Let's talk Turkey: Would you consider visiting this emerging destination?

I've been meaning to cover emerging golf destinations, and given Thanksgiving is next week, I figured now is a great time to talk about...Turkey.

Don't laugh. For years now, the Turkish government has been investing in tourism -- including golf tourism, specifically -- and it's paying off.

The latest example was last month's Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, an event that featured Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and other stars.

The focus is on the Mediterranean-hugging resort region of Belek, which Europeans have long favored for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and four- and five-star hotels.

(For you newshounds, Belek is a 14-hour drive from where that Syria skirmish took place and it's not on the border.)

Now, there are some pretty impressive Belek, Turkey golf courses to complement the lodging (with all-inclusive packages available), and more are on the way.

In addition to the tournament site (PGA Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club), these layouts include designs by Pete Dye (Lykia Links), Martin Hawtree (Tat GC), Nick Faldo (Cornelia Golf Club), and Colin Montgomerie (Montgomerie GC).

Another thing I like is that the local airport, Antalya, is only 30 minutes away.

So, have you been to Turkey or would you consider going?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

 

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Commented on

All my fellow statesiders with bigoted viewpoints, please don't go - your spoiled, Ugly-American attitudes just ruins it for those of us who travel the globe to play in the name and spirit of the game of golf, i.e., open-minded sportsmanship and friendship. Politics and biases etc. have no place on the course. If you need to discuss those topics, save it for the 19th hole here in the US. Great tracks there as well as many other "emerging" destinations I've enjoyed. Remember - we are ambassadors of our country and culture whenever and whereever we go, even here in the US.

Commented on

Totally agree with Stephen, I lived near this area for two years. The Turkish Mediterranean is the best kept secret in Europe. Absolutely beautiful, fabulous food, great history with incredible Greek and Roman ruins and wonderful people who are very pro-American. Have not played golf there but courses look solid and would be an added benefit.

Commented on

it's golf I'd go anywhere- want to play the 3 holes at inuvik

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Went on a playing and coaching trip with two pro's and 16 others all inclusive, great golf courses good condition ideal winter destination. Plenty of choice on hotels and courses, service was superb, great from Europe but if I was in the states why would I pay to travel to Turkey when there are so many good resorts in the USA.
My choice USA ot Turkey I feel my deal to the States is always more interesting outside of the golf but not perhaps for those from the USA.

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Beautiful, Chris K. or Steve B...very open minded. Did you know that Turkey is actually a member of NATO?

Turkey is a perfect winter getaway for us Europeans who suffer with golfing abstinence during winters. I have been there twice and I am going again this winter. Value for money in Belek is superb, courses are great to play. Spain and Portugal may be more estabilished as golfing destinations but Turkey gives maybe even better value. Then again, you almost don´t notice that you are in a Islamic country - hotels, beaches and courses make a bit of an own and separate world....

But - there is absolutely no point for american golfers to go there - Florida, California or the Caribbean gives you plenty to choose from.

The ultimate golfing experience in Europe - definitely Scotland and Ireland.

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Turkey has been a destination for the Europeans for decades. The people there are wonderful and outstanding hosts. Plus there's enough to do to take up several lifetimes. Now with first class golf resorts there's little excuse not to go. Like we stress in our tours, it's the total experience of something great that makes makes for an unforgettable vacation. A visit to Turkey should be on your bucket list

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Not for me. Too many other great destinations on my list.

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Have to say also, Turkey is as safe as it gets when it comes to Islamic countries, (and worth noting that there are significant numbers of Orthodox Christians in Turkey) and if you notice was entirely unaffected by the Arab Spring. Yes, there are some problems on the border with Syria - Belek is miles from there - but you'd be as safe there as anywhere in the USA or Europe. They depend on tourism, they are hardly going to do something that then deters other tourists from coming and spending. Really, not everyone who is Arab or Middle Eastern is interested in blowing up the West. They probably feel quite safe and happy about themselves as they have no oil for wealthier powers to covet. Sad to see such blinkered views of world travel

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Hi GVI,
You are dead on, Turkey is fast becoming one of Europe's most visited golf destinations giving Portugal a run for its money. Belek is where it's at, both Faldo and Monty have designed courses there - but for me the real treat is Carya Golf Club - an English style heathland course designed by Peter Thomson's design firm which has actual heather growing on the course, just like those classic English courses.

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Re the remarks by Steve S and Steve B I assume that they are both Jewish. So what? So am I and have been to Belek twice and have encountered no problems.
Fantastic Golf Courses and Hotels, the food and evening entertainment were superb and we found that nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Organisation of the Golf was excellent, transport to the courses was efficient and "T" times spot on. I have been twice now and look forward to the next time. I would agree that it is quite a long flight from the States and after all the UK is about half way, but it is well worth while. One other thing, price-wise it was much less costly than France and they all try to speak English which is more than the French do.

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Let's talk Turkey: Would you consider visiting this emerging destination?
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