Antalya PGA Sultan Feature Review
Review by Golfshake's Kevin Paver
The PGA Sultan is part of the Antalya GC complex in Belek. There are two 18 hole courses here; The Pasha Course and PGA Sultan, both designed by award winning designer David Jones.
The complex also has two stunning hotels; the Sirene Belek and Kempinski Hotel The Dome, so you can stay on site and enjoy everything this complex has to offer.
As well as being home to the Turkish PGA, the Sultan has also hosted some pretty big golf tournaments too, including the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in 2012, which was won by Justin Rose. Who remembers that event?
PRE ROUND THOUGHTS
When I was researching courses in Belek, the par 71 PGA Sultan was one that kept cropping up as a must play, as well as receiving a ‘Highly Rated’ status on Golfshake. Naturally, it was the first on my list.
When you arrive, you are greeted with a large, modern yet very grand clubhouse and staff waiting to welcome you into the facility. From that moment, you know this is going to be something special.
The practice facilities are well thought out too, with a range area, a short game area and practice greens to really dial in your game before you tee it up.
After a relatively gentle start to the round, comes the par three 2nd. It’s not a long hole, but it’s a beauty. With local pines framing the greens and some strategically placed pot bunkers just to keep you on your toes.
Then, comes the water on the aptly named 3rd hole, ‘Gamble’. A relatively short par five that requires a tee shot over water to the fairway, but also has a small stream that can come into play for longer hitters. That water then continues to the left of the green too. A very clever hole.
The 8th and 9th holes require real care and attention to avoid a potential disaster. The par three 8th is a long hole at 186 meters from the back tees. You’ll need all your courage once you have your selected club and see the lake on the right and stream to the left.
The 9th is a great finish to the front nine. A stunning hole filled with danger. A lake to the right and some very cleverly placed bunkers in the middle of the fairway make you really think about how you approach this one. Water also features all the way up the left hand side of the fairway as it works it’s way to a tight green. If you walk off with a par, you may just deserve a subtle celebration as you head to the 10th!
Now, if you enjoyed the front nine, you are in for an even bigger treat on the back!
From the 10th to the 15th, are all par fours, but each of them uniquely interesting. Oh, and tricky! The 14th in particular has some incredibly difficult bunkering to contend with, all placed where your ball will want to go. If you make it to the green without hitting any of them, you’ve done well.
Then to what was probably my favourite two holes in the course, which are nothing short of glorious.
The par five 16th hugs the water up the right hand side up to the green, which it then protects. If you think you can make this in two, you are far braver than me!
And finally, the par four 18th, and of course, there is more water. Again, choosing the right strategy is crucial if you are to avoid feeding the fish, with water firstly coming into play off the tee. You then have water left and right along a narrow fairway to reach the green. A spectacular finishing hole.
POST ROUND THOUGHTS
The Sultan is a thoroughly enjoyable golf course. Nearly every hole has some classic risk / reward elements, and the course has lots of water throughout. Whatever your handicap, you’ll really need to think your way around each hole of you want to score well.
The condition of the course was fantastic, and the team of green keepers should be immensely proud of the course they deliver. It really was top class.
At the end of a round, I always like to think about the course I’ve just played, and whether or not I’d like to play it again. With the Sultan, I’d play it again tomorrow, it’s that good!
Everything about this facility is excellent, but it’s the golf course that really shines. I can see why the big events consider this as a host venue.
If you are heading to the Belek region to play golf, the Sultan is one you MUST consider.
Finally to finish, a nice quote from Bobby Jones that they have added to the front of the course planner... which I think sums up the PGA Sultan beautifully:
“There isn’t a hole out there that can’t be birdied if you just think. But there isn’t one that can’t be double-bogeyed if you stop thinking”.
OVERALL RATING – 10
Course (Conditions) - 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 9
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 10
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 10
Value for Money - 10
FIND OUT MORE HERE : http://agc.com.tr/?lang=en
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