National the first course to be opened in the south of Turkey set the standards of excellence that have been followed by the other 13 later golf developments that have now been completed in the immediate area of Belek.
The 18 hole Championship course at the National designed by Davids Jones and Feherty, has been the venue for the first 2 International professional tournaments in Turkey in 1996 and 1997 National hosted the European Seniors Tour. Since then The National has become the home of the Ladies European Tour for the Turkish Ladies Open 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and again scheduled for May 2013
The National is regarded as one of the most beautiful layouts in the Mediterranean, winding through nearly a million square meters of pine and eucalyptus forests, 5 large lakes and a spectacular backdrop of the Taurus Mountains which in the winter are snow capped.
Playing golf in December wearing shorts and a tee shirt, looking out at these dramatic, breathtaking views its difficult to believe, they can distract your concentration from the golf if you are not fully focused. Beautiful as the National is, take care, because its a beauty that can bite. Narrow tree lined fairways, lots of water hazards; small greens protected by deep bunkers make it a great test. Play to your handicap and you should feel very satisfied with yourself.
The National also boasts an excellent 9 hole academy layout with seven par threes and two par fours. This Academy course offers the ideal opportunity for the beginner to get acclimatized to playing on the course. It has been designed to incorporate every possible type of shot that you could encounter on any championship layout. Its great fun and practice for the better player who wishes to have an hours playing practice, but more importantly it gives the opportunity to players without handicaps who do not yet have the license to play on the Championship course, to get out there and gain that necessary playing experience.
The Clubhouse at the National is unique in Turkey- the colonial style house with the stunning flower beds bordering the terrace give it a very English feel. Inside the clubhouse is decorated with golfing memorabilia, paintings, antique golf equipment, traditional wood honours boards etc. If the weather was 20ºC cooler you might believe you were in one of the old traditional Scottish clubhouses.
The club has also one of the most celebrated Chefs in Turkey who had experience in some of the best restaurants in France and England. On special occasions whole lambs stuffed with herbs are roasted overnight in a brick built wood fired oven set into the ground. The metal lid is securely sealed on with pastry; the aroma when it is opened is one of the most amazing culinary experiences.
The Belek region offers the best selection of hotels in Turkey with more than 50 hotels from 3 stars to 5 star qualities, all with beach fronts, spa facilities, and excellent facilities for children.
Excellent shopping, bars and restaurants can be found close by in the towns of Belek and Kadriye. The city of Antalya is only a 40 minute bus ride away.
Also within easy reach are many of the best preserved historical sites in the world, closest of which are the magnificent ancient Roman theater of Aspendos which seats more than 7,000 people and is still used for classical music and ballet concerts and the wonderful ancient cities of Perge and Side just a short journey away.
For those who prefer to stay close to nature the Taurus Mountains are close by. A trip to the famous Beskonak gorge, with its breath taking views. For the brave, a chance to go white water rafting.