What are the best golf courses in Turkey? The Golf World Top 100 panel selects the essential courses of the country which bridges Europe and Asia.
The last decade has seen Turkey join Spain and Portugal as one of the top destinations for golf holidays in continental Europe.
Dominated by the quality and quantity of the Turkish Riviera, Belek, British golfers can fly from London to Antalya in around four hours and will find a country brimming with quality golf, often attached to a hotel and facilities that will keep even the the most demanding travellers. happy.
Then there is the climate. You can golf all year round, although we recommend visiting from mid-November to May, as temperatures are often so high during the summer that you won’t want to do anything but relax.
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I have been fortunate enough to take many golf trips to Turkey over the years and have seen it develop, grow and most importantly continue to improve, and it is now a must visit destination.
Why you can trust our ranking of the best golf courses in Turkey
I made these guides, with the help of world of golfThe Top 100 panel of experts, for a host of continental European countries, including Belgium, Norway, Germany and Iceland, hoping to inspire you to visit a new destination.
Our Top 100 panel ranks the best courses in Europe since many of you started the game and have the most comprehensive knowledge about the game, which is why you can be sure that this most accurately reflects the best courses golf in Turkey.
And, once you’ve enjoyed this ranking, take a look at Turkey’s course rankings in our guides to the best modern golf courses in Europe and the best golf resorts on the continent.
Chris Bertram, world of golf Top 100 publishers
Best golf courses in Turkey
There is nothing like it in Belek and very few in the Iberian Peninsula too. For something visually similar to its heather and pine lined fairways, you have to look to one of the traditional courses in Belgium, Germany, France and, above all, the Netherlands.
That a ‘resort’ course is ranked alongside Utrechts and Fontainebleau – even if it doesn’t play exactly like a fast sandy moorland – is a significant achievement. Although overseen by Reigate-based Lobb & Partners, Tim Lobb admits much of Carya’s success was natural.
2. Lykia Links
Not a bond as we understand it in Britain. Lykia is not only the most distinctive course in Belek, it is one of the most distinctive in all of mainland Europe.
Laid out on a long stretch of coast near Antalya, it is more aesthetically appealing than many household names in our islands, due to the endless dazzling Mediterranean views and the fact that the dunes can be made more dramatic.
3. PGA National Antalya (Sultan)
The first courses to attract Tiger and Rory to Belek, during the 2012 Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals.
Designed by former Tour pro David Jones – the godfather of Belek Golf – who had already built the region’s first course, The National. The Sultan is tough but dramatic and absolutely immaculate.
4. The National
The National started Belek’s revolution when it opened in 1994, but has strangely often been underestimated. But it’s now a Top 100 course in mainland Europe thanks to the extra level of conditioning this sleek and effortless track has received of late. A Belek version of Vilamoura’s Old.
5. Cornelia (Prince)
There are 27 holes in this complex, the romantically named Sempronia, Gaius and Tiberius. They combine to create three different courses – the King’s, Queen’s and Prince.
The latter is, by far, the best of the three, incorporating the Gaius and Tiberius loops into its combination. The common theme is Sir Nick Faldo, who oversaw the creation.
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6. Montgomerie Maxx
Turkey’s first host of a European Tour event takes place on over 100 hectares of mixed pine and eucalyptus forest. Eight lakes come into play and there are waste areas as well as bunkers on a course that reaches its highest points in the middle of each nine.
7. PGA National Antalya (Pasha)
This is the club’s No. 2 course, but many will prefer it to the difficult PGA Sultan. Some even think it’s the best course in Belek! It’s just as well maintained as the Sultan, and probably a bit more fun. The par 4s on the 3rd and 4th are among the best in Belek.
8. Gloria (New)
Built nearly a decade after the old one, but we rate it as the No. 1 in the 54-hole complex. His two nines start just under the awnings of Gloria’s swish HQ. The original clubhouse was actually on the front nine of the old one, which was reconfigured when the Serenity Hotel was built. And the location of the New’s 1st tee shows that this “second” course is anything but an afterthought.
9. Gloria (former)
Gloria’s Old has long been one of the most technically accomplished courses in Belek. Designed in 1997 but modified within a decade when its Serenity Hotel was built, the Old lost some aesthetic coastal holes. Still, it’s a course of impressive and consistent quality – exemplified by its place in the top 10 of our Turkey rankings. It opens onto the water, but is more defined by a succession of pretty holes lined with pine trees.
10. Sueno (Pines)
There are 36 holes at Sueno and they are very even courses. The Pines is however designated as No. 1; a 7,000-yard test that circles the hotel and culminates in a grandstand finish on a virtual island green.
The striking nature of both courses here is the topography, which ranges from an undulating effect of corrugated iron to dramatic mounds and dips.
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Far from being the most recognizable name in our Turkey rankings, but the revamped Black deserves its place in our list. Apart from Lykia, this is the only course in Belek where you get an idea of how close you are to the sea.
12. Sueno (Dunes)
The Dunes sum up in depth the incredible strength of Belek. When it’s only his 12th best run, you know there’s a lot of good stuff here. The last is a classic finishing hole, played on an island green where drama is guaranteed.
13. Kaya Palace
Although Kaya Palazzo was cut out of a vast pine forest, the nine lakes influence it much more. A sporty par 4 opens the second half, then there’s a beautiful par 3 with water to the left and in front of the target, before a risk-reward par 4 where you have to decide which part of the lake to cut on the tee shot.
14. Regnum of Ankara
Tim Lobb is very satisfied with his work on this brand new course 30 km south-west of Ankara. There was not a single tree on the site assigned to him, and although the Australian architect enjoyed fairways, he was keen that it be attractive to the visiting golfer. “I dreamed of a grassland situation, because it was so open, but also with hills and valleys. I tried using native herbs throughout to give it a better texture.
15. Robinson Nobilis
This Dave Thomas design opened in 1998 at the very beginning of Belek’s attempt to make a mark on the golf travel scene. It benefits from the familiar rolling sandy terrain of eucalyptus and pine trees that characterizes the courses of the Turkish Riviera.
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The Kuadasi International Golf Resort is the first leisure and golf development of its kind near the Aegean Sea. Located 55 miles south of Izmir International Airport, it is home to an 18-hole championship course, stretching 6,930 meters and overlooking the site where gods and goddesses are said to have emerged from the sea.
17. Regnum Bodrum
Another Tim Lobb creation, only this one is harder to categorize. It is in an existing olive grove and therefore has a rural, agricultural-like character. It was Lobb’s aim, to keep the integrity of what the land was originally used for, so olive groves have even been retained between several of the holes. The terrain is a little rough if you hit your ball amongst the olives, but again that was intentional with Lobb wanting to get back to the natural golf scene and away from the over-conditioned sites we demand.
18. Gloria (green)
The Verde at Gloria is an ideal nine-hole course after lunch after tackling one of Gloria’s two 18-holes in the morning. You can even play ‘Verde Select’, combining the nine-hole Verde with the first 9 holes of the New or Old championship courses. It is groomed just as beautifully as its more famous stable mates and has a large lake that is in play on a third of its holes.
Istanbul’s state-of-the-art course is part of a huge sports and leisure club that includes everything from an equestrian center to basketball and a gym to a spa. This 18-hole course offers a beautiful but challenging game, stretching over 6,700 meters from the tips.
Formerly known as Klassis, this Istanbul institution is part of Turkey’s oldest sports club, established in 1895 as Constantinople Golf Club. The last course was designed by Tony Jacklin among valleys and oaks and hosted championship golf, but David Jones of Belek fame is set to create another new home for the club.
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