Best of the Best 2012: Golf Courses: The Bay Course at Costa Navarino
The Bay Course at Costa Navarino (www.costanavarinogolf.com) is the second of what will eventually be at least four courses at the sprawling Costa Navarino resort in Messenia, a historically significant region in Greece’s southwest Peloponnese. True to its surroundings, the course is "an authentic and memorable golf experience that you’d only be able to find in Greece," says its architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. Indeed, the undulating par-71 layout, which opened in October, features wide fairways flanked by ancient olive groves and crisscrossed by meandering creeks. The course hugs the lush, hilly shores of Navarino Bay—the site of a key one-day battle in Greece’s war for independence—affording striking views of islands, mountains, and the Ionian Sea. Despite measuring just 6,300 yards from the farthest tees, the Bay Course offers a test for even the most adept amateur. Visiting golfers can stay at one of two Starwood hotels at Costa Navarino, and the development will soon include a Banyan Tree resort on a coastal stretch abutting the Bay Course.