Turkey is perhaps not the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about a golf break. However, golf tourism in Turkey is a blossoming industry and there’s good reason for its emergence as a country offering some of the best golf breaks available.
Firstly, there is the weather. As the recent British Open at Turnberry will testify; when the sun shines, golf is a wonderfully pleasant game, but when its windy and wet, then the golf course can become a lonely place. With a golf break in Turkey, you are almost guaranteed that the weather will be hot and sunny.
The principal golf courses in Turkey can be found in the Belek-Antalya region of the country which is situated on the south coast, overlooking the Mediterranean Ocean and besides golf the area offers a wealth of cultural sights as you might expect from an area that is steeped in history.
Belek relies heavily on tourism and golf tourists in particular can take advantage of a range of luxury hotels as well as a choice of eleven golf courses. Away from the golf course, the thriving town also offers a range of fine dining, bars and attractions in which to while away the hours. Turkey offers a truly excellent value-for-money experience, not only on the golf course, but also on costs and the food and drink on offer is generally amongst the cheapest yet highest quality to be found anywhere in Europe. What’s more, the populace of Turkey go the extra mile to make sure visitors enjoy their stay to the utmost.
A little farther afield, the region of Antalya, of which Belek finds itself, can boast a wealth of cultural and historical attractions including the ancient Aspendos amphitheater and the Roman ruins at Perge. For a step back in time, visit Side which is only a short drive from Belek. While it is now a resort town, there are still extensive ruins to be seen throughout the town and is one of the country’s best known and important classical sites.
Getting back to golf, the region’s golf courses can rank amongst the best in Europe and a host of famous names can be attributed to the design of golf courses in the region, including David Feherty, Colin Montgomerie and Sir Nick Faldo which include the David Feherty-designed National Golf Club and carves through a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees against a backdrop of the snow-capped Taurus mountains. The National course features an abundance of natural lakes as well as numerous bunkers filled with gleaming white sand; offering a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities.
Other courses in the region include the Sueno Golf Resort, the Cornelia Deluxe Resort whose course was designed by Sir Nick Faldo and incorporates a David Leadbetter academy, and the Five-star Gloria Verde resort.
But whichever of Belek’s fine golf courses you choose to base your Turkey golf holiday around, you can rest assured that you will be well rewarded with an excellent and enjoyable experience, both on the course and away from it. With Turkey and the Belek region in particular now rivaling the Algarve in terms of golfing visitors, Belek and its golf courses will have you returning time and again.
Brian Healy writes for YourGolfTravel.com, an operator of UK golf breaks and golf holidays in Europe and around the world.