Turkey might not be the first place you’d think of when it comes to a golf trip abroad. But its position under the golfing tourism radar makes it a great place for a couple of rounds off the beaten track.
Only around four hours by air from the UK, it’s a much more accessible destination than the United States or the Middle East, and combines top-quality courses and excellent tourist-focused accommodation, food and drink.
What can be difficult, however, is understanding the best time of year to play golf in Turkey. This handy guide gives you the basics and picks out some of the highest-quality courses to take on once you’re there.
Key considerations when playing golf in Turkey
There’s no hard and fast answer when it comes to the best time to play golf in Turkey, because it depends on your travel arrangements and priorities:
Best time for weather
Turkey’s climate is one of contrast: it can be extremely hot in the summer, and surprisingly chilly in the winter. The ideal golfing conditions are somewhere in between, so if weather is your priority, target the spring (between March and May) or the autumn (between September and November).
Best time for price
As with most destinations on the Mediterranean, prices tend to spike during the school holidays, particularly at the start and the end of each break. So in order to get the best value, avoid Easter, August and the first week of September if you can.
Best time for families
Naturally, going away as a family tends to come with the premium school-holiday price tag. But this can be a double-edged sword, as August can be unbearably hot in much of Turkey, especially for younger children. Taking a trip during half-term at the end of May might be a better alternative.
Our favourite golf courses in Turkey
There are countless golf courses scattered across Turkey, but the resort of Belek is the place to go, as there are 14 different golf courses within easy reach. To give you some inspiration, these are our three top picks in that area:
The Carya Golf Course only opened in 2008 and so has modern facilities to match its 21st–century design. Threaded through the middle of a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees, there are five tees on each hole, meaning every level of ability is catered for. Its 7,100 yard layout is also floodlit, meaning you can play in the evenings under the lights to avoid the summer heat.
Montgomerie Maxx Royal
Opened in the same year as Carya, the great Colin Montgomerie was responsible for the Maxx Royal’s design. You’ll navigate your way past eight lakes and a virtual desertful of sand in countless bunkers. You’ll also be able to use the Bent grass to benefit from a faster run of the ball down the fairways and along the greens, while the back nine is floodlit for night golf.
The oldest golf course in the Belek area, the National Golf Course was expanded in 2015: the original 18-hole course is now accompanied by a further nine-hole test, created from its former academy layout. A mix of doglegs and water hazards make this course particularly challenging – make sure you bring plenty of balls with you! – but it’s extremely rewarding if you get it right.
Get golf insurance with SportsCover Direct
Every golf trip to Turkey should be accompanied when possible by a Golf Travel Insurance policy, which is exactly what we at SportsCover Direct can provide you.
If you need cover for when you return to the UK, we also provide a Golf Insurance policy to cover you and your equipment.