Carya Golf Club, Belek, Turkey

Carya Golf Club, Belek, Turkey

Opened late in 2008, Carya Golf Club in Belek is the creation of five times Open Championship winner Peter Thomson, along with design partners Ross Perritt and Tim Lobb. The team’s objective was to create something completely unique among the flowing sand dunes and tall pine trees of this part of Belek and this they have achieved.

Constructing a heathland course similar to those found in the south of England might have seemed like a bold move here in Belek but the Turkish terrain was actually ideal for the purpose. The firm, sandy subsoil is actually quite similar to that of Surrey or Sussex and heathland vegetation predominates including a local variety of heather that the team has employed to great effect.

Now as the Carya course settles and its heather-fringed banks expand, Carya is one of the most distinctive courses on the Turkish Riviera. With more than a passing resemblance to the presentation of courses such as Sunningdale, Walton Heath, Wentworth or West Sussex, its heather-topped sandy ridges with their dazzling white bunkers catch the eye immediately.

As far as fulfilling their objective of creating something unique, Thomson and his partners have created one of the most distinctive golf courses certainly along the entire Mediterranean.