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Reply to topic Turkey: Where East Golfers Meet West Courses

Turkey: Where East Golfers Meet West Courses
gbrian
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Turkey: Where East Golfers Meet West Courses
Antalya Golf Challenge Familiarization Trip 2014



Turkey, as we know is the land where east meets the west, rich with history (from Persia, Greek, Byzantine, Roman to Ottoman empire), played important part in the golden days of spice trade (the Silk Road). A trip to turkey is definitely an eye-opening trip as you will experience the historical sites back to 657BC and you might find some cultural similarity between us, especially their food and spices.

Well now, what if I tell you apart from that, Turkey will be the next (or maybe now) the growing destination for golf holiday? Imagine this, playing at the world class courses in Mediterranean weather. Sounds good?

It is also the off-season training ground for some of the English Premeir League big club such as Manchester United and Chelsea.
You might get a chance to bump into them too given the right timing.

There is a total of 23 courses in Turkey, where 15 out of them are in Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. So, the answer for the best place to golf is definitely Antalya. Antalya is also Turkey's biggest international sea resort.

I was among the lucky one to be invited as part of the Antalya Golf Challenge Familiarization Trip 2014 in February 2014, organized by Apple Vacations & Conventions Sdn Bhd with the support from Turkish Airlines.




Click here for more photos on our day 2 Antalya city sightseeing.

The flight timing was perfect. We left KLIA in midnight, arrived Istanbul around 6.00am (roughly 12 hours flight, Turkey is 6 hours behind Malaysia) and connecting domestic flight to Antalya at 9.00am. It was a a hassle-free flight as all the baggage has been direct check-in through KLIA to Antalya.
We managed to get ourselves refreshed by having a few coffees while waiting for the next domestic flight.
Flight from Istanbul to Antalya roughly takes about 1 hour plus.

Upon touchdown, we were transferred to hotel for check-in and get ourselves changed. Right after lunch, we headed straight to our first golf at National Golf Club, a must play golf course in Antalya.

Note: Should you have the opportunity to sit near window, please do standby your camera as the view approaching Antalya airport is truly magnificent with snowy mountains. I missed my opportunity and now waiting for the photos from our group camera.


GOLF

Day 1: National Golf Club


National Golf Club is the first international standard golf course on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Carved through a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees with the back-drop of snow capped Taurus Mountains and abundance of natural lakes, this course will test players of all abilities.


Link

The 18-holes Championship course is 6,323 metres, par 72 and designed by Ryder Cup player, David Feherty. It has played host to the PGA European Turkish Seniors open in 1996 & 1997. David Feherty has incorporated aspects of the best courses he has competed on in the world, and ensured that no two holes are similar.




Click here for more photos on our day 1 at National Golf Club

It took us a while to start playing golf as we were stunned with the scenery of the course. It is a mature and well maintained course. And mind you, it is a quite challenging course with tight fairways.

We were told by our tour guide that this is only the beginning as course will be getting better each day. And yes, he is right!


Day 2: Gloria Golf Club


On the second day we headed to Gloria Golf Club, designed by renowned French architect Michel Gayon, is the largest Golf Complex in Turkey; with 45 golf holes comprising of the 18 hole ‘Old Course’, the 18 hole ‘New Course’ and the 9 hole ‘Verde Course’ as well as the largest practice facilities in Turkey, Gloria Golf Club turns golf.


Link

We managed to tee off at the 'Old Course', a par 72 with 6,181 metres which has been host to several European Tour event. Set through beautiful pine trees with 7 fresh water lakes and a total of 63 bunkers will make one bring out of the best golf skills.




Click here for more photos on our day 2 at Gloria Golf Club

From here you can view the snow capped mountain too, and should you tee off in the morning just like us, please bring along windbreaker or jacket as temperature will be around 10 to 15 Celsius before noon.


Day 3: Carya Golf Club


Carya Golf Club was our 3rd course we played. Grown in an extensive nursery on site, Carya's heather shapes define the course into a truly magnificent spectacle. The 6,563 metres, par 72 course is a demanding test of golfing strategy (risk and reward) with free flowing holes that run between pine and eucalyptus trees, across a dramatic sand ridge.


