Many great golf courses sit within the interesting country of Turkey. Here are some of the best.
The Best Golf Courses In Turkey
Turkey is an extraordinarily beautiful and fascinating country that occupies a uniquely interesting spot on the earth’s surface.
Effectively straddling two continents – Europe and Asia – it offer s fascinating blend of Eastern and Western cultural traditions.
Indeed another interesting and unique aspect to the place is its golf courses which have gone from strength to strength over the past 20 or so years.
Below we have taken a look at some of the best.
One which stands out from the others, literally as well as figuratively, is the Perry Dye creation, Lykia Links. Situated at the eastern end of the stretch, just across the River Köprüçay, it runs over quite undulating terrain and in places resembles Kiawah Island which was designed by Perry’s father, Pete.
There are impressive, natural sand dunes, large waste areas, sloping greens and slippered bunkers, very much a Dye characteristic.
Peter Thompson and his company is responsible for Carya which is built on land reminiscent of the classic heathland courses near London.
His aim was to build a traditional-style course and in the region of a million heather plants were imported to give that feel.
The holes run through eucalyptus and pine, and include the longest hole in Turkey, the 6th, which is a marathon 628 yards from the championship tee.
There are three loops of nine at Cornelia and the 18-hole combinations are known as King, Queen and Prince.
The Nick Faldo design makes the most of a broad dune ridge that runs through the centre of the property. There are plenty of dramatic and elevated tees and greens, and the Faldo principle of strategy – thinking your way round the course – is very much to the fore. Accuracy rather than length from the tee is vital as there are waste areas waiting to gather drives that run too far.
Antalya (Pasha and PGA Sultan)
Two of the best golf courses in Turkey sit at Antalya Golf Club, the Pasha and PGA Sultan.
Each of the two lovely and easy-walking courses has been carved out of mature forests and is a collaboration between European Golf Design and former tour pro, David Jones. The shorter and more forgiving is The Pasha, though it’s no pushover. It is also very pretty with several water hazards and plenty of risk and reward, particularly later on.
The tougher and longer PGA Sultan course has hosted several prestigious championships including the 2012 Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, a forerunner to today’s Rolex Series event. Tiger Woods described the layout as “a real shotmaker’s course”, and this it most certainly is. Many holes are tree-lined and water is in play regularly.
National Golf Club Antalya (Irmak & Tuna)
This was the first course to have been built in the Belek region, and opened in 1994. Like so many layouts that followed it, this David Feherty design was carved through a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees.
Montgomerie Maxx Royal
Another course which is receives plaudits in Turkey is the Montgomerie Maxx Royal which has hosted the Turkish Airlines Open four times, the last event being in 2019 won by Tyrrell Hatton.
As it says on the tin, it was designed by former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie. With five short holes and five par 5s, there is great variety all the way and the rolling terrain incorporates a number of lakes and runs though mature pine.
Regular visitors to Turkey may be familiar with this resort, located in the heart of a beautiful ten-mile stretch of coastline. There are two fine 18-hole designs here – the Pines and the Dunes – which wind away and out towards the distant Taurus Mountains.
The showpiece brings together the 9th green on the Pines and the 18th green on the Dunes. Both holes are testing par 4s, the greens of which are protected by a beautiful lake. The Pines is more challenging, but you’ll want to play both if you’re staying at this luxurious resort.
Gloria stands on the Mediterranean coast in Belek, 45 minutes from Antalya, and is one of the best and most comprehensive golf resorts in Turkey.
There are two 18-hole layouts – the Old and New – plus a further excellent nine-holer in the Verde Select course. The Old opened in 1997 – eight years before the New – and offers a beautiful test, with fine views of the Taurus Mountains and several lakes to negotiate, the largest of which comes fully into play on the 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th holes.The New plays over rolling tree-lined fairways, and has hosted both the European Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour.
Its many memorable holes include the signature island-green 17th and the long 18th, where water flanks the left side all the way up to the green.
Notable Mentions: Regnum Boldrum, Kusadasi International, Nobilis, Titanic
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