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Markopoulo Golf Project, Greece

Following the 2004 Olympics, the equestrian centre near Athens required a new approach to maximising use of the area. The Olympic Properties Organisation commissioned David Hemstock through the STRI to develop design options for golf on the former 3-Day Eventing arena.

9-hole resort course and 18-hole short course options were presented, with the pro's and con's of each. Ongoing, the proposal is one of dozens around the country aiming to bring golf to a place with huge potential for a golf tourism and developing home market. Assembling sufficient land for golf is a big problem in Greece.  David has visited upwards of 20 sites on the mainland and islands of Greece looking to help push the golf industry there.

Water is always a prime consideration, as are land ownership problems and ease of access.  One site which 20 years ago was not feasible for golf due to water restrictions is now being revisited for development, with the availability of salty-water tolerant golf grasses such as the new Paspalum varieties having a significant effect on water use strategy, and viability of new golf courses.