Belek Golf Club, the first integrated golf and residential community on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, is to become a European Tour Destination.
The partnership with The European Tour will result in top-flight professional golf being staged in Turkey on a new José Maria Olazábal designed golf course, construction of which starts this autumn.
Belek, 25 kilometres east of Antalya International Airport, is already a golf tourism hotspot (KPMG Golf Travel Insight report 2008) and was voted European Golf Destination of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators in 2008.
Now, joining London Golf Club as a European Tour Destination, Belek Golf Club will be the first world-class venue in the region offering golfers and non-golfers alike the opportunity to own a home within an exquisite residential and resort community benefiting from year round warmth and sunshine. England football stars Michael Owen and David Platt, as well as Austrian Alpine ski racing legend Marc Girardelli, are among those who will own homes at Belek Golf Club.
Hasan Besneli, Chairman of the Board, Belek Golf Club, said: "Our partnership with The European Tour is significant as it guarantees our residents, hotel guests and golfing visitors outstanding facilities and levels of service, positioning Belek Golf Club among the world's finest golf clubs.
"José Maria Olazábal, who has taken a close personal interest in this project, has designed a remarkable golf course that will be a fitting venue for a European Tour event, and a compelling, enjoyable course that all golfers will want to play time and again."
The Belek Golf Club residential development, which is fed by an abundance of water flowing from the Taurus Mountains, will feature a fully navigable 7-kilometre long canal system, also connecting lakes and streams on the golf course. Other amenities include a town centre with shops, a rich variety of dining opportunities and nightly live entertainment. A wellness clinic offering spa and fitness programs will be complemented by state-of-the-art preventative and anti-ageing medicine under the guidance of medical doctors.
There will also be a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Norgra Hotel Management will oversee the highest levels of service across the resort, while Troon Golf, the world's leading golf management company whose portfolio of properties include Turnberry, Scotland, and The Grove, London, will manage operations and service at the golf club.
David MacLaren, Director of Property and Venue Development for The European Tour, said: "Belek Golf Club is one of the best new golf and residential developments anywhere in the world and a fitting addition to the London Golf Club as a European Tour Destination, part of The European Tour Properties network of world-class golf venues.
"Belek, with its variety of high quality golf courses, excellent hotels and appealing climate, has already established itself on the world golfing map. Now, with a European Tour Destination and the promise of a full European Tour event within the next seven years, we believe this first integrated golf and residential community will become an icon for golf in Turkey."
Jonathan Orr, Finance Director for The European Tour, added: "The development of our Property network is a major strategic objective for the European Tour and we are delighted to secure a partnership with Belek Golf Club, as we believe that it has all the ingredients to become an important strategic partner in a region of exciting potential."
There are 17 golf courses in Belek, many designed by leading international golf course architects, and all within a 15-minute drive time. With year round sunshine and warmth (monthly average temperatures range from 15°C in January to 34°C in August) and an abundance of water, Belek is already a major golfing centre.
Two-time Masters Champion and winner of 23 European Tour titles, Olazábal, who coined the phrase 'the magic of Belek Golf Club', said: "The Castle Course at Belek Golf Club is my first design work in Turkey and I am honoured to be part of a development of such high international standard. I look forward to the challenge of creating a course that shall not only become a spectacular venue for The European Tour but, as importantly, an enjoyable and memorable experience for future residents and guests."
Construction of Belek Golf Club begins in autumn 2010 with a planned opening date of 2012.
For more information, visit: www.belekgolfclub.com