Golf enthusiasts look at vacations a little differently to the way that most people look at them. For the average person, a vacation is an opportunity to sit by a pool, top up your suntan, and perhaps get engrossed in a good book. When the mood takes them, they might indulge in a little sight-seeing, or visit a theme park. Golfers are a different breed. All a vacation really is to a golf enthusiast is a chance to try a golf course in a part of the world that you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to play in.
Greece is close to the top of ideal vacation destinations for a lot of people, and it should also be close to the top of the list for golfers. That's because there are plenty of great Greek golf courses, very few of which get the respect they deserve on the world stage. We're more likely to associate Greece with its myths and legends than we are with sports. To get an idea of what the stereotypical view of Greece is, all you need to do is check out an online slots with free spins. There, you'll find a seemingly endless number of Greek-themed online slots with names like ‘Medusa Megaways,' ‘Hercules,' and ‘Zeus: God of Thunder,' all of which are drawn from Greece's rich cultural history. That's not to say that there aren't golf-themed online slots – because of course there are – but you won't find a golf-themed online slots game based in Greece!
Put the stereotypes aside for a moment, and focus on golf instead. If you’re thinking of heading to Greece in the near future, these are the courses you should make a point of visiting.
Corfu Golf Club
The clue is in the name of this course. It's not on mainland Greece, but on the beautiful island of Greece, where celebrated architect Donald Harradine has created a work of golfing art. The Ropa Valley makes for an enchanting backdrop to this tree-lined course, which is both noted and respected for its challenging obstacles. Never mind about firing a ball into a bunker; if you make an errant swing here, you might end up in a stream! The reputation of the course at continental level is steadily increasing, and it's becoming more popular with prominent players. Fortunately for amateurs, it's open almost all year round, so you could even include it in a winter trip!
Crete Golf Club
This is another spectacular golf course that's hiding on one of the Greek islands as opposed to being on the mainland. You'll find it close to Hersonissos, which is one of the most picturesque places on the planet if you take a walk there just as the sun is going down. Despite being surrounded by greenery, Crete Golf Club is considered to be a desert course and is a relatively recent addition to the golfing world after opening in 2003. We can thank designer Bob Hunt for its existence, and also for the world-class restaurant and clubhouse that stand on its grounds. There are eighteen holes of golf waiting for you to come and find them here, and the course is open all year round. We suppose that’s a key advantage of being in such a temperate climate.
Glyfada Golf Course
While Crete Golf Club is a comparatively more recent addition to the Greek scene, Glyfada has been around for a little while longer. It opened to players back in 1966 and exists in a part of Greece not far from Athens in a region that's often (favorably) compared to the Hamptons. The fact that the eighteen holes here have a par of 72 is enough to tell you about the level of challenge that it offers, and also goes some way to explaining why the national golf championships consider it to be a centerpiece. If the rest of your family aren't as keen on golf as you are, there are plenty of distractions here for them while you play. That includes a bar, a restaurant, and even a pair of tennis courts. Athens is a beautiful city to take your family to visit – we're sure they wouldn't begrudge you a round or two of golf while you're there.
We can sum up the reason that you should play the Dunes Course at Costa Navarino in one simple sentence. The course was designed by Bernhard Langer. We suspect you don’t need us to remind you of the double US Masters Champion’s achievements in the sport, and he’s still playing today, but between competitions, he finds the time to design idyllic courses like this one. The Dunes Course was the first-ever ‘signature designed' course opened on Greece, and has recently celebrated its first decade of activity after opening in 2010. All of the eighteen holes are separated by dunes (hence the name), and you'll enjoy an excellent sea view while you're walking and playing, too. The par is 72, the atmosphere is wonderful, and you can stay at a luxury hotel within walking distance of the first hole. What's not to like?
This course can lay claim to a piece of history – it was the first golf course ever built in the north of Greece when it opened in 1973. To say it’s still the same course today is a little bit of a stretch though; it was almost completely rebuilt and redesigned in 2003 after aspects of its design started to look dated. Porto Carras might be the best place to visit if your enthusiasm for golf exceeds your talent; it has a youth academy, and so it was built with the less experienced golfer in mind. Not only is this another course that stays open all year round, but it also comes as part of a stunning seaside resort known as Neos Marmaras, with all the facilities and amenities you’d expect of a 21st-century vacation destination. Even if golf is the main purpose of your visit, you'll still want somewhere to relax, and Porto Carras has plenty of options for you in that respect!
While we're happy to highlight these five venues in particular, there are actually more than one hundred golf courses in Greece. It may not necessarily be known internationally for its courses or its players, but as a country, it does more than most others to provide for the hobby! If you're looking for a golfing vacation, give Greece a go. You won't regret it!