Opportunity knocks for professionals and amateurs at brand new Irish PGA Pro-Am in Turkey

Mark McGowan
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Cullinan Links Belek

Mark McGowan

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The Irish PGA are delighted to announce a brand-new event on the 2024 schedule. The Antalya Pro-Am, in association with Matrix Travel, takes place from the 25th of Feb to the 3rd of March at the stunning Cullinan five-star Golf Resort in Belek, Turkey.

Once a well-kept secret, Turkey is quickly becoming the hottest golf destination in Europe. Mild winters, warm autumns and springs, and hot summers make it a year-round destination, and with world class golf courses and luxurious accommodation offerings, the Antalya region should sit on every golfer’s bucket list.

The Cullinan Links Golf Club, as it is now called, opened in the late 1990s and was one of the region’s pioneering golfing destinations. Originally a 27-hole layout designed by Martin Hawtree, an additional nine holes were added in 2020 and, along with the re-construction of several old holes to allow the Cullinan Hotel be built, it is now two separate courses – the Olympos and the Aspendos – flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on one side, and the Besgoz river on the other.

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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.

Accommodation is offered in the Cullinan Hotel and on an all-inclusive basis that covers all food and beverages,  and the Pro-Am package includes flights from Dublin to Antalya, all transfers, seven nights’ accommodation, a practice round on the Aspendos Course, and then four competitive rounds (two on the Aspendos, two on the Olympos) with a welcome cocktail reception and a gala dinner and prize presentation book ending the week.

“This is a unique opportunity,” says PGA Professional and organiser Conor Russell, “and it doesn’t mean just because you’re a member of a club and you haven’t got a pro that you can’t enter something like this. You can, and it’s open to all.

“I have over 20 pros that have come to me to say they’d love to go on it, but they don’t have teams. So I suppose what you’re trying to do is match up interested parties with pros that would love the opportunity to play with them and learn from a top class professional and, you know, get swing tips while you’re there enjoying your golf.

“A lot of pros will end up bringing teams from their own clubs, but there are a lot of people who don’t get the opportunity to compete in the likes of a Pro-Am with a leading PGA pro, especially if it’s off season, and this is the perfect opportunity to get a real kick start to the golfing calendar of 2024.”

Golfers may enter the event individually or as part of a three-person team and will be paired up with a Professional. The trip commences on February 25 and runs through March 03, 2024.

For more information please contact Conor Russell via email or on 087-7524932.

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