Thomson Perrett & Lobb, the golf course architecture company founded by five-time Open Champion and Australian golf legend Peter Thomson, designed the course at Carya Golf Club. Thomson was enthused by the new creation located in Turkey’s Belek golf belt and prior to the course opening in 2008 he commented:
“This is an exceptional piece of land on which to build a golf course, reminiscent of the famous heathland courses near London that I rate among the world's best and which I was fortunate to enjoy much success on in my playing days. I am very excited about the prospect of creating a classic, traditional-style course in Turkey.”
Some might call it a tall order to create such a layout in a location totally alien to the originals found at the likes of Sunningdale and Swinley Forest but somehow – thanks mainly to a nursery where almost a million heather plants were grown – Thomson Perrett & Lobb have actually managed to pull off a Berkshire golf experience with a Mediterranean twist here at Carya.
Fairways run across a sand ridge through stands of pine and eucalyptus trees on a 260-acre property that’s unlike any of the other new golf facilities in the area. Playing to a par of 72, the course features the longest hole in Turkey – the 621-yard 6th, appropriately named “Long” – and it may just be that Carya will, in the future, be seen as the golf development that saw the golfing area of Belek come of age.
In 2009, the European Challenge Tour signed a three-year agreement with the club, sanctioned by the Turkish Golf Federation, to hold an annual event called the Turkish Challenge, which can only help to further promote the region as a prime golfing destination.