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GOLF GUIDE


The Crete Golf Club


Corfu Golf Club For the Brits, Corfu is a home from home. Famously, it has a cricket team and is also known for the Durrell brothers, Lawrence and Gerald, who were recently immortalised in an ITV television series The Durrells. Corfu also has a golf course, constructed in 1971 in the secluded Ropa Valley, seven miles west of Corfu town. Naturally the architect, Donald Harradine, was British and therefore able to provide the X factor that appeals to his compatriots. Eucalyptus and poplar trees line the fairways, streams straggle across them, and lakes prevent easy passages. The signature holes are the 7th, a long par 5 with eagle opportunities; the 10th, a risk reward par 4; and the 16th, the ultimate par 3 from hell — 200m with water features and a steep bank up to a raked green. Green fees range from £48. corfugolfclub.com


The Crete Golf Club In the early 21st century, the planners decreed 24 golf courses in the most popular tourist spots. To date, only Crete has delivered, largely thanks to local lawyer, Michael Vranas, who persuaded fellow hoteliers to invest in a €16 million project that would fill beds in the off season. The course was built to USPGA standards over craggy mountainous terrain at Hersonissos, 19 miles south east of Heraklion. When it opened in 2003, it rapidly established a strong following among northern European golfers, 65% of them German. Though relatively short with generously wide fairways, it presents interesting technical challenges and a memorable quartet of par 3s, including one with a carry over a deep ravine to a two-tiered green. Green fees range from £66. cretegolfclub.com


Porto Carras The ambitious Porto Carras resort, 50 miles south of Thessaloniki on the north-east coast, included a 9-hole golf course when it was launched in the early 1970s. After two decades, it was renamed Olive Grove and given a total makeover for a relaunch as an 18-hole course in 2002. The key theme for the makeover was water — with three re-shaped lakes and the installation of a modern irrigation system. The water installations feature as hazards for four of the holes on the back nine. They also underpin plans for a second course, The Vineyard, which is currently under construction and aims to present Porto Carras as one of the world's top destinations for golf. A third course is also on the drawing board. Green fees range from £70. portocarras.com


102 ABTA Golf 2018


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