Turkey

With an influx of modern five-star hotels and plenty of golf courses, the Belek region of Turkey is on the up

GETTING THERE

Thomas Cook (www.flythomascook.com) and Thomson (www.thomsonfly.com) fly direct to Antalya.

WHERE TO PLAY

Hotels, mainly five-star, and golf courses, aiming at the same seal of approval, are shooting up all around Belek on the Mediterranean coast.

The government, having decided that golf tourism was the way forward, designated the forests around Belek as a golf resort. For every tree cut down one has had to be planted elsewhere in the country.

The National, the oldest course in the area (it?s just become a teenager), requires some

carefully placed tee shots ? but not as much as the Cornelia does, with its three nine-hole courses designed by Nick Faldo. A strategic game is definitely required here to set up the second shot on its many interesting designs with a predominance of right-to-left doglegs.

Antalya (which is also the name of the nearest airport, in the city of that name about half an hour away) offers two courses. The Sultan is beautiful and challenging but not overpowering.

The shorter Pasha (6,312 yards) with its undulating greens is aimed towards the mid to high handicapper. It might seem odd for a luxury destination to advertise its tat, but one in particular does. But ?tat? means ?taste? in Turkish, and gives its name to Tat GC which has three loops of nine holes. The generous fairways tempt the driver; the sea vistas the eyes.

Among the new courses opening this autumn in Belek is the eagerly awaited The Montgomerie at Papillon, part of a $100million golf and hotel complex. Another newcomer will be the Pete Dye-designed Lydia Links.

WHERE TO STAY

For a bit of luxury, try Kempinski Hotel The Dome, a luxurious golf and wellness resort with a private beachfront.

CONTACTS BOOK

Antalya

W: www.antalyagolfclub.com.tr

Cornelia

W: www.corneliagolfresort.com

The National

W: www.nationalturkey.com

Tat

W: www.tatgolf.com.tr

Cornelia de Luxe Resort

W: www.corneliaresort.com

Kempinski The Dome

W: www.kempinski.com

Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he worked as contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around 20 countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.