proceeds donated are shared between Sport Mundi (, the Spanish non-profit organisation chaired by José María Olazábal which supports children in need, and the “Clean Messinia” initiative, led by the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation and Costa Navarino, which aims to support and engage the local communities in a more sustainable way of waste management.

The build-up to this year’s pro-am featured Nick Edmund, a four-time head and neck cancer survivor and founder of Global Golf4 Cancer, undertaking the challenge of walking 120km with a set of golf clubs from Ancient Olympia to Costa Navarino to raise awareness for the charity.

Edmund’s nine-day journey from November 7 to 16 took him from the 776BC birthplace of the Olympics to Navarino Hills and the International Olympic Academy Golf Course. On reaching his final destination he played the fourth hole with Olazábal before the pair symbolically raised the Global Golf4 Cancer flag in honour of cancer sufferers worldwide, with the flag flying on the fourth green for the duration of the pro-am.

For more information about the second Olazábal & Friends Charity Pro-Am, please visit


Pete Simm
The Azalea Group
Tel: +44 (0)1730 711926