The Golfing Boom: Antalya’s Rise to Fame
When it came to analysing why it was so popular, typical touristic attractions were listed as the main reasons, namely sandy beaches and historical ruins but in later years, golfing holidays proved the catalyst that finally placed Turkey in the top 10 countries list, for holidays.
How Belek has become a top golfing destination of the worldBelek is the centre of golfing in Turkey. As a small resort, it was always respected for its five star hotels, rather than a golfing mecca. The hotels were generally all inclusive, due to the rustic and sparse facilities of Belek town centre. The future looked bleak until the Turkish government embarked on its plan to break into sports tourism and Belek was targeted as a potential golfing centre.
Of course, many sceptics predicted failure. After all, golf was introduced into Turkey during the late 1800s but it never became popular. The aim though, was not to encourage domestic Turks to replace their love of football. Instead, the tourism board wanted the admiration of international golfers from all over the world.
By 2010, everything was in place. Pristine golfing greens were constructed, with a determined effort to keep the natural landscape of trees, lakes, and sand dunes. Hotels were renovated; modernised and newly built hotels were designed with the latest spa facilities to accommodate families who did not want to join their partners on the golfing green.
As to be expected with any urban development, the real estate market sprang into action. The new apartments and villas in Belek were not the average construction though. Architects thought of the latest in modern decor and design, to accommodate families and solo golfers. The intention was not to sell cheap property that would turn the resort into a lager lout haven. They wanted to attract the elite members of society.
With everything now in place, the only task left was promotion. Word had already begun to spread slowly through the golfing world by magazines and holiday companies specialising in the sport but something more was needed.
The perfect promotion would be attendance by big name players, hence the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. Established in October 2012, players that took part included Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, and Lee Westwood.
The winner was Justin Rose who walked away with a cool 1,500,000 USD, closely followed by Lee Westwood who won 1,000,000 USD. The stamp of approval had been given and Turkey had risen in the ranks of top golfing destinations in the world. It is now listed as the fourth most popular place for golf, after Scotland, Portugal, and Spain.
Three of the Best Golfing Courses in Belek
The Prestigious Montgomerie Maxx Royal
Classed as one of the best in the area, opening of this club and course was assisted by the famous golf player Colin Montgomerie. Based on European golf course designs, it opened in 2008 and covers 260 acres of seaside and parkland.
With seven bunkers and eight lakes, it is classed as a challenging course, but golf lessons are available for the less experienced golfer. When the golfing round has finished, relax in the clubhouse, overlooking the 18th hole and with views of the Taurus Mountains and Mediterranean Sea. The restaurant is a formal dining experience, offering an international menu and be sure to reserve your table, because the chef has an esteemed reputation.
The Challenge of the Carya Golf Club
Also priding itself on excellence, this golf course, club, and academy was assisted in its design by the British open championship Peter Thompson. Aimed at the tactical player, it is a par 72 course covering 7186 yards.
The unique aspect of this course is that floodlights have been fitted on the last nine holes, offering the opportunity to get some practise in after dark. For players, with accompanying family and friends who are not golfing enthusiasts, there is a terrace pool and clubhouse, as well as an academy for wannabe golfers.
For overnight stays, luxury rooms in the nearby Regnum hotel are also available ranging in price from 350 Euro to 820 euro a night. Alternatively rent a golfing villa, for a cool 2000 Euros a night!
The All-inclusive Cornelia Hotel, Golfing Resort, and Spa
Associated with the esteemed Nick Faldo, Cornelia Golf Resort has thought of everything to accommodate golfers and their families. Kid’s clubs entertain the young ones, spa centres provide the latest in beauty treatments, luxury accommodation boasts of the most modern decor and facilities, therefore leaving serious golfers to concentrate on their game.
The architect of the course was Nick Faldo who designed a 27 hole championship golf course. He insists the course is aimed at golfers of every standard and all effort has been made to keep in line with the existing landscape. For the novice golfer, there is the option to join the David Leadbetter academy that offers lessons from 70 euros an hour.
Golfing Properties and Reasons to Buy in Belek
A property purchase in Belek is a wise long-term investment. Even though golfing is the main attraction, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, it is easy to see why it has become an expat haven.
Also foreigners, who have purchased their property as a holiday home, have recognised the immense rental opportunities because of the golfing courses and championship events. With a 15-minute, drive to the Antalya city centre, and 30 minute drive to the airport, the resort is easily accessed all year round.
Prices of apartments average £70,000 UK pounds while new build, luxury villas with a private pool average in price of £200,000. There is also the alternative to buy on a gated community with shared swimming pool, therefore accommodating friends and family who do not want to hit the golf course!
Other nearby attractions include the beach, the nature haven of Kursunlu waterfalls, the Hellenistic city of Perge and the large and extremely impressive ruins of Aspendos, which is rated as one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. All of these reasons and the golf courses are attracting thousands of visitors to Belek every year.