Golf courses in Turkey offer high-quality golf experiences.
Golf courses in Turkey are of very high quality and, almost without exception, they are situated along the Mediterranean coast close to Antalya and Belek. One big advantage they offer is that you can play several different golf courses during your vacation in Turkey without traveling more than a few kilometers between them. Distances between the courses and the hotels are short, too. Choose a hotel close to Belek for maximum convenience.
Golf courses in Turkey are, in general, relatively new phenomena. Compared with most other golfing countries, Turkey is a relative newcomer to the golfing scene, and Belek proved to be the key that got the ball rolling, as it were and opened up this new and exciting golfing destination. The Turkish Golfing Association was founded in 1996. And the first courses established are not much older. Before the finance bubble burst in 2007, they planned to build 100 courses in a very short time, but those plans have been scaled down and the numbers built to date are somewhat fewer. On the other hand, the facilities that have been built are top class.
You´ll find some of the best courses in Turkey here, but read about all the many other excellent courses available here in the article, and try out a couple if you get the opportunity. That´s our best-golfing tip for 2018! Turkey´s tourism is booming again, but there is certainly room for you.
Overview of golf courses in Turkey. First is LykiaLinks, Antalya
The first example of a top class Turkish golf course is Lykia. LykiaLinks Antalya is one of the few real golf ”links” along the Mediterranean. Lykia is also rated among the top 100 best golf courses in Europe.
Here, golf architect, Peter O. Dye, known from, among other places, the San Roque new course on the Costa del Sol, has created a course that exploits the natural landscape bordering the Mediterranean to the maximum. This course also defines the type of golf course you will find in Turkey: High standards, challenging, with a classic layout. The course covers an area of no less than 60 hectares and is 6,950 metres long. It is not an easy course by any means, but then neither are the other top courses. It could hardly be more attractive though. Enjoy your trip to Turkey´s unique golf courses.
More golf courses in Turkey: The Antalya Golf Club offers two courses: Sultan / Pasha
European Golf Design, joint venture collaboration between partners, European Tour and International Management Group, has created two masterpiece courses in the Turkish golfing world, the Sultan and Pascha courses, both located at Antalya Golf Club in Belek.
Pascha Golf Course in Belek
The first nine holes of the Pascha course, with its broad fairways, look reasonably “doable”. However, behind the 9th, lie 4 ”dangerous” holes around the two large lakes, and this is where the risk of catastrophic scores appearing on the scorecard becomes real! So approach with caution until you get to know the course a little better. The short dogleg holes leave a little more room to take chances and are tempting areas for birdie opportunities – providing you avoid the large fairway-bunkers and umbrella pines in the corners of the dogleg areas.
Sultan, twin golf courses in Antalya and Pasha
Sultan is a masterpiece of a golf course with long par-4 holes, water at 8 holes and lots of deep pot bunkers, both on the fairway and around the greens. Here, your golfing audacity is either rewarded or punished because you can´t fudge your way through the 18 pretty difficult holes! The”scariest” hole of all is reserved for last, when you are standing at the elevated 18th hole´s tee off point aiming your drive between two lakes. It´s not hard to imagine that David Jones, the course´s chief architect, designed the Sultan as a course with no easy holes. But don´t worry. When you´re playing a course of this quality, what can you do but smile and acknowledge that this isn´t going to be the day you lower your handicap. And if you do, then that is truly a triumph to cherish and share at the clubhouse.
Cornelia golf course Belek
The Cornelia Faldo Golf Club – accolades all round
Only a few of the golf courses in Turkey in the Belek area have had as much praise lavished on them as the Nick Faldo-designed, 27 holes, iconic Cornelia Golf Club, which opened in 2006. The course was built in just 9 months, almost a world record, but still manages to offer the excellent quality of a more mature course. It has a wow factor that is hard to define. Either you have it or you don´t!
Cornelia golf course BelekCornelia is the name of a rose that blooms more often than most, and the name suits it well. It is totally in keeping with the golf experts´ unanimous opinion that Cornelia is the rose among all of Turkey´s many golf courses. Faldo´s intention was to create one of the best golf courses in Southern Europe, and he appears to have done just that, in an area of sandy soil that provides perfect drainage, with plenty of bodies of water and fairways bordered by ancient, tall umbrella-shaped pines.
