BELEK OF THE BALL
Golf on the Turkish Riviera
Antalya - The
of perfect winter golf within a few hours of the UK, DOMINIC PEDLER
jetted to Southern Turkey where he discovered a classic new golf
destination in the making.
I visited some
of the Belek's finest courses including The
National GC, designed by David Feherty; Tat
Beach International GC, a Fred Hawktree creation; Gloria
Golf Resort with its gallic influence; and Nobilis
GC, a trip back in time.
Away from the
golf, some may question the Belek nightlife which is largely confined
to the resorts, many with all-inclusive packages, to make you a
luxurious captive. But there is, for example, no Puerto Banus, as
the Costa Del Sol golfers can enjoy - though that will come as a
blessing for many who prefer to have the ancient the ruins of Perge
and Aspendos on the doorstep.
the ability to ski in the Taurus Mountains, play golf and swim in
the sea all in the same day (if you wish), thanks to incredibly
cheap helicopter packages around the vicinity. And, of course, the
relentless winter sun and the perfect golfing temperatures in the
low 20s, is a trump card that few European destinations can match.
Some will cite
the earthquake incidence as an excuse and, certainly, Turkey's tourist
trade has suffered as a result. But as serious as this is, the risks
should be put in perspective. Indeed, the quake zone is around 1,000
km (and over an hour's flying time) from the Belek, in a country
which, by my calculations, is the size of the UK, France and state
of Texas - combined.
I, for one,
will be first in the queue when the next two courses open: one adjoining
the Sirene City hotel, and the other to be named Topkapi after the
magnificent Sultan's palace, in Istanbul, which inspired the classic
'60s comedy thriller starring Peter Ustinov. Talking of comedy,
with Hawtree, Feherty, Thomas and Gayon taking the lead, golf in
Belek is all about the Englishman, the Irishman, the Welshman, and
Only, this time,
it's no joke.
trip was arranged by Alternative Travel and Holidays and the Turkish
Tourist Office. He flew with Turkish Airlines, via Istanbul.
for Golf in Belek, Nr Antalya, Southern Turkey
Travel and Holidays - 0171 923 3230
four days on a hotel basis (five-star half-board) start from UKP379.00
per person. This includes flights, transfers and three rounds of
seven days on a hotel basis (five star, half board) start from UKP439.00
per person. This includes flights, transfers and four rounds of
are from London and Manchester, regional departures on request.
on holidays to Turkey is available from the Turkish Tourist Office:
0171 629 7771.
numbers: Turkish Airlines: 0171-766-9300 (Heathrow to Antalya via
Istanbul) Cyprus Turkish Airlines: 0171 930 4852 (Stansted-Antalya
information on the golf courses and all contact details checkout
Green fees are typically between UKP20-40 per round with golf carts
at UKP20, though the site will have details of seasonal changes,
usually posted in Euros.