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Golfing in Cyprus July 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Golf.
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Cyprus golf property is possibly by far and away the best investment you could make if you are in fact considering purchasing property on this beautiful island.

There is no doubt at all that if you mix golf, sun and holidays you have the ideal cocktail for a booming property market. Whether you are looking to purchase for your own use or the fast expanding holiday rental market the sums will stack up every time. In fact a great way to subsidize your Cyprus property investment is to rent out to holiday makers when you don’t need it for yourself or your family.

The golfing center of Cyprus is the Paphos area and with several excellent golf courses in the area there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. Property prices in the Paphos area are amongst some of the highest in Cyprus due in the most part to the town now being recognized as an all year resort. This coupled with the golfing aspect of the area has turned Paphos into something of a Cyprus property hotspot. However prices here have not yet reached the dizzy heights of places like Spain or Portugal where you will soon need a kings ransom just to buy a one bed apartment. Prices will conceivably continue to rise however for some time to come making Paphos a good investment if you buy soon.

With great motorway links and the airport on your doorstep Paphos is a golf property dream come true. There are plenty of properties available and new developments are going up all over the area. If you want the best of both golf and holidays an investment in the Coral Bay area a few kilometers outside Paphos could be perfect for you. With miles of sandy beaches bars and restaurants Coral Bay is popular with every kind of Cyprus holiday maker. You would be a short drive from the golf and have a property that rents easily to holiday makers too.

Before you dash off however to book your Cyprus flights there is some hot news for golfers looking for a great property investment. Rumor is rife of a huge proposed golfing and leisure development being proposed in the Larnaca area of Cyprus. If you though that Paphos was a hot bed for investment then Larnaca could be a golfers dream come true. Larnaca is more than just a holiday resort it is a bustling town in its own right. There is a commercial port, a busy marina and a vibrant business community too with more shops and resturants than you can shake a stick at. The main airport is within a hole in one’s distance and the modern coastal motorway will whisk you to anywhere in Cyprus you choose to visit within a couple of hours maximum.

What more could you want? Everything right on your door step including sun, sea and golf. No development has started as yet in the area of the proposed golf complex so property prices in Larnaca are still quite reasonable compared with other parts of Cyprus. There is no doubt that once the plans are cleared and development begins property prices will go through the roof. So if you love golf and Cyprus you may be able to pick up the bargain of a lifetime if you are brave enough to act soon. Enjoy Cyprus!

To find out more about the beautiful island of Cyprus visit > http://www.visitcyprus.com

Golf tournament for Greeks abroad July 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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The Crete Golf Club will next month host the 3rd International Diaspora Golf Tournament at Hersonissos, Crete.

The tournament is open to golfers of Greek descent from around the world and is being held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hellenic Golf Federation. Already established as an event that attracts many Greek golfers from all over the globe, the tournament will this year take place on the last weekend of August, on Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th. There is no participation fee.

Golfers wishing to take part should contact Harry Zervos or Vasso Karamanoli at the Crete Golf Club, either by calling 28970 26000 or emailing info@crete-golf.gr.

For more information, visit the Crete Golf Club website at > www.crete-golf.gr

What women have to do in the golf wars? June 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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OK, so golfers doff their caps when they win, abide by the rules, don’t argue with the ref or shout abuse at the crowd. They keep their shirts on when they play a good hole; they don’t rush around the green in a lap of honour or jump on each other in wild abandon. They are the epitome of Kenny Everett’s “best possible taste”.

There has never been a more suburban game than golf; it simply reeks of neighbourhood watch schemes and mock-Georgian housing estates. Everything neat, tidy and in order: Pringle jumpers and pink polo shirts.

So why do so many clubs apparently pursue un-gentlemanly behaviour on the greens and in the clubhouse by denying women equal status? The answer is obvious: nowhere are the gender roles more divided that in middle Britain, middle America, middle everywhere.

I have thought if God played a game, it would be golf; everything is clear cut, like the fairway. Once you are off the straight and narrow, you are in the rough. The whole language of the game is a metaphor for control, so it is not surprising then that the men who are drawn to the game do not want women around.

Women should be at home, cooking the Sunday roast in their pinnies, while men have a round, tell a few saucy jokes, talk about their local business, down a pint or two before they go home to wash the car and cut the grass.