That innocent-looking grove of pine trees over there? That´s not where you´re meant to go! Those pines will take their revenge if you don´t position your ball correctly for the next stroke, so using your little grey cells is what counts here in order to judge how best to tackle each individual stroke. Course management is the key and, actually, it´s quite fun to plan your golf strokes to some extent anyway. Nick Faldo´s reputation, as one of the game´s best strategists, shines through in the layout of the course. The 27 holes mean that you can play 3 18-hole combinations: the King Course, Queen Course, and Prince Course. Still eager to play more? OK, perfect….then read on 🙂
Gloria Golf Club, 3 top golf courses in Turkey
There are no fewer than three Gloria golf courses in the vicinity of Belek: the 18-hole Gloria Old Championship Course, the 18-hole Gloria New Championship Course, and the 9-hole Verde Golf Course, respectively. That is very typical of the golf courses down here. A golf resort in Belek often has 2-3 courses. So in actual fact, the number of golf courses situated in Belek is higher than the 10-12 normally mentioned. Here at the Gloria Golf Club alone, there are enough new golfing experiences to last several days.
Let us begin with the Old Course – where several European Senior Tour tournaments have been held amid the wide groups of umbrella pines whose dense foliage is thick enough to capture any ball that strays off course. They are reminiscent of the short, stumpy trees of Valderrama in Spain: a thicket of treetops makes it all but impossible to retrieve your ball. The treetops hang over the fairway in many places, so you have to either try for a fade or a draw to direct the ball around them if you have unexpectedly found yourself on the wrong side of them.
No less than 7 lakes make you feel that you are playing many of the holes at the seaside! At three par-3 holes, the ball has to be hit across the lake water from the tee to the green. It provides a good mental workout, however, to focus on the green and not the lake in front of you.
At the New Course – which was opened in 2005 – the course is a mixture of woods and parkland with small fairways that require precision drives. Four lakes and 67 bunkers also demand a high degree of accuracy. At the Verde Course, each hole has two teeing off spots in two different directions, so you actually play two different 9-hole rounds. Clever, eh?
The Kaya Eagles Golf Club, what more could you ask for?
Kaya Eagles Golf Club, built in 2007, is a luxury golf course that covers a 650,000 sq. meter area in Belek. The successful, Irish course architect and current European Senior Tour-player, David Jones, has created a challenging course of small freeways through a pine forest around the Hotel Kaya Belek that consists of 50 villas, 52 suites, and two royal suites.
Kaya Palazzo Golf ClubA part of the pine forest that surrounded the hotel was felled to make way for the relatively open fairways. The hotel chain, Kaya Holding, describe the golf course as ”the exclusive meeting place for golf lovers”, because nothing is left to chance on this stunning course that offers 150 sq. meters of tee-off spots and greens with an average size of 600 sq. meters. A river runs through the course which also includes four artificial lakes. So make sure you take a couple of extra balls along. In addition, 54 huge bunkers emphasize the degree of difficulty.
The Papillon Golf Club /The Montgomerie Course
Scotland´s leading professional golfer for many years, Colin Montgomerie, is also a winning architect. In 2007, the first Montgomerie-designed course in Turkey opened –close to Belek naturally. The hotel chain, Papillon, is the backer behind the course and opened a new luxury hotel, Belluna, and 40 vacation villas in connection with the opening of the golf course. Here, it´s all about indulging yourself and making the most of an unforgettable experience.
Colin Montgomerie works with European Golf Design, who is also responsible for other courses in the vicinity of Belek – Pascha, Sultan and Kaya Eagles. An abundance of pine trees and 11 lakes characterize the course which qualifies to host European Tour tournaments due to its level of difficulty. Naturally, Monty also runs his own golf tournaments here sometimes. Six stretches of the course are played across water obstacles, and at one single hole – no. 7- there are three lakes to negotiate from the tee to the green. The project also includes the nine-hole Academy Course.
National Golf Club Belek, Tyrkiet
The National Golf Club, Antalya
The classic course you mustn´t miss on the Turkish golf coast is the Championship Course at the National Golf Club. As the first course built in the Belek area, it was a hit from day one when it opened in 1994. Part of the reason may be that there was a need for golf facilities in general, but another reason for its popularity is, without any doubt, the design created by Ryder-Cup player, Irishman David Feherty, in which he incorporated ideas from all the best golf courses he had ever played professional tournaments at over the years. This meant that no two holes were alike. The National is quite literally carved into a dense thicket of eucalyptus and pine trees at the foot of the towering, snow-covered Taurus Mountains, which provide an incredibly beautiful backdrop. Some fairways feel like narrow alleyways, while others ”only” have trees on the one side, but also often have water on the other. Some people compare the layout of the National with Valderrama in Spain, because the variation from hole to holes means that all irons and clubs in the bag are used in the course of a round.
A nine-hole course, the Executive Course, with its par 29 is the perfect warm-up to a round at the National.
