Golf investment in Greece is showing signs of exceptional vigor and numerous projects are proceeding from the drawing board to the fairway.
The success of two new courses, one at Porto Carras in Chalkidiki and a second course on Crete, seems to have spurred the strong interest of tourists to golf and showed the clear potential for more golf courses throughout Greece.
Peter Michel Heilmann, the founder and director of INVgolf, a global golf and leisure-integrated real estate investment, business intelligence and conference organizing company, says that a number of leading Greek groups of companies and foreign investors have started to proceed golf investment plans.
The British concern Minoan Group PLC is planning one of the largest resort communities in Greece on the island of Crete. Cavo Sidero will be a luxury complex on 26 square kilometers that will operate 12 months a year complete with two 18-hole golf courses, one a championship course, a 9-hole par-3 course and a driving range.
Also on Crete, Belgian investors are planning a major integrated residential and leisure project that include two golf courses.
In the Peloponnese, Navarino Resorts in Messinia is being developed by Tourism Enterprises of Messinias SA. The company hopes to open the doors of two luxury golf resorts in spring 2008.
The Kilada Golf and Spa Resort, not far from Porto Heli, is proceeding with plans for a golf course and a large number of villas close to the sea and the fishing village of Kilada.
In the Ionian islands, the Arkoudi Golf Resort is being developed on Arkoudi, north of Cephalonia. And Golf of Zante, on the western side of the isle of Zakynthos, is a project reportedly being planned by Swiss Golf Invest AG, a Swiss investment group.
In Thessalia, the Apollo Golf and Spa Resort is in the early planning stages and promises to be a major resort in the Volos region, while in nearby Pelion, in the village of Nies, an integrated leisure resort with an 18-hole golf course, is planned.
In Margariti, Thesprotia, in North-West Greece, the Belltower Golf and Residential Development is being planned by Greek-Australian developer Albatross Investments & Developments Pty.
A new tender for the complete re-do of the Afandou Golf course on the island of Rodos is expected soon, a project expected to upgrade the existing property to international standards.
Studies have shown that more than 200,000 visitors to Greece annually are potential golf tourists.