Golf on tourism’s course

Though Greece is not renowned as a golfing country or destination, new courses are currently being developed and introduced throughout the land as part of an official effort to upgrade the country’s tourism sector, with the game of golf as a major tool to the overall effort. Addressing last weekend’s award ceremony, following the completion of a European amateur club competition held at the Glyfada Golf Club in Athens, Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Petros Doukas noted that the game’s growth in Greece was among the government’s objectives. The government, added the deputy minister, who is also president of the Hellenic Golf Federation, was committed to assisting t he development of new gold courses throughout the country. Besides the Greek capital’s Glyfada Golf Course, a well-established club that is nevertheless anticipating major expansion, other facilities now operating locally include the Porto Carras Golf and Country Club in Halkidiki, northern Greece, the Corfu Gold Club in western Greece, Afandou Golf Club on Rhodes and the Crete Golf Club in Hersonissos. Numerous other courses are in the planning stages. Reflecting growing interest toward further development of golf in Greece, this year’s men’s European Club Cup Trophy, an amateur team event that was launched in Spain in 1975, was held at the pine-studded Glyfada Golf Club between November 4 and 6. Over 100 amateur golfers from 27 European countries competed. It was won by the Netherlands, represented by Robin Swane, Jan Willem Van Hoof and Saxton Reinier of the De Houtrak Golf Club. Greece’s Steve Parthenis, Evangelos Ginnis and George Aronis of the Glyfada Golf Club ended 13th. Clubs compete in domestic qualifying competition to represent their country in the European Club Cup Trophy. Next year’s European Club Cup Trophy event will be held in Turkey, at the Kassis Golf Club, in mid-October. This year’s women’s competition, held several weeks ago in Belgium, was won by the German golf club St Leon Rot.