Kusadasi International Golf Club is located between
the small town of Söke and the resort town of Kuşadası
on the Aegean coast, which is a port of call for luxury cruise liners during
the summer season.
It’s the first course in Turkey to be part of a residential development – those in the popular Belek region are constructed on leased land from the government so they were unable to include freehold property.
Designed by Spanish architect José Canales, the Kusadasi course overlooks the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park and the nearby Greek island of Samos, which is separated from the Turkish mainland by the narrow Mycale Strait.
Stretching to 6,322 metres from the back tees, the 18-hole course is set out on hilly terrain, with around 130 metres in elevation change across the property so the views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the Aegean Sea vistas are simply stunning.
Holes have been cut through small plantations of olive and carob trees, with the fairways routed around the contours of two adjacent ridges. A couple of lakes also come into play, between the 1st and the 9th fairways and to the left of the 4th.
Highlight holes include the 481-metre 4th (”Road Hole”), which runs alongside the entrance road to the property, and the 421-metre 14th (“Make Sure”), where the fairway doglegs slightly left to the green at this tough uphill par four.
This course could be something very special. With quiet possibly the most spectacular views found of any course I’ve played. The front nine is a good test, similar to most continental Europe championship layouts, with a couple of cracking par 3’s thrown in for good measure. The 8th and 9th in particular are impressive and the testing par 5 is a apt way to finish what is a strong front nine.
The back nine is however the reason to visit this course. The 10th sets you up for what is going to be a really tough test of golf. Target golf, coupled with narrow and demanding tee shots will test even the most accomplished golfer. If you have played the Nicklaus course and St Mellion, then you will be able to gauge the task ahead on this very tricky back nine. Ravines on one side and rock faces (on the other side) guard most sides of the fairways as you wind your way through the cliff side golf.
The only reason my rating isn’t higher is the relatively poor condition of the course. This course doesn’t compare to the condition found on the more prestigious courses found in the Belek region. In summary, worth the visit for the views alone. If the condition was top notch - this could be a world beater!