National Golf Club is one of my favourites in the Belek region, but I felt let down by the poor value for money given the hot season and ongoing maintenance work on the course, which was pretty intrusive. It was also the first time I had played the course from the Black tees, and it soon became clear that some of the trees that frame the shots from the back tees are becoming overgrown and are overly intrusive (in one case almost totally blocking out a direct shot to the par three fifth hole, forcing an unreasonable amount of shot shaping with an already long iron. There was also a long par 4 on the back nine which required a very low flight on a driver due to overhanging branches). The pines in the fairway are a feature that need to be negotiated, and there is a lot of shot shaping required, which is fun (and difficult), but also leaves you wondering whether the course designer really intended the fairway obstacles to grow to their current size. At the end of the day I concluded that although I consider myself a reasonably long driver of the ball (>270 yds), I had probably bitten off more than I could chew and I will revert to the white tees next time I play, which from memory are considerably more playable. The greens had recently been hollow-tined and were very slow and a bit uneven. All around the course there was maintenance work around the paths which was very unsightly, although didn't really impact play very much. Fairways were in decent condition given the time of year, although some of the areas around the greens were a bit bare. Bunkers were in excellent condition. There was extensive (and noisy) building work going on around the clubhouse which spoiled the atmosphere on the terrace. Pace of play was good, with the course being almost empty and the few groups that were out letting me through immediately. My main gripe was the pricing, with the round costing €90 with a further €35 for a cart, making the cost almost double the Sultan/Pacha, and only marginally less than it cost for a walk-in green fee during high season in early April, when I think I payed €95. Add to that some pretty extortionate pricing on the bar menu, and the experience cost me over €150, while the condition of the course and clubhouse was poor due to maintenance work, and due to lack of attention to how the course plays from the black tees. I was disappointed, and will not be back during summer months, although I would keep it on my list for during the season.
Having opened in 1994, National was the area's first internationally recognised course, and arguably sparked the massive development that has turned Belek into one of Europe's golfing hot spots.