I was in Turkey last week and played a load of Beleks. My game is heading south at such an alarming rate these days that there simply is no alternative other than to go back to basics and rebuild my swing from scratch. Faldo did it in about 18 months; it should take me no more than about 15 minutes. He went on to win six Majors whereas I?ll happily settle for just one.
Without wishing to be too technical, I think I shall have to flatten my swing a little in the hope that I might occasionally hit a fairway. My golf was so awful that I can?t even bring myself to write about it, which will doubtless disappoint those of you who enjoy reading about disasters.
It would, however, be unfair of me to deny you my expert opinion of the courses. So leaving my golf very much to one side (about 50 yards from the fairway), I shall do my best to describe what Belek has to offer.
The first good thing about it is that it?s only about 20 minutes from Antalya airport. Bordering on the Mediterranean and blessed with sandy beaches, it is primarily a seaside resort. However, there is a sizeable strip of real estate just inland from the beach which is ideal for golf.
Originally swampy, pine trees have been planted on the sandy soil to create what is now ideal golfing terrain not unlike the Surrey heathland belt or the forests around Pinehurst, North Carolina. It also has the considerable benefit of a water table a little more than a deep divot below the surface. So attractive water features are everywhere, most now containing at least one ball of mine.
What land hasn?t already been converted to golf has either courses being built upon it or is scheduled for golf. Consequently, the whole substantial area is more or less, like you and me, devoted to the game.
You will be able to read a more detailed account of some of the individual courses in a forthcoming travel supplement in Golf Monthly, but there are loads of them and, from what I could tell, they are all excellent. Although to mention any in particular is perhaps a little unfair on the rest, I was enormously impressed by the Pines and Dunes courses attached to the superb Sueno Hotel.
Although I didn?t play it, the Faldo course also looks terrific as does the adjacent Montgomerie creation, which is nearing completion. Just as impressive as the dozen or so courses themselves are the attached clubhouses, which are huge, glass-plated, marble-floored, no-expense-spared, mini palaces. But even they are eclipsed on the Posh and Becks Scale of Sumptuousness by the spectacular, way-over-the-top, five-star, leviathan hotels.
Built of biblical proportions, from what I could tell these gargantuan establishments are principally populated by Russian mafia bosses, oil tycoons, assorted East European moguls, ex-KGB agents and accompanying mistresses and bodyguards. It?s as well for visiting British golfers that these characters don?t yet play golf. They will eventually take up the game, at which point it might be as well to be sure not to inadvertently threaten them with a misdirected shot. All of which makes rebuilding my swing a genuinely urgent matter of life and death.