Oct 10th, 2016
Golf at Regnum Carya
Walton Heath meets Belek!
Words: John Dean
There’s a big event coming up at Carya Golf Club. The Turkish Airlines Open rolls into town on 3rd of November, and with the circus will come Rory McIlroy. So what will he find waiting for him?
Carya Golf Club is the first classic, heathland style golf course to be built on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Set on undulating sand hills, Carya is a championship golf course at the heart of Turkey's golf coast.
Created by Thomson, Perrett & Lobb, the design firm of five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thompson, Carya is creating a stir as the only heathland style course in the Belek area, with an outstanding layout that is a true championship experience.
First thing for Rory, if he wants to hit some night balls, he’s in for a pleasant surprise, as the course is fully floodlight. It’s the only course in the Mediterranean to offer such a facility, and a great way to play golf away from the heat of the day.
The course rather surprisingly takes its inspiration from the traditional English style heathland courses in Surrey, including Wentworth, Sunningdale, Walton Heath and The Berkshire.
When the course was built, they planted over one million heather plants. This both strengthened the existing heathland environment, and gave it its unique flavour. This is really a course like no other across the Mediterranean. Surrey meets Belek, let’s be having you.
The course first opened in 2008, and there are five sets of tees, so the course can accommodate both Rory and us mere mortals. It’s 7,186 yards off the Championship tees, but a rather more manageable 6,366 yards off the regular tees.
There’s a nice balance across the course, with five Par 4’s, two Par 3’s and two Par 5s on both nines. You’ll also be well looked after at the start with free water, Apples and pitch–repairers. Stock up, as it can get hot up there.
The courses main defense is the bunkering, and there are 75 of the blighters, with heather covered edges for added entertainment. There’s water to contend with as well.
As you play through the stunning tall pines, you’ll need to bring with you a good escape chip, as the pinecone-strewn floors create another unique challenge. But at least the danger of actually loosing a ball is greatly reduced.
The Taurus Mountains, which rise to 3,758 metres, can be seen in the distance, and the eighth is duly named after them.
There is a bit of old–fashioned English etiquette on the course, and the club specifies that shirts should be tucked in, and shorts (if worn) should be tailored and knee length. ‘Trainer’ style short socks are strictly forbidden, so you’ll right feel at home here if you’re a member of Walton Heath or Sunningdale.
The fairways run across a sand ridge, and pine and eucalyptus trees dominate the landscape. You could almost be playing Woburn, but without the eucalyptus trees!
The course also boasts the longest hole in Turkey, with the sixth, traditionally named ‘Long’, coming in at 621 yards off the tips.
Here's a little video to introduce you to the course.