Link

Carya Golf Course is a naturally beautiful golf course set on undulating sand hills. Inspired by the classic heathland courses founding the United Kingdom where Peter Thomsom (course designer) enjoyed so much success as a player in the 1950s and 1960s.

Each hole offers variety and challenging strategic options, rewarding golfers who think their way around the course. Just like traditional heathland courses, a tactical approach is required and finding the correct side of the fairway from which to attack the green (which I hardly managed to) is often more important than distance off the tee.




Click here for more photos on our day 3 at Carya Golf Club

The greens are large undulating and fast (in fact the fastest among 4 courses I've played there). Many are characterized by multiple plateaus, creating 'greens within greens'. Depending on the pin position of the day, every hole can be played in multitude of ways - a characteristic of the world's greatest golf courses.

As the matter of fact, I personally consider this is the best among 4 courses we played. Please do not ask about my score as I was killed by the 2nd nine due to my greediness to score better.

Fun Fact: Carya Golf Club is also the one and only golf course in the Europe with Floodlight.


Day 4: Kaya Eagles Golf Club


Our last round of golf on the 4th day played at Kaya Eagles Golf Club, designed by Irish golf course designer and Master PGA Professional, David Jones.


Link

It is a challenging and has quite a few dramatic holes where the players must choose between risk and reward. However, it also features a number of short par 3 and par 4 where the interest is provided by strategic bunkers and subtle green contours. This is a course for everyone, all level.

According to David Jones, "Kaya Golf Club was a very interesting project for me. I often see golfers frustrated by monster courses of 6,500 metres and above. At Kaya, I had a compact site to work with and decided to aim for shorter layout which will be enjoyable for all golfers, including those who do not hit the ball vast distance. I think I achieved that."




Click here for more photos on our day 4 at Kaya Eagles Golf Club

Well for me, he definitely achieved it. It is the shortest course among four I've played, widest fairways and I had my best score here out of four days. This is the best course to end your golfing journey in Turkey as I believe it leave a big smile on your face before you leave.

After four days of golf, Mr. Chia Voon Wu emerged as Champion of Antalya Golf Challenge Familiarization Trip 2014, followed by Mr. Johan Fariz as 1st Runnersup and Mr. MK Chua as the 2nd Runnersup.
As for me, I'm very closed to wooden spoon. Nevertheless it's not about winning or losing, as we are all winners as we get the valuable and interesting experience golfing in Antalya, Turkey.




Click here for more photos on our day 4 FAM trip welcoming dinner and prize presentation

Take Note:
- There's no caddy available in Turkey courses, just like most European courses.
- There will be clubs cleaning services as well as shoe cleaning services. There's fixed price for shoe cleaning, depending on club and as for clubs cleaning, there's no fixed price. Just tips them, usual tips is 10 Turkish Lira.



ACCOMMODATION

We were hosted at Titanic Deluxe Belek, a 5-Star hotel for me even though they stated it's a 4-Star. This is a golfer friendly hotel where they have a separate golf bag room, unlike other hotel where they will put your golf bag in a luggage room together with other luggage.




Click here for more photos on the Titanic Deluxe Belek resort.

Putting the contingent up in a suite and all-inclusive meal, I dare to say we were pampered and treated almost like a KING. They even prepared our pack lunch when we were off to golf on the course.
All-inclusive mean anytime, anywhere in the resort, we are allowed to eat or drink anything served on the menu, that include alcohol drinks, which I must say I did enjoy a lot helping myself drink after drink to unwind the day.

There is a lot of activities to indulge with within the resort such as Turkish bath, bowling, arcade, shopping, river cruising. Seriously, there is too much to mention. Why not enjoy the video clip to have some walk through yourself?


Link



Istanbul


We spent our last day in Istanbul before our flight to Kuala Lumpur around midnight. Basically we have to whole day as we touched down Istanbul in the morning around 9.45am.

