9 of the Best Courses in Belek

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best courses in Belek. Belek, Turkey is a brilliant golfing destination for several reasons. Firstly, it is widely known for its excellent-value all-inclusive golf holiday options, secondly, you can enjoy an all-year-round warm climate. Lastly, you can find some truly stunning resorts and beaches in the region. Take a look at these courses to see whether they catch your eye as potential bases for your next golf escape…

 

Carya is the most recent golf course to open in Belek. The course stretches over 7,186 yards and is a demanding test of golf with some stunning holes which run between pine and eucalyptus trees and across a dramatic sand ridge. A great thing about this course is that it is independent from any hotel in the area which is rare in Belek, this means that you can book a round here very easily regardless of where you are staying. You can also enjoy a round in the evening as the course has floodlights to allow guests to do so – this may be a great option in the summer months when the heat is stifling during the day.

It is no surprise that this course is rated as one of the best courses in the region. It has a fantastic layout and is always in immaculate condition. The course boasts a very challenging finishing stretch beginning with the 13th which is a dog-leg before the uphill par-3 14th where you will struggle to land and stay on the green. The par-5 15th boasts a blind tee shot and a challenging approach to the green where you must carry the ball over water. You can finish the round with three marvellous par-4s and then go and get a well-deserved drink in the clubhouse! This course is a must-play when you are on your next golf escape to Belek and it isn’t hard to see why.

 

Titanic Golf Club (formerly TAT International) boasts 27 holes of brilliant golf and was one of the first complexes to be developed when Martin Hawtree designed this 27-hole layout on 325 acres in 1997. The club boasts three loops of nine holes – River, Mediterranean and Forest. Each of the loops features two par 3s, five par 4s and two par 5s so that you can play to a par 72 no matter which of the two loops you choose to play.

This course is a beautiful one and is quite different from many of the other courses that are situated in Belek. There are some breath-taking holes which run alongside the beach which are great, especially as they are more open, and you have more room to make a few little errors along the way. The par 3 4th hole on the River loop is played with you facing inland towards the mountains. You tee off from the elevated tee situated in the dunes towards a green which sits behind a lake which you can only reach by hitting to the right. On the Mediterranean loop, the pick is the par 4 12th hole which plays along the coast, out of bounds sits to the right and there is a large pine tree on the left at the landing area so you cannot be overly cautious with your tee shot here! Finally, the 22nd hole on the Forest begins with you having to take a blind tee shot and finishes with the green which is heavily-guarded on three sides by water, your best bet is to lay-up with the second shot and then pitch and putt. This is a fantastic club and one which is well worth a visit during your next golf break to Belek.

Next up we have Sueno Pines which is a fantastic course situated within the grounds of the luxurious Sueno Hotel and Golf Club. Both courses situated here are routed over a 400-acre site and flow through umbrella pines and over the sandy terrain of Belek. This course boasts plenty of pine trees and strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There is also a healthy splash of water hazards to cause you some difficulty along the way.

The opening hole of this course is a fairly easy one which is great for a holiday course as it allows you to get into the swing of things before things get a little trickier. Look out for the short, par 4, 12th hole which is situated amongst ancient pine trees and flanked by waste bunkers. The 13th is another tricky one as it is a long par 3 where you travel through a valley in order to reach a difficult tabletop green. The finishing hole is a cleverly designed, par 4 that presents a visual illusion from the tee, it seems as if the drive is impossibly tight but there is more room than first meets the eye. This is arguably a top-notch golf course and can be completed with a perfect stay at the Sueno Golf Hotel.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is one of Belek’s most popular golf courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The course boasts a stunning landscape and offers golfers of all abilities a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. The course opened in 2008 and quickly gained a stellar reputation as in 2015, the course played host to the PGA Tour’s Turkish Open.

Stretching over 6,522 metres long, the course is situated within 104 hectares of pine forest, dotted with sandy ridges and due to its coastal location, you can enjoy a cooling breeze during the summer months. The course gets off to a gentle start with a straightforward par 5 but it soon becomes a stern challenge from the 4th which is a difficult but impressive par 5 over water. On the back nine, you will find fewer water hazards but more strategically placed bunkers to catch any of your errant shots. The finishing hole is a special one, it is a spectacular par 5 where you must carry your tee shot through a narrow gap in the pines leaving you to hit your 2nd shot to the raised green which is guarded by a bunker to the front and water to the left. After your round, make sure to enjoy the clubhouse’s facilities and have a few drinks. This is a brilliant golf course and a round here is the perfect addition to any golf escape to Belek.

Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the National Golf Club was the first course to be built in Belek and not only is it the most established, but it is one of the trickiest courses in the region. There is an abundance of umbrella pines, water hazards and many challenging doglegs for you to contend with if you are hoping to score well on this round. You can tell that this was a very thoughtfully designed course as it is routed across gently rolling terrain, through mature pines and eucalyptus trees. There is beautiful scenery surrounding the course with the snow-capped Taurus Mountains providing the backdrop.

This is a tight track of a course and sometimes, you have to drive through a chute of trees from the tee box or thread an approach shot through a narrow entrance to a green. All in all, it is unlikely that you will need your driver too much on this course. There are some excellent and memorable holes on this course including the 7th which is a right doglegged hole and the 9th which has a split fairway leading up to the green. On the back nine, there is the par 5 12th which requires you to swing left from the tee and avoid the ditch which crosses the fairway before rising steadily to a wickedly sloping double-tiered green which is perched on top of a ridge. After your round, enjoy a few drinks and a snack in the homely clubhouse whilst reminiscing over this fantastic golf course.

 

Lykia Links is situated within the Lykia Estate and boasts 18 brilliant holes of golf. The course sits a little further out from the Belek golf strip by a river estuary that runs into the Mediterranean Sea. The course measures an impressive 7,536 yards from the back tees and is the only links course in Turkey. Each of the 18 holes boasts stunning sea views and holes 13 through to 16 run alongside the ocean as the fairways meander through sand dunes and pot bunkers.

Along the course, you will find greens that are heavily guarded by deep, railway-sleeper bunkers, fairways that are bordered by large waste areas and putting surfaces that are small and sloping. The 10th hole is a superb par 4 but those with higher handicaps will struggle to score well on this hole. The 12th is another brilliant hole where you have a blind tee shot before walking over a dune to discover the beautifully designed green. This is an impressive golf course and it is no surprise that it often ranks in the top five courses in Turkey due to its brilliant layout, wonderful surrounding and the exciting challenges it presents golfers of all abilities.

 

Next up we have the PGA Sultan course which is situated at Antalya Golf Club. Antalya Gol Club is one of Belek’s leading golfing complexes and it isn’t hard to see why. Not only does the club boast two fantastic golf courses, but is attached to the wonderful Sirene Belek Golf Hotel. The course was designed in the late 90s by David Jones and European Golf Design. The course winds its way through woods, up and over sandy banks and around ponds. Water features at around half of the holes and there are many pot bunkers lying in wait to catch any errant shots.

The front nine holes on the PGA Sultan ends with a brilliant risk-reward hole, this par 4 requires you to either take a brave tee shot that may end up in the water to the left but will allow you an easier second shot or a safe drive down to the right adding two clubs to your approach. One of the toughest on the course is the 12th which is a very long and narrow hole on which you should be proud if you manage to score par. The finishing hole is an impressive par 4 where you will find water either side of the island fairway meaning that your drive must be accurate in order to avoid landing in the water. The green is surrounded by five bunkers so your approach shot must be as accurate as your tee shot if you are to score well. Another brilliant course in Belek which will offer you a fantastic and enjoyable round of golf and another course which is linked to a very luxurious hotel.

 

Our penultimate course on this list is the Gloria New course at Gloria Golf Club. This course opened in late 2005 and has since ranked within the top 10 courses in Turkey. A round at this course is one that is firm but fair and the course boasts many memorable holes. Right from the beginning of the round, on the par 5 2nd hole, you can enjoy the course’s undulating fairway which is lined with trees pretty much the whole way around this course.

The course’s 17th hole is a brilliant one; it boasts its own island green, a little wind and a great trade in lake balls around the green. This water theme continues for the last hole where you must tackle a large lake which sits to the left of the entire hole providing every player with a dramatic end which can ruin even the most discerning golfer’s scorecard. Much like other courses within this blog, you can find a brilliant hotel attached to the club, in this case, it is the Gloria Hotel which is a luxurious resort and is the perfect partner to this fantastic golf club. Of course, not only is the Gloria New course situated at Gloria Golf Club, but you can find the Old course and Gloria Verde to enjoy during your stay as well.

 

Last, but certainly not least, the Nick Faldo designed golf course situated at Cornelia Golf Club is on our list of recommended courses for your next golf escape to Turkey. This 27-hole golf complex is an impressive one with some very memorable but challenging holes for you to contend with along the way. Although the course is not yet a decade old, it boasts the maturity of one that is. You will find heavily contoured terrain used to great effect, greens perched on top of little ridges and fairways that blend seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.

