European Golf Design (EGD), the golf course design company of the European Tour and IMG, was an early pioneer of golf in Turkey when its PGA Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club opened nearly 10 years ago…today it welcomes the world’s best, playing for $5.2million in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.
Threading its way through pine and eucalyptus, up and over sandy ridges and around clear water lakes, The 7,000 yard PGA Sultan Course typifies why the Belek region of Turkey has become one of Europe’s fast-growing golfing playgrounds.
Boasting 14 golf courses,Turkey’s Mediterranean coast has already established itself as an award-winning international golf tourism hotspot, hosting the International Golf Travel Market in 2011 and with ambitious plans for more golf resorts.
Since the Ministry for Tourism designated the Belek region for development, due to its outstanding beauty and consequent appeal to golf tourists, EGD has been at the heart of golf course design in the region, and is responsible for three 18-hole layouts – The PGA Sultan and Pasha Courses at Antalya Golf Club, plus The Montgomerie at Maxx Royal.
Jeremy Slessor, EGD Managing Director, said: “Turkey has made great strides as an emerging golf destination and it is rewarding for EGD to play such a significant role in its development and, once again, witness the world’s best players competing over an EGD design this week.”
The Turkish Airlines World Golf Final sees eight of the world’s finest tournament professionals (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson) play in this unique matchplay event, a first for Turkey, and it underlines the country’s growing domestic interest in the game.
Jeremy added: “Turkey has made huge strides in the 10 years that EGD has been designing golf courses in the region and golf is now a high profile sport in the country, a trend that is only going to accelerate in the future.”
In addition to its completed work in Belek, EGD is currently working on a project in association with former World Number One, Annika Sorenstam, at Olivion Golf Resort that will see the construction of an 18-hole golf course, nine-hole par 3 pitching and chipping course, as well as an extensive short game practice area. This will form part of an integrated resort to include a private residential community, five-star hotel, retail plaza and waterside village community.
Ahmet Agaoglu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, added: “The European golfing community has begun to recognise Turkey as a popular resort for golf tourism and with the Turkish Airways World Golf Final taking place, the whole world will take a view of golf in Turkey.”
European Golf Design www.egd.com
Antalya Golf Club www.agc.com.tr