European Golf Design has started a renovation at Titanic Golf Club in Belek, Turkey, which will see the addition of nine new holes.
The driving force for the project has been the construction of a new hotel which has impacted several of the existing golf holes. But extra land along the coast was made available for golf and a rerouting has allowed the club to expand from 27 to 36 holes.
“The first two holes on the Forest nine are being lost completely due to the construction of a new beachfront hotel,” said Gary Johnston, designer at European Golf Design. “To relocate these two holes and add nine new holes has required much of the golf course to be rerouted or adjusted in some way. Essentially, this is a complete 36-hole project.”
Originally planned to start in September, construction – undertaken by Turkish contractor Golf Tek –was brought forward, both to minimise disruption during the main tourist season and because of a temporary closure of hotels and golf courses due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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It is the fifth project EGD and Golf Tek have worked on together, and construction is expected to take 18 months.
“We are excited about the holes that will be built on the very gentle dunes between the beach and the existing golf holes,” said Johnston. “The open landscape and views of the Mediterranean will give it a different feel to the rest of the golf course, which is largely defined by the native umbrella pine trees. We also plan to build a completely new hole along the river which should be very dramatic and challenging once completed.”
Following the completion of the project, the club will comprise two 18-hole layouts, the Black course, which will measure around 6,600 yards, and the shorter Red course, which will be less than 6,000 yards. All four nine-hole loops will return to the clubhouse, with the club able to interchange them to help ease golf course operations during the busier months.
The new golf design will retain many of the lakes and water features of the original layout, but wider fairways and new bunkering should significantly improve playability.
Johnston said: “As part of the renovation, the practice facilities have been redesigned with a longer double-ended driving range and additional teaching areas and greens for group lessons. Additionally, to help the club maintain the turf quality throughout the high season, the irrigation system is going to be replaced and updated and the existing wall-to-wall bermuda grass will be replaced with paspalum.”
The club will have a phased opening with the first new golf holes being open for play in late 2020.