Umbrella pines flank most of the holes and it can be a very tight and tricky round in some places which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those of you who aren’t big hitters! Holes 1-9 are wonderful, short holes and on many of them, you must carry your ball over small gullies to reach raised greens – the special holes on this nine are the 4th where you dogleg to the right and up to the semi-blind green and the 7th which narrows off the tee before veering right and down to the green. Holes 10-18 boast the short par 3 12th which is a stunning, short hole and the 15th which is beautifully framed by pine trees. The final nine holes boast plenty of water hazards which can destroy your scorecard very easily. You may not even have to choose two loops of nine as you can opt to play the full 27 holes which we would highly recommend! On your next golf break, check out Cornelia Faldo.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that at least one of these nine brilliant courses has caught your eye…

9 of the Best Courses in the Algarve

This week’s blog is a guide to the courses that we consider as being the top nine courses situated in the Algarve. The Algarve is widely considered as being one of the best golf destinations in Europe due to the brilliant golf courses and luxurious golf resorts that you can find there. Another good thing about choosing the Algarve as your destination for your next golf escape is that the courses are mostly close to one another which means that whilst you are staying at one resort, it is easy for you to play a variety of great courses. With the weather chilly and winter feeling like it may ask forever, make sure to get your next golf break in the diary so that you have something to look forward to.

 

Monte Rei’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in 2007 and quickly established itself as one of the finest courses on the Algarve. From the moment that you arrive at the club which is set in the hills to the northeast of Tavira, you will know that you are going to be taking on a stunning course due to the beautiful scenery that greets you. The course boasts five lakes which are all bordered by indigenous trees and plants as well as many strategically placed bunkers which all are lying in wait for any errant shots.

As you play the course, the holes just get better and better but some of the best holes of the course include the 13th which is a downhill par-4 with bunkers situated at the drive landing point and a lakeside green that is treacherously undulating. The prettiest hole of the course is undoubtedly the 14th which is a medium-length par-3 where you must carry your tee short over the lake in order to reach the green, anything off to the left will land right in the water. Of course, a course like Monte Rei has a special finishing hole, the 18th is a brilliant finishing hole, it is a par-5 that is in reach for big hitters, but you must watch out for the lake that can mess up anyone’s 2nd or 3rd shot! If you are looking to play a very special round of golf, look no further than a round at Monte Rei.

 

Next up, we have Palmares which boasts three loops of nine fantastic holes: Lagos, Alvor and Praia. The 27-hole complex is situated above and along the Atlantic coast close to the Meia Praia beach and boasts some of the most beautiful views from different points along the course. The Alvor course starts as you wind through pine tree-lined undulating fairways before dunes and links-style holes come into play, you then finish playing in parkland. The course boasts three fairways which are laid out across a road in a lovely valley in the middle of the loop and the loop’s final two holes face directly uphill towards the clubhouse.

The Lagos loop maintains the same parkland and links characters as Alvor, but also boasts two water hazards that you must contend with along the way. The Praia rolls its way down towards the beach and is mainly a classic links course with four beautiful coastline holes. All 27 brilliant holes of golf are fully matured making Palmares one of the Algarve’s must-play golf courses. It is not really surprising that this club made our list of top nine courses in the Algarve due to its fantastic setting, unique layout and brilliant clubhouse which boasts stunning views over the course.

 

Quinta Da Ria opened for play in 2002 and was designed by the well-known architect, Rocky Roquemore. This brilliant course can be found in the Eastern Algarve and is situated within the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve which stretches from Faro right along the coast towards the border with Spain. The course measures 6,016 metres from the back tees and is a fairly flat parkland course but there is normally a breeze coming in from the coast which can make your round a little difficult. A round here is a great choice for golfers of all abilities due to its wide landing areas but if you manage to miss these, you will be in trouble. There are five strategically placed lakes, many bunkers and carob and olive trees situated around the course which all lie in wait for any errant shots.

There are some brilliantly-designed, tough holes on the course including the 5th which is an impressive par-3 which has two differing tee areas, but both require you to carry a good tee shot over a lake towards the shallow green which is heavily guarded by bunkers. Another very special hole is the 10th which is a very difficult hole measuring 422 metres from the back tees with out-of-bounds running all down the left-hand side. Then, there is a large lake guarding the green 100-metres out! With an excellent range of holes, beautiful landscape and a superb location, look no further than the Quinta da Ria course for your next golf escape.

 

The coastal town of Vilamoura boasts a wonderful, central location and it is no surprise that it has earned a reputation for being one of Europe’s largest and most successful golfing destinations. The Dom Pedro Old Course is one of the gems situated near to Vilamoura and it is no surprise that this course is on our list of recommendations. The course opened for play in 1969 and has gained a brilliant reputation since partly due to its sympathetic use of the existing natural landscape. The tees and greens are always beautifully kept, and the fairways are lined with trees which means that if your drive isn’t straight, you may struggle to end the round with a good scorecard!

