What better way to usher out the old and welcome in the new than fun in the sun at Golf Mad’s New Year Pro-Am at Cullinan Belek, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
New Year’s celebrations often seem a little contrived; overpriced dinner plates, exorbitant entry fees, and long queues for taxis that are few and far between are hardly the hallmarks of a memorable night – well not pleasant memories at least.
What would you say to a week-long, all-inclusive, five-star experience in lavish surrounds and temperate climes? And you’d be bringing the clubs with you.
The 25th Golf Mad Pro-Am will bring golfers from all over the continent for five rounds of golf – three of them in competition – a New Year’s Gala dinner, and top category prizes including €5,000 for 1st place in the professional division.
Flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on one side, and the Besgoz river on the other, Cullinan’s original 27 holes was expanded to a 36-hole complex – the Aspendos and Olympus courses – that officially opened earlier this year.
The Taurus mountains to the north provide offer more than just a scenic backdrop, but also provide natural protection from Northern winds, meaning the breeze when it picks up – and it can pick up – is a warm draft from the South Mediterranean.
Off the course, the Cullinan Link’s practice facilities are ideal for the serious player looking to fine tune their game, or for the casual player looking to shake off a few cobwebs (and maybe a mild hangover) before taking to the fairways.
Away from golf altogether, Cullinan has 14 restaurants in total – of which seven are included for dining in basic packages with all additional restaurants optional – and these include the Mare Main buffet-style restaurant, a kids buffet, Italian, Turkish, Galapogos and seafood snack restaurants, along with additional Greek, Turkish, Italian, Indian, Japanese and Grill restaurants.
Kadriye Beach is a five-minute walk from the hotel, while the resort itself has eight separate swimming pools, more than 100 swim-up rooms, a multi-purpose gym, wellness spa and a games area that includes pool tables, dart boards, table-tennis and arcade games.
The Land of Legends theme park is just a five-minute drive away, with Belek village a further 10, while the beautiful port city and regional capital Antalya – complete with traditional markets where high-quality leather and textiles can be bought at extremely reasonable prices – is a 20-minute spin in the opposite direction.
Rates start at €1750 per person for golfers, and from $995 per person for non-golfers, with the additional bonus that any professional who brings three amateurs will be accommodated free of charge. Transfers from Antalya Airport (30 km away) are included