Robinson Nobilis Golf Club
Next on the introduction to golf courses in Turkey near Belek is a neighbour to the Gloria Golf Resort. The Robinson Club Nobilis lies on the banks of the Acisu River and also features the Taurus Mountain Range as its backdrop. The renowned British course architect, Dave Thomas, designed the layout of the course which has received widespread approval for the classic golf experience it delivers using a harmonious, natural sequence between holes. Dave Thomas himself describes the Nobilis course as one of the best courses he has designed over the years – and that´s not saying so little. He is an accomplished course architect who is extremely in demand. A total of 97 strategically located bunkers and 4 water obstacles mean that many of the holes are harder than they first appear. Both bunkers and water are played at the course’s signature hole – no.10, a par- 4 hole – where both the drive and every other stroke gets to flirt with both water and sand! You´ll be glad for just one par at this hole! Bermuda grass on the fairway and Bent grass on the greens provide optimal playing conditions, even though this course is actually only 10 years »old«. It has, therefore, also hosted a Challenge Tour tournament. An attractive clubhouse in Roman style complete with statues, columns, and mosaics, will also be added to the unforgettable memories you´ll take away from your visit to Nobilis, which has many German visitors due to its association with the Robinson Club.
Titanic International Golf Club
The list of golf courses in Turkey would not be complete without the optimistically named Titanic. Refurbished and reopened as the Titanic Golf Club Belek (formerly TAT), the course has been designed with the discerning and reasonably experienced European golf player in mind. The course offers 27 holes in total.
Designed by the renowned Hawtree of England, Golf Course Architects, the intention was to create a course that incorporated its natural surroundings, just as they were to, the optimum. The area has sand, lakes and pine forests and each creates their own challenges in the course of a game. The course which covers a total of 5.2 hectares is laid out directly along the Mediterranean, just like the design of the great Scottish and English golf courses that run all the way down to the blustery Atlantic Ocean. The Taurus Mountains with their snow-capped peaks at a height of 5,000 meters or more are visible from many of the holes.
The three loops are known as The River, The Mediterranean, and The Forest, and each has its own unforgettable characteristics.
Seaside-golf attracts many golfers, so it is hardly surprising that the Titanic Golf International Golf Club is one of the most popular courses along the Turkish golf coast – close to Belek. The 27-hole facility lies along the Barceló Tat Beach & Golf Resort and borders, as mentioned, the Mediterranean in part as well as the Besgöz River in other areas. Because of this location, many enjoy playing the two seaside loops.
Two holes – the 12th and 13th – run parallel to the Mediterranean, close enough to slice a ball out onto the sandy beach, and even close enough to enjoy a quick dip (well, perhaps not such a good idea…but you get the picture), while three other holes – the 5th, 6th, and 7th – are bordered by the Besgöz River. Water obstacles also dot the last loop of the International, so the course is both a test of technical as well as tactical skills for players at any level. Even though the Mediterranean Loop is the most open, it can be the most difficult to play – if it´s blowing. Otherwise, the River Loop is the hardest to complete as it requires a great deal of concentration to navigate around the larger bodies of water and lakes that need to be passed. The two best holes are actually located here; numbers 21 and 27, both par -4 holes, where water is involved in both the first and second strokes. SO what is next on this special list of golf courses in Turkey ?
Golf courses in Turkey: we end the list with no other than the Sueno Golf Club
The newest golf course in the vicinity of Belek, The Sueno Golf Club, consists of two exciting 18-hole courses. The Pines Course and The Dunes Course were both designed by PGA Consulting in collaboration with the architect, Mark Houlston. It is a prime example of the quality of Golf courses in Turkey. Both courses undulate gently through avenues of umbrella pines and include plenty of water obstacles. The Pines is the most difficult because it is considerably longer than The Dunes. Memorable holes at The Pines include the 3rd. hole – a par 3 – over a lake to a green with two leading-edge bunkers, the 5th. hole – a par 4 – with a rough island that divides the fairway into two, and the 7th. hole – a par 3 – where the same lake has to be crossed twice from the tee to the green – before and after the fairway peninsula. At The Pines, the 7th hole, for example – a par 3 – presents a challenge down the hill to a green which is protected and dominated by eucalyptus trees and a lake on the right-hand side, as does the 8th. hole – a par 4 –where the first drive starts across a lake and must avoid another lake on the left-hand side, and not least of all, the 18th. hole – a par 4 – with an island green that attracts a great deal from spectators on the clubhouse terrace!
Carya Golf Club Belek
Golf courses in Turkey as a theme does not stop here, there are more. We´ll get back to this a little later, as we build the list of golf courses in Turkey!
Flere golf links
Se our intro page to Golf travels worldwide with golf courses picked from all over the world.
Portugal´s Algarve – one of the best-golfing destinations in Europe?