Each and every hole will remain with you for long after you have finished your round on the Old Course. The round begins with a straightforward set of four holes but the rest of the front nine is tricky and pose a challenge to even the best golfers. The signature hole is arguably the 8th hole which stretches over 400 metres from the medal tees, the hole slopes downhill to a fairway bunker before doglegging gently to the right and then rising back up towards a narrow green which is heavily guarded by trees! If you score a par on this hole, you have played very well. The back nine are also very tricky and you should watch out for the collection of strategically placed bunkers which come into play on the 12th hole and are lying in wait to catch your second shot. After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the well-designed clubhouse. A round here is a spectacular one and no discerning golfer should miss out. 

 

The Penina Championship course opened in 1966 but was then completely rebuilt in 1995 and boasts two loops of nine holes. The sun is often shining during your round here and you can enjoy the smell of eucalyptus trees whilst you tackle this impressive course. The fairways are gently rolling and well-manicured but feature many strategically-placed hazards including deep bunkers and trees. Right from the moment that you tee off here, you will know that you are in for a challenge as the 1st hole is a long dog-leg left towards a heavily-guarded narrow green. Another impressive hole on the front nine is the 5rh which is the only par-5 on the front nine and only measures 451 yards from the back tees. However, this hole is the perfect risk-reward hole as if you place your tee shot well, you may want to try for the green in two shots but there is a large lake and out-of-bounds waiting for any slightly errant shot.

In contrast to the front nine, there are four par-5s, but the two standout holes are considered to be the 12th and the 13th. The 12th is a long par-4 which is a very straight hole with only one bunker but once you arrive for the approach shot, you will find that the small green sits directly behind a lake which goes on to cause further problems for your scorecard on the 13th hole. Lots of golfers fall foul of the lake which guards the 13th hole which is a long par-3 which boasts a narrow and sloped-towards-the-water green. There is no doubting that this is a very impressive course and the Penina Hotel is a fantastic option for your next golf escape…

 

Situated in the Quinta do Lago Estate is the San Lorenzo course which has been ranked in the past as being the second-best course in the whole of Europe. It isn’t hard to see why San Lorenzo was given this title with its beautiful location alongside the Atlantic on sandy, undulating terrain and variety of interesting and challenging holes. The first five holes of the course run through a pine tree forest, you will then find water holes which boast stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The par-3 5th hole is where you will get your first glance of the Atlantic Ocean and is a delightful short hole with a green perched at the top of a valley which is heavily guarded by trees and bunkers.

At the 8th hole, you will turn back inland and tackle the larger of the course’s two lakes. The finishing holes are particularly strong and entertaining as you head back out to sea. The 18th hole is a difficult and long par-4 at over 400 yards from the back tees. You will find water all the way up the left-hand side and a semi-island green. This is a classic risk-reward finish which tops off the very special round of golf here nicely. After your round, take a visit to the clubhouse and enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat whilst discussing this impressive course. For any discerning golfer, a trip to San Lorenzo is a must.

 

Quinta do Lago Estate boasts three other courses besides San Lorenzo: North, South and Laranjal. These are all fantastic courses that are different and exciting in their own ways. The North course is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses, many of the holes are framed with umbrella pine trees and some of the greens are nestled in truly magnificent sites.

One of the most beautiful holes on this course is the par-4 12th which measures 361 metres and features a 3-acre lake. The hole doglegs its way around the leg which leaves you to make a treacherous approach shot in order to land on the undulating green. The course was recently redesigned in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is considered to be a very special course indeed. This is a course that golfers can enjoy again and again making it an ideal holiday course.

 

Quinta do Lago South is one of the most requested courses on the Algarve. The course was designed by William Mitchell and opened for play in 1974 and became well-known after it hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions. This course is the most famous in the area due to the Portuguese Open and can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities due to its relatively generous fairways. This eye-catching course is great for big hitters, but accuracy is also required if you want to finish the round with a good scorecard. It is no surprise that the South course made our list of recommendations and if you haven’t played this one already, make sure that you book it in.

Last, but certainly not least, Quinta do Lago Laranjal was originally an orange grove but today, it is a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course which offers its players a fantastic and challenging round of golf. The course is known for its narrow, undulating fairways, five stunning lakes and well-defined greens. The course is the newest of the three on the Estate as it only opened for play in February of 2009, but it is quickly gaining a stellar reputation. This is a fun and exciting course and is the perfect addition to your golf escape to the Algarve.

Whatever you are looking for from your next golf break, the Algarve has it all from luxurious resorts to boutique hotels and self-catering accommodation. Give us a call today to discuss what you are looking for from your next golf break and let us do the work to find you the perfect holiday.