Carya Golf Club
Carya, a Peter Thomson design inspired by the traditional heathland layouts of Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt sandblands, is a five-time Open champion’s handiwork. His objective was to construct a traditional-style course, and he imported over a million heather plants to achieve that effect. Eucalyptus and pine trees line the holes and the longest hole in Turkey, the sixth, is a 628-yard marathon from the championship tee.
Lykia Links, a Perry Dye design, is the most notable course on the east end of the course, where the River Köprüçay separates it from the rest of the course. Its terrain is somewhat hilly and bears resemblance to Kiawah Island in some places, which was created by Perry’s father, Pete. Dye courses are known for their sand dunes, large waste areas, sloping fairways, and slippered bunkers, all of which are quite impressive.
Cornelia has three nine-hole loops, and the 18-hole combinations are known as King, Queen, and Prince. The Nick Faldo design takes advantage of a wide dune ridge that runs through the centre of the course. Faldo’s principle of strategy – thinking your way through the course – is emphasised throughout it, and there are many dramatic and elevated greens and tees. Waste areas collect drives that run too far, therefore accuracy rather than length is crucial from the tee.
Antalya (Pasha and PGA Sultan)
The Pasha and PGA Sultan are two of the best golf courses in Turkey at the Antalya Golf Club. European Golf Design and former pro David Jones created the two challenging but enjoyable courses created out of mature forests. The Pasha is also beautiful, despite being a tough course. There are numerous water hazards as well as risk and reward throughout the course.
Tiger Woods described the PGA Sultan course, which is more difficult and longer than the normal course, as a “real shotmaker’s course” when it hosted the 2012 Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, an event that foreshadowed today’s Rolex Series tournament. Many holes are tree-lined and water is present frequently.
Montgomerie Maxx Royal
The Montgomerie Maxx Royal course is also well-regarded in Turkey, having been the site of the Turkish Airlines Open four times, most recently in 2019, when Tyrrell Hatton prevailed. According to the description, former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie created it. There is a lot of variety throughout, and the rolling terrain includes several lakes and pine forests.
Those who frequently visit Turkey may be aware of this resort, which is situated in the centre of a stunning ten-mile stretch of coastline. The Pines and the Dunes, two fine 18-hole courses, stretch away and disappear into the distant Taurus Mountains. These holes, which are joined by a walkway, are the highlights of the course. The greens of both 9th green on the Pines and 18th green on the Dunes are spectacular, and both are challenging par 4s. If you’re staying at this luxurious resort, you should play both of them.
Gloria, 45 minutes from Antalya, is one of Turkey’s finest and most all-inclusive golf resorts. There are three courses at Verde Golf Club—the Old, the New, and Verde Select. The Old course opened in 1997—eight years before the New—and features eight lakes, the greatest of which is involved on the seventh, eighth, thirteenth, and fourteenth holes. The New course meanders through forested, rolling terrain, and has hosted both the European Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour. There are several memorable holes at this course, including the signature island-green 17th and the long 18th, where water runs along the left side and travels up to the green.