With such an abundance of historical sightseeing spots in Istanbul and too little time to squeeze them all into one day, we took an unforgettable cruise on the Bosphorus (This body of water that passes along the shores of Istanbul is 20 miles in length and is the physical divider between the continents of Europe and Asia). The cruise took around 90 minutes and you will be amazed with the historical sites and city views from there. You are literally in between Asia and Europe now.

Tour of 'Sultan Ahmet', the heart of the 'Old City' starts after our lunch. We visited the infamous landmark, or shall i say historical mark of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Hippodrpome also known as 'Sultanahmet' where three empire, Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman has ruled in this unique city.




Click here for more photos on our final day in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia is a beautiful museum that was once one of the most magnificent Christian churches in the world constructed in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian (Byzantine Empire) before turning into mosque and now as a museum. Facing Hagia Sophia is the Blue Mosque (built from 1609 to 1616), famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets built in the name of Sultan Ahmet (Ottoman Empire).

Basically these are the most important, a must visit historical site when you are in Istanbul. But again, we should not forget to do some shopping at the Grand Covered Bazaar which is the biggest 'souk' (bazaar) in the world with nearly 4,000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, golf, carpets, leatherware and souveniers. We had to opportunity to visit their spices market too, where you will find lots of spices familiar to us (Asian) there and our 1 day trip ended here before we were transferred to the airport.

We left Turkey with a heavy heart as there are too many fantastic courses yet to play and too many historical site yet to visit. My personal advice is to extend your stay (maybe a day or two) in Istanbul to fully enjoy the city with such a rich cultural history or maybe extend your stay in Antalya to enjoy another one or two more courses.

Once again, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Apple Vacations and Turkish Airlines for giving me this opportunity to experience golf in Turkey.

For those who are interested in joining the trip, Apple Vacations is organising Turkey Golf Challenge soon.
Stay tuned for more updates or you may contact Apple Vacations at +603-2148 5899 for more information.

Please enjoy the video below, prepared by Apple Vacations.


Link


You may hit the link below for the trip photos:
http://www.mygolf.com.my/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=11749


Last edited by gbrian on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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jediknight61
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Wow! Looks like a great golfing destination and the hotel is a 5 star hotel. Was it cold to golf there in Feb?
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gbrian
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jediknight61 wrote:
Wow! Looks like a great golfing destination and the hotel is a 5 star hotel. Was it cold to golf there in Feb?
Weather was perfect from 10 to 18 degree in Antalya and 7 to 10 degree in Istanbul.

_________________
Driver: TaylorMade M2
Woods: TaylorMade M2 (3 woods), TaylorMade V Steel (5 woods)
Hybrid: TaylorMade Burner 08 Rescue 3i
Irons: Saqra Forged INB-213CB (5-P)
Wedges: Grindworks Forged 86E-Grind ( 50 & 58 ), Titleist Vokey SM5 (54) M-Grind
Putter: TaylorMade Corza 72 Ghost Tour
Balls: Titleist ProV1, PRoV1x
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jediknight61
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Guess macam main dalam aircon....hehehe....
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Hmmm...
tsnen63
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..try this instead, Sweden!!
http://www.brohofslott.se/english/
http://www.web.upsalagk.se/index.php

..there is 460 golf clubs and the population is just 9 mill.

/T
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jediknight61
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That is why Sweden produces many fine golfers!
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gbrian
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Guys,
It's only RM6,999 now!
All-inclusive, air ticket, accommodation, golf, meal.. and drink all you can!
7 days 4 nights.

Grab this opportunity as it doesn't come very often!
Hit the link below for more info:
http://www.mygolf.com.my/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=100968#100968

_________________
Driver: TaylorMade M2
Woods: TaylorMade M2 (3 woods), TaylorMade V Steel (5 woods)
Hybrid: TaylorMade Burner 08 Rescue 3i
Irons: Saqra Forged INB-213CB (5-P)
Wedges: Grindworks Forged 86E-Grind ( 50 & 58 ), Titleist Vokey SM5 (54) M-Grind
Putter: TaylorMade Corza 72 Ghost Tour
Balls: Titleist ProV1, PRoV1x
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Turkey: Where East Golfers Meet West Courses
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