Tour Report - Belek, Turkey, May 2023
In total, 30 golfers arrived at Antalya airport for what we all hope is the last tour to be delayed by the pandemic. Though we came on different flights and different days we were all met with great efficiency and treated to private transfers from the airport to the hotel. This was even the case for the contingent from Newcastle whose flight was delayed for two hours and finally made it in the early hours of May 4th.
This level of service continued for the whole week. It was the first time the Society has embraced an “all-inclusive” holiday and all agreed it works. It is a new level of relaxation to be able to return from golf and order a round of beers (or wines or G&T’s) without having to worry about whose round it is.
And not just drinks. Cakes and sandwiches were available at virtually any time and the choice in the restaurant was incredible. In fact we didn’t know what to choose next…and all excellent quality. Some nights we were treated to operatic waiters (left) and most nights there was live music in the bar after dinner.
On the first and last evenings our leader (about whom more later) organised 5-course dinners in a private restaurant. The food was superb.
We played three courses. An on-demand minibus took us the 2 minutes to the Sultan and Pasha courses, both in excellent condition and both proving to be a challenge to most of us to say the least. Our favourite, though, was the Carya course, all of 10 minutes away. Apparently British-designed and noticeably so, it truly lived up to its reputation as Turkey’s number 1. Competitions were designed by our leader to give everyone a chance and teams were of mixed handicaps and designed to minimise the number of times you played with the same person.
In the end everyone won a prize, all totally deserved.
The weather was almost perfect. The one exception being the third day which was unusually wet. Fortunately, our leader had taken heed of the forecast and planned that day as our one day off golf. He also arranged a coronation for us to watch so we could toast Charles III.
Overall the tour was a great success. Everyone mixed in and greatly enjoyed it. In no small part was this due to our leader Ed and his able assistant Sue. What seemed like small things such as arranging an area of the restaurant specifically for our group helped the team spirit immeasurably.
We owe them both a huge vote of thanks.