Guide to Belek 2014

Other destinations must be tired of Belek; just when they think the ‘Turkish Riviera’ has stopped making progress, it reveals a few more trump cards. The area just keeps getting better – and these days when it adds something new, it is doing so to an already highly-impressive portfolio. In 2013, of course, it added the honour of being a European Tour venue to its status. That lucrative, well-supported tournament came just 12 months after Belek lured Tiger Woods to its fairways.

If you travel to Belek without pre-booked tee times, you won’t have a tremendous choice of where and when to play. That’s how popular Belek now is with golfers seeking world-class courses, incredible value, luxury hotels and reliable weather.

In this special guide to Belek we bring you the key venues in the region: Antalya GC, LykiaLinks, Carya and the Montgomerie Maxx. While it was former Ryder Cup player turned charismatic television celebrity David Feherty (alongside David Jones) who started Belek’s golf revolution at National GC, it is the Antalya club right next door which has really pushed it on. It was the club’s premier PGA Sultan course which hosted Tiger in 2012 and it is a proper championship test, designed by European Golf Design (who were behind Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten course). Expect a stringent examination of every aspect of your game in mature woodland which is sprinkled with water hazards. Its sister course, the Pasha, is far from an after thought. It isn’t quite as taxing as the PGA Sultan, and indeed anyone outside of single figures might well prefer its interesting mix of cool short holes, sporty par 4s and reachable par 5s.

Finally, a word about how you get to Belek. Golfers are now used to cramming on to budget flights and paying through the nose for baggage, so it’s worth noting what a pleasant experience travelling to Belek is with Turkish Airlines. It actually comes as a surprise to be treated so nicely again!

Click below to view our special guide to Belek – originally published with Today’s Golfer issue 324.