Turkey ups its game as a world-class golfing destination in 2014

Turkey’s campaign to become a global golf destination has gained momentum during 2014, with the golfing resort of Belek hosting a series of international tournaments and Turkey being ranked the fifth most important destination for golf tourism by the IAGTO, said Turkey property specialist Spot Blue International Property in August.

Turkey’s rising prominence on the golf scene is being spearheaded by Belek, a resort that combines championship golf courses with beach holidays, luxury accommodation and affordable new property. Belek now has 15 golf courses within a 15-kilometre stretch of coastline, boasts more than 50 five-star hotels and is just 30 minutes’ drive from the international airport at Antayla.

The National Golf Club in Belek successfully hosted its first European Challenge Tour tournament, namely the Turkish Airlines Challenge, in May this year, with the course receiving praise from leading players. In the same month, the course hosted the PGA Turkish Airlines Ladies Open, which will take place at Belek’s equally impressive Carya Golf Club next year. Meanwhile, building on its hosting of the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open, attended by a selection of leading players that included Tiger Woods, the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Club will host the Open again in November 2014.

Ahmet Ağaoğlua, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, commented that after the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in 2012, which saw Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood amongst the competing players, bookings for tee-times in the Belek area rose by some 12 to 15 per cent.

Ağaoğlua stated recently that being under the Challenge Tour spotlight in 2014 will only strengthen Belek’s reputation as one of the world’s top golfing destinations. “Last year [2013], 160,000 tourists came to Turkey just to play golf,” said Ağaoğlua. “It’s an industry in this area and people appreciate the courses and facilities here. There is no better value out there than Belek in terms of the compact nature of this area.”

Increasing golf tourism is benefiting homeowners in Belek, and in nearby resorts such as Side and Antalya, by adding value to their property and increasing rental demand.

“Sought after homes are situated on small complexes off the main road running along the coast between the centre of Belek and the neighbouring village of Kadriye,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “You can be a 20 to 30-minute walk – or short drive – from a Blue Flag beach, a championship golf course, and bars and amenities. Offering all of these things, as well as a short transfer time, makes the area good for rentals, especially when a major golf tournament is on.”

Typical of what’s available in Belek are a new three-bedroom semi-detached villa with a shared pool and located opposite a golf course, available for €179,000, and a two-bedroom apartment, just a kilometre from the beach and golf, available for just €69,000. Spot Blue International Property has a range of property for sale all over Turkey.