You can’t resist these Turkish delights

Alan Hedley enjoyed his Christmas turkey early this month and played some of the country’s top golf courses

 

TURKEY is staking a major claim to become the number one destination for golfers. The significant development of the Belek region highlighted by quality courses such as the Montgomerie Maxx Royal has seen the area transformed into a haven for travelling golfers.

FABULOUS: The ninth hole at Montgomerie

SPECTACULAR: The ninth hole at Montgomerie Maxx Royal where the World Finals were played

In a relatively compact area several courses are on offer – the Sultan and Pasha, Faldo Cornelia, Sueno, Gloria, Carya, The National and the superb Lykia Links, but the Montgomerie Maxx Royal is the best of the bunch.

The recent Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals at the Maxx Royal and Turkey’s decision to bid for the Ryder Cup further highlights the growing influence and quality of golf in Turkey.

There are many top quality golf courses and accommodation options in Belek but there are one or two venues a cut above the rest and The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is just such a venue.

Umbrella pine trees dominate Monty’s creation and while they call for accurate play, a wayward drive is not always a disaster and there are ways to escape.

The course sprawls over 260 acres of prime parkland and is just a stone’s throw from the sea. There are no less than eight lakes dotted around the course and with those trees, this is no pushover as the greens are also fast and tricky.

The course stretches to over 7,000 yards off the back, but each hole has four tees and can be enjoyed by less experienced players from as little as 5,429 yards.

It is an excellent test with a testing par five start and finish plus some terrific par threes.The par five fourth around and over a lake is memorable followed by a long par thee over water while the seventh is an excellent driving hole.

Water comes into play again on the ninth and the 14th is a wonderfully teasing par three over a lake but, for me, the 18th is the best hole as it offers a real chance to get up in two if you get the drive right but it is also an equally good three-shorter if played sensibly.

Five minutes’ walk from the all-inclusive five star hotel, the course also boasts a five-star clubhouse with a perfect terrace overlooking the 18th.

There are also first class practice facilities that include a large driving range and massive putting and chipping greens.

All of the guest rooms are suites in The Maxx Royal Hotel, which is set at the heart of a 400,000 square metre estate, which is just a few minutes from the centre of Belek and 45 kilometres from Antalya City and airport.

A variety of dining options offer guests unrivalled quality and choice, with a main restaurant, two specially designed children’s restaurants, five a la carte restaurants, 14 bars and a patisserie.

The hotel (and golf course) is operated on an all-inclusive basis which makes the initial cost quite viable.

FACTFILE

 Alan Hedley flew from Manchester to Antalya with Turkish Airlines and flights are also available from Edinburgh and other regional airports He stayed at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, İskele Mevkii, Turizm Cad, Belek, Antalya

HYPERLINK http://www.maxxroyal.com and http://www.montgomeriemaxxroyal.com

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