This is not a game for exuberant passion or wild adventure, it is a game for estate agents and quantity surveyors. But now the bastions of British manhood are being challenged by the Equal Opportunities Bill to open their doors, changing rooms and club houses to women wielding clubs.

I feel sorry for the chaps: I mean, where else are they meant to go? Working class fellows go fishing or down their allotments and upper class toffs head off to their Club in St James, so what’s left for the poor henpecked, chore laden, earning-an-honest-living fellow if he can’t get a bit of peace and quiet on the golf course?

Only 800 of the UK’s 2,000 or so golf clubs have signed up to the equal opportunities legislation. The dilemma is that once a club has open membership for both sexes, by law it must have equal provisions. It is quite acceptable for clubs to be single sex and as discriminatory as they please. This will now put many golf clubs in a financial quandary, many survive by allowing women to use the facilities and the greens when men are working and designate weekends and early mornings as men-only times. You can see the economics, but of course, they are failing to live with the times.

Women work, men retire early, the rules of the game are not the same as they were in the 1950s. And this is the real mythology of golf, like Peter and Jane Ladybird books, they are stuck in a time warp.

I have no problem with men-only times on golf courses, just as you have women only times at the local swimming pool. On the whole, we swim slower. Men hit the ball harder, go round a course faster, so it makes a certain sense to let them go at their own pace. What, is of course, utter nonsense is segregation in the bar, gin and tonic apartheid.

But there is always another point of view, a mate of mine married to a golf addict in Surrey said she has never worried about the time he spends at “The Club” because she knows he is only drinking with male chums. “If the bar is invaded by swinging divorcees, femme fatales of the fairway,” she sighed, “I’ll have no choice but to take up golf, damn it.”

Donald plans wedded bliss in Greece June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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Luke Donald aims to give wife Diane the perfect present at their wedding in Greece next Saturday, the US Open trophy.

England’s top golfer, No 9 in the world, met his ideal birdie while at college in Chicago. She is American but her family hail from Greece, so the couple will head to the Aegean island of Santorini straight after Donald holes his final putt at Oakmont.

Donald said: “Winning a Major title would be a nice wedding present to Diane and to myself. I couldn’t think of a better one. The wedding has been the big date in my diary for over a year, but the US Open is a big deal too. It would be perfect if I can make it a double celebration. I certainly feel I have a real chance because my game is well suited to US Open-style courses. I’m known as one of the straightest hitters out here and avoiding the rough at Oakmont is half the battle.”

Government plans trebling of domestic golf courses June 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Infrastructure, Golf, Tourism.
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Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia announced that 16 new golf courses will be added to the existing ones, which include this 18-hole course at Hersonissos on Crete.

Greece will soon add many more golf courses to its existing ones, as the government is promoting 16 investment programs toward this end, Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia announced yesterday.

The Minister spoke of the significance the government attributes to the development of modern golf courses through procedures that secure the protection of the environment. The 16 international-standard courses will be created at Pota in Messenia, in the southern Peloponnese (7), at Cavo Sidero, the Minoan Lines investment (5), at Porto Karras (1), at Kilada Hills (1) and at Atalanti Hills (2).

Palli-Petralia was speaking on the occasion of the award ceremony for the 2nd Aegean Airlines Pro-Am tournament at the Hersonissos course in Crete. This was only the second time an international contest has been held with the support of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of Europe and of the Greek PGA. The Chairman of Aegean Airlines and head of the organizing committee of the tournament, Theodoros Vassiliakis, referred to a recent survey by the KPMG consultancy on the expansion of golf into other countries. He said that there is a significant number of courses in all the tourism markets Greece is interested in drawing to its shores.

In Scandinavia, there are over 900 courses with up to 1 million golfers, in the UK and Ireland there are more than 3,000 courses with over 1.5 million players, while in the Mediterranean countries, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, that are potential rivals to Greece, there are more than 1,150 courses and 600,000 players.

The tourism markets of Europe account for 80 percent of arrivals to this country and golf is a great attraction for many visitors. New golf courses will mean many more hotels and will allow tourism companies to operate 12 months a year.

