Antalya Golf Club is one of Belek’s leading golfing complexes and it’s attached to the 440-room Sirene Belek Golf Hotel. Residents and visitors are in the fortunate position of being able to choose to play one or both of two sensational 18-hole layouts – the PGA Sultan and the Pasha.
Designed by David Jones and European Golf Design in the late 1990s, the courses wind their way through woods, up and over sandy banks and around crystal clear ponds that were once swamps. Water features at half the holes on each course and there are a good number of pot bunkers to be negotiated on fairways and around putting surfaces.
The front nine on the PGA Sultan ends with a classic risk/reward hole, a 362-yard, par four, named, appropriately enough, “The Choice.” A brave tee shot must flirt with water on the left to set up an easier second shot while a safer drive down the right will result in adding two clubs to the approach.
The next six holes – from “The Keyhole” to “The Long Fellow” – are all demanding par fours, with the long, narrow, 476-yard, 12th one of the toughest to be found on any of the Belek courses. As the club themselves say of this hole, “ be proud of a par here.”
The round ends with a 448-yard, par four hole called “Looking Back.” If ever a hole was designed to plot your way from tee to green then this is it. Water either side of what is effectively an island fairway pressurises the drive as there is little margin for error if the tee shot is to remain dry on the short grass. The green is surrounded by five bunkers so an accurate approach shot is as essential as the first one from the tee box.
In October of 2012, the PGA Sultan course co-hosted the prestigious Eisenhower Trophy, the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, with the 3-man team from the USA winning the event. The following week, eight of the top thirty world-ranked professionals pitched up to play in the one-off Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, where the $1.5 million first prize was claimed by Justin Rose.
Stayed at the fabulous five star Sirene Golf Hotel in 2003 and played the Sultan course which had only been open for a year. Was mightily impressed and was able to compare it against the National (which we played the following day), Nobilis and TAT. The Sultan is the best of the lot my view. Also played the second course (Pasha), which is shorter but built to the same high standard and that is a good track too. The pines and eucalypts make this feel very special and I’d thoroughly recommend the whole package and Turkey is brilliant value when compared to Spain and the courses are comparable, perhaps better too in my view.