Golf in Turkey e A Rough Guide
Just 20 years ago there wasn’t a single golf course in Belek, but earlier this month the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood were in town to compete for a purse of $5million in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, confirming this glorious corner of Turkey’s southern coast as a genuine golfing superpower.
With 14 golf courses, more than 20 five-star hotels in the region and 300 days of sunshine per year it is easy to understand why Belek has fast become one of the most popular golfing destinations in recent times. Here’s Golfbreaks.com’s brief guide to the region.
First Class Golf
Home to a number of challenging designs that weave their way through the natural pine forests, Belek has something for everyone. Two of golf’s greats - Faldo and Montgomerie - saw the potential here and have both been to Belek to put their stamp on the region, at Cornelia and the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, respectively. Another standout course is Carya, which was designed by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson. Featuring vast swathes of heather, this magnificent layout is reminiscent of the classic heathland courses around London.
Both the Old and New courses at Gloria Golf Club have previously hosted European Tour events, while the Antalya Golf Club is the venue of this year’s Eisenhower Trophy (one of the leading world amateur golf tournaments) and more recently the World Golf Finals where eight of the world’s leading players – including the likes of McIlroy, Woods, Westwood and Rose – battled it out in medal matchplay at the World Golf Finals. As the World No.1 and No.3 fell away, it was left to two Englishmen to contest the final, with Justin Rose eventually coming out on top.
With 13 courses, Belek is often the base for many golfers, but just a 40-minute drive east lies the superb coastal resort of Lykia where you’ll find a stunning links layout on the edge of the Mediterranean. Should you choose to stay at the Lykia World Golf Resort for the week the sea breeze will ensure a very different golfing experience every day.
Excellent service, first-class restaurants and an array of spa and leisure facilities will make your stay in Belek a truly memorable experience. At Sueno Golf Resort the island-green 18th holes of the Dunes and the Pines courses are just 50 yards from the hotel’s veranda and make a stunning backdrop to any stay. Alternatively you can choose to stay at one of the fabulous beach resorts, including the brand new Maxx Royal, the Cornelia Diamond, its sister, the Deluxe, or the superb Voyage which is conveniently located across the road from the Montgomerie course.
All-inclusive packages are the norm at nearly all the resorts, with premium branded beers and spirits and a variety of dining options served throughout the day, ensuring your week away is both excellent value for money and truly relaxing.
Group Golf in Turkey
With such a variety of golf courses on your doorstep and all venues offering 1 in 8 FREE, managing a group of golfers becomes very easy and cost effective. The all-inclusive package is a popular choice and makes handling the ‘kitty’ a thing of the past.
Golf in Turkey can be played 12 months of the year, although the peak of summer may be a little warm for some with temperatures soaring to around 40 degrees in the middle of the day. However, any time from mid-September through to early June is ideal for golf.
The only piece of advice to take on board is to make your plans early. Tee-times are in high demand and if you are looking to book a number of four-balls in succession then it is important to start enquiring at least 10 months in advance to get the premium times.
It is just a 4 ½ hour flight from the UK to Antalya airport and with ever-increasing flight schedules, getting there couldn’t be easier. There are direct flights from Stansted, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, to name a few, with returns this winter starting from £150.
With the Belek region just 35 minutes from the airport and all of the courses and resorts (apart from Lykia) within 10km of one another, very little time is wasted on travel. Our on-site ground- handler, Millennium Golf, has 16 years’ experience in the region and will take care of all transfers and golf shuttles, leaving golfers to relax and enjoy their break.
The combination of excellent courses, year-round sunshine, five- star all-inclusive resorts and easy travel makes golf in Turkey a must for all. Just remember to start looking sooner rather than later to ensure you get the best tee-times.
Golfbreaks.com has secured some exclusive guaranteed tee times for Turkey, with seven-night all-inclusive, three-round golf packages starting from just £359. To investigate further or make an enquiry please go to Golfbreaks.com
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