There are plenty of Dave Thomas-designed courses to be found all over the UK and on the continent of Europe. There are more than twenty in Spain, Germany and France. The 18-hole layout at Robinson Club Nobilis was his first venture into eastern Europe and it opened for play in 1998, at the start of the Turkish golfing boom.
Turkey has since doubled the number of tourists who visit annually to over twenty million and a large proportion of them head for the Mediterranen resort of Belek, a half an hour’s drive away from Antalya’s international airport. The area now boasts ten top quality, pay-and-play, golf courses that attempt to satisfy the demands of visitors.
Robinson is a holiday company with resorts catering specifically for golfers in Austria, Germany (plus other Meditteranean locations such as Majorca, Greece and Egypt) and here in Turkey, where they have a 404-bed hotel attached to their 18-hole Nobilis course.
The par 72, 6,666-yard parkland course is routed over a sandy coastal landscape that fronts onto a eucalyptus and pine forest at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. Fairways may be wide and greens on the large side but bunkers, trees and lakes are strategically placed to protect par for the course.
The par threes are attractive holes on the Nobilis, particularly those on the 9th and 16th where tee shots have a substantial expanse of water to carry in order to reach the green.
Played the Robinson Noblis in 2003 and was impressed. It's mature beyond its years due to its routing through an old pine forest. Position off the tee is the key to scoring well rather than sheer distance. Tight drives, a smattering of water, plenty of bunkers and raised greesites make the going quite tough. Well worth playing alongside the Sultan, Pasha and National.