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…