Belek on my mind


I don’t know why but my thoughts circled around another trip to Belek today. I have no idea why on earth it hit me today, especially because I do already have golf trips in the making but it felt good today to think about a new trip to Turkey soon.

During my last trip to Belek I played the Gloria New, Carya, Cornelia, Maxx Royal and the Sultan at Antalya (Check the Belek 2013 tag for more information). If I would go back to the Turkish golf mecca at some point, I’d go for the following courses:

  • Gloria, Old Course
  • Lykia Links
  • Antalya GC, Pasha Course

And I would most probably play the Carya, Cornelia and the Maxx Royal again: all great golf courses, really liked them!

Staying in Belek is easy and difficult at the same time. There are so many superb 5-star hotel resorts that it’s actually quite tricky to decide for the best in the end. What I thought would be quite a nice tour through south-west Turkey is this:

  • Spend couple of days in Didim (and visit family),
  • Spend a week in Bodrum (the Turkish Monaco and enjoy the sun, sea and jet-set life),
  • Spend a week in Belek and play golf (are 5 rounds enough?)

Sounds not too bad, huh? The question is: 2015 or 2016?!

Gloria Golf Club (New Course)

Belek, Turkey 2013 day 1/5. The Gloria Resort is a huge one! The complex includes 3 beachfront hotels, 3 golf courses, the spa, other sports facilities such as football pitches and so forth. In other words, Gloria is a big player in the Belek-business.

Speaking of golf courses, there are 3 courses on the premises: the 18 hole championship courses ‘Old’ and ‘New’ and a 9 hole course ‘Verde’. I only played the New Course but I was really impressed with it. After the 18 holes I really said to myself ‘That was the most beautiful course I’ve ever played!’ …having in mind that I played in Dubai and some posh courses around London too.

But it was easy to impress me! The clubhouse to start with is quite big and doesn’t lack a thing. I love pine trees and guess what, Belek seems to be the inventor of pine trees! In short, I really liked the course, the grass quality, the design, the ondulating fairways, the tricky par-3s and the island green 17th (I had a short birdie putt by the way but didn’t make it!)

The temperature was at 30 degrees and I was walking. After 13 holes I realized my power and strength weakened, my concentration too and my swing got a bit wobbly. I was just not as trained as I wished to be. That was actually my first round after more than 6 months without touching a golf club. Hence I, was expecting something like that but it’s tough realising that you can’t win the pot and the scores go down.

Some words on the course itself: The Gloria estate offers a big clubhouse from which you reach the three courses. For instance the New Course starts just at the sun terrace, everything’s pretty close. It was built in 2005, is a bit younger that the ‘Old’ sibling and has a more open feeling to it. However, there a pine trees all over the place. So don’t confuse open with links style!

I had a pre-booked tee time and originally was grouped together with a Dutch couple in a cart. Since this really didn’t make sense I proposed to walk on my own and leave them their own pace. It was fine but in retrospect I was quicker than them and had to wait quite often (which gave me time to take some pictures).

Water comes into play but not too often, more on the back 9 I’d say. But it’s not an easy course; most fairways are narrow and ondulated and in case your drive is not straight like an arrow you really have to wait for the ball to come to a rest to be fully assured it’s safe.

Parts of the course follow a street that you can see and hear, that’s definitely a downside, as well as the new Gloria Football Center, two pitches in the middle of the course to host the football teams’ winter break training facilities. A bit unattractive I have to say.

But I had a great day on the course and was happy waiting for the transfer back to the hotel. A good start to this golf break!

Use the tag Belek 2013 to read all course reviews of that trip.

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Excited about 7 days pure golf in Turkey

Today I finalised the booking of my golf trip in May. I’m very excited about 7 days of pure golf in the Turkish sun, staying in a great hotel with all amenities you could imagine. Definitely golf is priority number one here, but I guess I get some leisure time at the pool as well.


These are the courses that I decided to play:

Remember, there are more than 15 championship courses near the small city of Belek at the Turkish Riviera. Some of them are unknown treasures, some are host to international pro tournaments, like the Sultan for the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final or the Montgomerie Maxx Royal for the Turkish Open, a European Tour event later this year.

This is the hotel I’ll be staying at: Rixos Premium Belek and I booked all that through yourgolftravel, a UK-based golf travel agency with a massive range of offered trips and golf breaks.

Merhaba Belek! Trip to the Turkish golf paradise planned

Happy birthday to ME, happy birthday to ME, …

You may have recognised in some older posts that I’m currently not very happy with my current golf endeavors. The 2012 season was pretty lame due to the fact that it’s surprisingly tough to find an accessible and affordable golf course in and around London for regular play. And regular play is the only thing you need for steady improvement, lowering the handicap and just to feel as a proper and athletic golfer from time to time.

That’s what I missed big time last year!

The 2013 season has just begun and I don’t see any major difference other than the fact that I met some blokes in the office who might be interested in heading to the course a bit more often. But that’s really everything that would give me a slightly better feeling than last year.

Therefore I thought to myself: Mate, you have to take control over your golfing here! Otherwise you’ll end with only 8.5 rounds per year again! Do you want that? NO! You don’t! It’s your birthday on top of this. Go make yourself a present!

So I took the advice (from myself) and planned a golf trip in spring. Checked out some websites, some travel agencies and some golf travel companies. I ended up with my favourite, sorted out trips to the US, to Asia and to South Africa (mainly due to price tag reasons), also sorted out Greece (Germans are not welcome currently), Spain, Italy and France… and ended up with a truly golfing paradise in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Turkish Riviera near Antalya: a city’s name which leads to immediate grin on every European golfers’ face: Belek. More than 15 incredible high-quality golf courses in walking distance!


That’s the plan for May: pack the golf bag, head for Heathrow Airport (somehow, with all that stuff), fly to Antalya, drive to Belek, enjoy the 5-star hotel, play golf in the morning, go swimming in the afternoon, relax in the evening, do this for 7 days in a row and then come back – in total (golf-)happiness!

The plan foresees only 5 rounds of golf during the 7 days of stay, but I reckon that’s really enough. If I do feel bored with only 5 rounds however, I’d book just another tee time in the afternoon to have 36 holes played that day. Will see.

These are the golf courses that I plan to play:

  1. Gloria, New Course
  2. Gloria, Old Course
  3. Carya Golf Club
  4. Antalya Golf Club, PGA Sultan Course
  5. Lykia Links

And these are the corresponding videos of the beautiful courses:

Continue reading Merhaba Belek! Trip to the Turkish golf paradise planned