What to expect at the 2023 Aegean Messinia Pro-Am

Excitement is building for the second Aegean Messinia Pro-Am. Here’s what pro players had to say about last year’s event.

Edited by Paulina Björk Kapsalis

“I feel amazing,” said Georg Schutles, winner of the 2022 Aegean Messinia Pro-Am, with a winning score of 10-under-par. Standing at the brand-new clubhouse in Navarino Hills on the last day of the tournament, the Austrian Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) golfer couldn’t stop smiling. The sun shone from a bright blue sky onto the course behind him, and glistened in the water in the bay of Navarino below. The tournament was the first one co-organized by AEGEAN and Costa Navarino, and was the first chance for players to enjoy the two new courses at Navarino Hills designed by champion golfer José María Olazábal: the Hills Course, and the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course – the latter named “World’s Best New Golf Course” at the 2022 World Golf Awards. No doubt about it, this was a highly anticipated event.

Asked which course he enjoyed most, Schultes said: “I don’t really have a favorite. They’re all so different here. Each one has its unique things – like the views.” He gestured to the blue horizon behind him. “The Hills course is a little bit tighter, so… I’ll just say I love them all!”

“I think this is my seventh or eighth time here, and I’ve finished second four times before so finally getting across that line is very satisfying. My best round was yesterday. I had 67 on the Olympic and I think I probably hit two or three bad shots, so I was pretty happy all day!” he recapped.

Others had no trouble deciding on a favorite among the courses. “It’s by far The Hills Course,” said Elias Diakou, who, after finishing his second round with a great score in the rolling hills, teamed up with his daughter Marietta. Greek golf pro Panos Karantzias and his team, meanwhile, said they loved The Dunes Course, and especially the “risk-rewarding” number 6 hole, but also praised the dramatic views at the new grounds.

Costa Navarino is Europe’s newest golf destination, with four signature courses, all set in a landscape with centuries-old olive trees and verdant hills, but each offering a different challenge. The Aegean Messinia Pro-Am, and previously the Messinia Pro-Am, is the destination’s main annual golfing event, a tournament which builds on the shared vision of Aegean’s founder Theodore Vassilakis and Costa Navarino’s founder Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, to further develop the game of golf in Greece. 71 teams, comprising of professional, amateur, and celebrity golfers from 26 countries, took part last year.

The Team Pro-Am event honors went to the team of Greek PGA professional, Christos Nikopoulos, including Maksym Kutkovsky, Maryna Kutkovska, and Aris Vovos. They finished with a total score of 263 points (-47) after a nail-biting contest that went down to the very last hole of the event. Having played the Messinia Pro-Am together with the same line-up six times and practiced plenty on site, they were perhaps the team most familiar with the destination, and this was their year. They expressed a love for The Bay Course, but also enjoyed the new International Olympic Academy Golf Course due to the pleasant breeze in the hills. “The time of the year was perfect for this. It’s such a good idea to do it in September, as it’s one of the best times here, although I’m sure the weather will be good even in October,” said Kutkovsky. “This is definitely a golf destination to visit, and we will keep telling all our friends that!”

Henrik Engdahl, who finished in the top 4, said: “It has been the best week of the year – no comparison. And I do travel and play a lot of tournaments, so yeah, this is a tournament I always want to come back to!”

Winner Schutles, still with a broad smile, concurred: “I’m sad it’s over! Glad to have won but sad to be going home tomorrow…” Asked about the future, his smile broadened more: “I’ll come back here. As long as I’m invited back and my amateurs put up with me for the week, then I’ll be here!”

2023 Aegean Messinia Pro-Am announced

Excitement is now building following the announcement of the second edition of the Aegean Messinia Pro-Am, set to take place this year on September 13-17. Participants at the four-day, 54-hole tournament will have the chance to enjoy the sunny Messinian skies, mild temperatures and spectacular sea views, while playing across three of the signature courses – The Dunes Course, The Bay Course and International Olympic Academy Golf Course, competing for an array of individual and team prizes from a total prize fund of €70,000. They will also enjoy an engaging program of social events, and can choose among the ultra-luxury Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino which opens this summer, the recently-opened vibrant W Costa Navarino, as well as the authentic luxury setting of The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort for their accommodation, with a range of four, five and seven-night Pro-Am tournament packages. AEGEAN, in turn, will offer special ticket prices for all participants and complimentary tickets to participating professionals.


Team registration for the 2023 Aegean Messinia Pro-Am is now open and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Find more information and book your spots here: www.aegeanmessiniaproam.com