Stay and play review: Antalya Golf Club + Kempinski Hotel, Belek

We played the Sultan and Pasha courses at Antalya Golf Club, while staying at the Kempinski Hotel in Belek.

Widely known as the golfing capital of Turkey, Belek is home to the majority of the country’s courses and plays annual host to the DP World Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open.

One of Belek’s leading golf complexes is Antalya Golf Club, which boasts two fantastic 18-hole courses in the shape of the PGA Sultan and The Pasha.

The Sultan course at PGA National Antalya.


PGA Sultan

Opened in 2003, PGA Sultan is Antalya Golf Club’s main course, though The Pasha is a fine second layout and ranks 7th in our list of the best golf courses in Turkey (PGA Sultan is 3rd).

The Sultan hosted the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood as home of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in 2012, before the event was replaced by the Turkish Airlines Open. We’ve ranked it among the top 100 ‘X Factor’ golf courses in Europe, and hopefully the images give at least a sense of why.

The Sultan has a reputation for being tough and it certainly has enough up its sleeve to provide a fitting challenge for the word’s best golfers, with water in play on 12 holes, often more than once. It’s a firm but very fair test, though, with no overly long forced carries over water (assuming you choose the right tee box for your ability and distance), and rough that will impact your shot choice but shouldn’t cause any lost golf balls.

Sultan Golf Course, Antalya GC

Designed by ex-Tour pro David Jones – widely regarded as the Godfather of Belek golf – PGA Sultan is a classic risk-reward layout, evidenced by hole names that include ‘Gamble’, ‘The Choice’, ‘Temptation’ and ‘The Gap’. Spray it around and you’ll find no shortage of water, sand and trees ready to cause you problems, but none of the holes demand anything that a mid or high-handicapper couldn’t produce, provided they make sensible shot choices. 

If you like courses that let you know what you’re in for right from the off, rather than those that lure you in with a gentle opener or two before baring their teeth, you’ll find PGA Sultan to your liking. The mid-length par-4 1st isn’t the hardest hole on the course, but with trees down the left, water cut tight to the right, and two bunkers craftily positioned at the point where the fairway starts to narrow, it’s an opening tee shot that makes you think and perhaps opt for something other than driver.

The Sultan Course at PGA National is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

The 3rd is a short par-5 with water in play on every shot, hence its name ‘The Gamble’, where birdie and double-bogey are both on the menu.

The 9th is the perfect short par-4, where the aggressive tee shot brings water into play but shortens your approach shot by at least two clubs to a green protected by water short-left and a bunker front-right, while sand traps in the middle of the fairway mean you must fully commit to one tactic or the other.

The back nine feels more tightly lined by the pine forest, with holes 12-15 featuring no water but arguably comprising the toughest stretch on the course nonetheless.

The Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club, Belek

Water returns in a big way on the 16th, a tremendous par-5 that will tempt bigger hitters to go for it in two, while those adopting a more conservative strategy will need three well-placed shots to avoid the water that flanks the right-hand side of the hole and wraps around the front of the green.

The 18th is a fitting finish to an enjoyably challenging round, requiring a well-placed tee shot to avoid water on the right and bunkers on the left, before an approach over water to a green heavily guarded by five bunkers.

The Pasha at Antalya Golf Club, Belek

The Pasha

A golf resort’s ‘second’ course can often be a noticeable departure from its main attraction, but The Pasha at Antalya Golf Club is an excellent layout.

It plays a little shorter and easier than The Sultan, as you might expect, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything but a fun and challenging course in its own right.

Some of the short par-4s are drivable for big hitters, including the 3rd, 4th, 11th and 12th, but going for the green brings in all sorts of trouble if you don’t get it spot-on.

The Pasha course at Antalya Golf Club, Belek

The par-3s are easily a match for those on the PGA Sultan, with two of them – the 5th and 17th – guarded by water that laps against the edge of the green.

And whilst The Pasha is friendlier tee-to-green than its bigger, bolder sibling, the greens more than make up for that, with devilish undulations that demand accurate placement of approach shots and good lag putting.


The practice facilities at Antalya Golf Club are excellent. There’s a full-length, tree-lined driving range (with covered bays for when the weather turns), two putting greens, and two short game areas, all of which are kept in fantastic condition.


There are two hotels right next to Antalya Golf Club: the Sirine Belek Hotel and the Kempinski Hotel The Dome, which is where we stayed.

Opting for a sea view room makes the most of the Kempinski Hotel’s beachside location, affording a vista of the swimming pool, private beach, and the Mediterranean.

The hotel is all-inclusive, although there’s a small surcharge for a couple of the a la carte restaurants. The main restaurant serves an extensive buffet for breakfast and dinner, with different offerings each day so you don’t tire of eating the same things throughout your stay.

A sea view from the room at Kempinski Hotel, Belek

The Palm Lounge and Bar sits between the pool and beach and is a great option for lunch after a morning round, with a wide selection of pizzas, burgers, wraps, pasta, grilled meats and fish, plus much more.

If you want an even better sea view while you dine, the Pier Bar is perched on top of the Mediterranean and serves drinks and bar snacks from morning until evening.

The hotel has a well-equipped gym and an indoor pool with spa area, where various treatments are available.

The golf club is walkable from the hotel but a free shuttle runs all day.


The trip we went on was organized by Solos, a travel company specializing in group holidays for solo travelers, which is perfect if you’re holidaying alone but would like company on the golf course and at the dinner table.

All of the tee times are organized by the Solos representative who is there throughout your holiday. You’ll play with different people each day in a variety of relaxed, fun formats, while the rest of your time is free to spend as you please – whether that’s being sociable or doing your own thing.

It’s a great, stress-free way to travel alone and meet people with shared interests. Group sizes will vary; there were around 40 people in our group, ranging from 45 to 90+ in age, with the following week set to be a smaller gathering. Many people in the group had been on numerous Solos golf holidays, a testament to the quality of organization and service on offer.

Visit to check out upcoming trips and to book your place.

About the author

Rob McGarr

Rob McGarr – Contributing Editor

Rob McGarr is a freelance contributor at Today’s Golfer.

He has been a writer and editor for over 15 years, covering all manner of subjects, including golf (obviously).

You can follow him on YouTube where – depending on what day of the week it is – he’ll either be trying his best to get his handicap down to scratch or shoving his clubs in a cupboard, never to be seen again.

He’s also on Twitter and Instagram, which is pretty ironic, considering he generally loathes social media.

Rob is a member at Royal North Devon, where he plays off a three-handicap.

Rob uses a Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero driver, Ping G 3-wood, Callaway X Forged UT 18 2-iron, Ping i25 irons, Cleveland RTX-3 wedges, Bettinardi BB1 putter and the Bridgestone Tour B XS golf ball.

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