There is considerable growth in neighboring countries, such as Cyprus, which has three courses and plans to build another 11. The CEO of Navarino Resorts, Achilleas Constantakopoulos, said it is very important that the Pro-Am tournament took place for a second straight year. He added that the Mediterranean, including North African countries, has 500 golf courses in operation, combined with hotel installations or rental units and that in the near future this number will soar to 8,000. Andreas Metaxas, the Chief Executive of Cretan Golf, thought it encouraging that environmental concerns are taken into account when creating golf courses in Greece. Thus not only are essential measures taken but also the nature of the neighboring areas can be conserved.

ABP Plus International, of the Cyprus Paraskevaidis Group, will invest over 210 million euro in a major tourism project called Apollo Resort at Soros, near Volos in central Greece. The complex, to be ready in 2012, will include a five-star hotel, a marina and an 18-hole golf course.

Golf on Crete for Greek diaspora February 13, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf, Greek Diaspora.
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Golfers of Greek descent living around the world are eligible to compete in the 3rd International Diaspora Tournament to be held on the island of Crete later this year on August 25 and 26, the Hellenic Golf Federation has announced.

The two-day, 36-hole tournament, to be preceded by a cocktail party welcoming participants on the eve of competition, will be held at the Crete Golf Club, in Hersonissos, Crete. Proceedings will be topped off by a Gala Awards Dinner on the evening of the final day’s play. No entry fee for participants has been set, the federation said.

For additional information > tel. +30 28970 26000; fax +30 28970 30180; e-mail info@crete-golf.gr, or visit either www.hgf.gr or www.crete-golf.gr.

Cyprus a golfing mecca October 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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The Cypriot Government has stated quite categorically that it is determined to make Cyprus a golfing mecca. The island is blessed with 300-plus sunny days a year, perfect for those that like “a good walk spoiled”.

Plans have already been agreed for several new golf courses on the island. One of the first off the drawing board is a spectacular new 18 hole golf course and leisure complex in Tersefanou backed by the European Golf Federation.

If Mark Twain could not have been tempted onto the golf course, he might have been enticed with some of Cyprus’ other treasures as so many tourists and investors are every year. The tourist industry is facing a boom time; 2.4 million tourists visit the island annually, three times the island’s population!

Besides the golfing facilities, the Government has big plans to further develop tourism as a whole on the island. It plans to improve air travel, increase bed space, there are currently not enough to meet demands, upgrade existing accommodation and tourist destinations, restaurants, museums, etc, develop nature trails, cycling routes, information centres and such like.

After EU accession, Cyprus is no longer just another tourist destination offering sandy beaches and fun. It’s becoming the home, work place, business destination, retirement place for more than half a million people coming from all over Europe.

UK investors in particular are attracted to Cyprus. Being a former colonial island, the legal and conveyancing system, as well as the banking system are British based and English is spoken by practically everyone. For the large retirement and second home communities (66k ex-pats), it is almost a “home from home”, with Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Next and other familiar names on the island.

To meet the increasing demand for new property (15-20% pa), new residential developments are springing up all over the island including those on or near the proposed golf centres.

Compared with the traditional golfing holiday home favourites of Spain and Portugal, it is 20-30% cheaper to buy in Cyprus. Prices have been rising steadily though, especially since EU membership in May 2004. Prices are set to rise again once they join the Eurozone in 2008. At the same time though, interest rates are falling and the Cypriot economy is booming.

There are no purchase restrictions for Brits wanting to buy in Cyprus, plus homeowners can use their equity in their UK property to buy in Cyprus. There’s good news too for mature investors as Cyprus has neither inheritance nor wealth tax.

In order to secure a space near the green, or on the beach, investors need to get a wiggle on as there are strict planning policies in place, restricting any tall, and or, densely packed buildings. It is said that within five years all prime locations will have been used up. Also, an expected property boom in the next couple of years could see prices rising by over 50%.

As a guide to what your money could get you, a new development of 21 one and two bed apartments in three blocks is available from Where on Earth (whereonearth.biz). The Suncoast Gardens development is in Pervolia, a small, picturesque, seaside village just along the coast from Larnaca near Kiti village. Situated just a 10 minute drive to Larnaca City Centre, Larnaca International Airport and the upcoming 18 hole Golf Resort near Tersefanou village.

Prices start from £74,000 or CYP£1,250 per m2. The apartments on the golf course are about to be marketed at £2,317 to CYP£2,000 per m2 and will rise from there.

The mix of the best coastline, great year-round weather, low prices, the relative under-development in this region and the new international golf courses make Cyprus an obvious choice for investors.