While you're eating your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, it only makes sense to start thinking about Turkey as your next golf vacation spot. Turkey has quickly become one of the most successful golf tourism destinations in the world and its future is even more promising, with a successful junior golf program and lots of stakeholders committed to its development.
Supply and demand for golf in Turkey falls mostly in Belek, one of the best-performing golf markets in Europe, according to the KPMG Golf Advisory Practice. Let’s take a look at some of the best options in the area known as the “Rising Star of Golf”.
National Golf Club, Belek
The National Golf Club was the trigger that opened up the doors for golf tourism development in Belek. TV celebrity David Feherty and fellow Irishman David Jones designed this imaginative course along four lakes, which means lots of doglegs and blind approach shots. The short Hole 2 resembles the infamous Hole 17 at TPC Sawgrass, surrounded by water on all sides. Stay at the nearby Regnum Carya luxury resort and enjoy its aqua park with wave pools and relaxation pools, then head to National Golf Club for a round of night golf. That’s right, the holes are floodlit and open for nighttime golf.
The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Belek
A more recent addition to Belek’s golf scene is The Montgomerie Maxx Royal course, part of a multi-million euro golf and hotel development, located on a 300-yard stretch of beach with its own pier. The course’s fairways weave through eight lakes and pine forests. The Montgomerie Maxx Royal hosted the inaugural Turkish Airlines open in 2013 and is a likely candidate for even more European Tour events.
Gloria Golf Resort, Belek
The Gloria resort development has an Old Course, a New Course and a 9-hole Verde Course. The Old Course is straightforward and has no hidden tricks, but the 2007 Turkish Seniors Open host still presents enough challenge for the average golfer and professional. What you really want to experience however, are the eight bars at the Serenity hotel, each a different American theme like Wall Street or Route 66. The main hotel also serves 35 different varieties of coffee, so now you know what to do before and after your round.