Kuşadası International Golf Club
Not our cup of Çay perhaps
While we were staying in Akbük, we decided to play golf at Kuşadası International Golf Club. The course is located just outside the resort town of Kuşadası, which is located on the Aegean Sea. It was about a 45-minute drive from where we were, and I must admit, we were quite disappointed by our experience.
As the course is a located in a resort town, and many things are closed during the offseason, we sent an email of introduction a few days prior to enquire if the course was open, but unfortunately, we never received a reply. So, already our first impression wasn’t the best.
We arrived and found the course was located on top of what basically was a mountain! The views were spectacular, but the golf was, well, let’s just say that it was not our cup of tea. Or, more appropriately, Çay. I’m fairly certain that my father would have called this “billy goat golf”- and we would agree. We have played a course once in the Alps, but this course made that one look like Kansas (no offence to Kansas is meant!). We probably knew that it wasn’t going to be our type of golf, but how many golfers do you know that once they arrive at a course decide not to play?
We checked in with the pro-shop, got our rental clubs and went downhill to the driving range to hit a few balls.
From there, we drove back up the hill to the first tee. The first hole is a medium length fairly straight away par 4. Menekse hit her tee shot down the middle, but then struggled with the rest of the hole. I found the right rough off the tee but hit a great approach and made birdie. But the rest of the round didn’t follow the same, for either of us.
Menekse played pretty decent and played the last 3 holes solidly. I played ok, but with rental clubs that had regular stiff shafts (excuses excuses), I struggled to find a fairway off the tee. I did hit the irons ok, and in hindsight probably should have left the driver in the bag- but what fun is that!
My favourite hole was probably the par 3 fifth hole, aptly named Windy. Windy plays downhill, is 183 yards from the tips, and has an unbeatable view!
Menekse absolutely rocked the eighth hole- named Rock ‘n Roll! A solid tee shot down the right side, and a well struck 3 wood put her just short of the green in two. We pushed the hole.
The course plays to a par 72 and is just over 6900 yards (6322 meters) from the back tees.
We understand that it is off-season, but the course really played in off season conditions (to put it mildly). This was more noticeable especially as there is no off-season rate. In fact, the area behind the green on the 4th hole for example really should have been ruled as ground under repair.
On the positive side, the greens were surprisingly decent and quicker than I would have guessed.
We only played 9 holes, but the Club allowed us to tour the back 9 so we could get an overall feel of the course. As hilly as the front 9 was, we were both very happy that we only played the front. I’m not sure if Kuşadası is carts only, but due to all the hills, I for one would not be able to walk it. There was a point on the back nine where Menekse noticed that the cart paths went everywhere- up and down the hills- and that it reminded her of the Great Wall of China! A course like this makes you realize how powerful a golf cart really is!
Overall, I guess I can safely say that it was not our type of golf. Perhaps I take after my father, because I am not really a fan of hilly golf. Some nice change in elevation on a course is great, but when every hole is either straight uphill or downhill, and especially when a course is not walkable, I should know better and just say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
While I’m at it, I guess I have one more gripe. When we finished our round and came back into the pro shop, nobody said anything to us. Especially at a resort course, I would expect at least a greeting or acknowledgement that we were there. But it almost seemed like the staff were hiding from us. In all fairness, it was 4:30 or so, and there were no other players, so I’m sure there were ready to close for the day.
In our opinion, the course was not a good value for the money, and we wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re in the area, skip the golf and go spend the day at Ephesus instead. If you absolutely must play golf, only play the front nine.
As you may have read, we have complied quite a list of courses from all over the world that we want to play. Kuşadası wasn’t on our list, but was nearby, so we decided to give it a try. While we will never rule out any course and will for sure play courses that are recommended to us, perhaps it is best if we save our time and money for the courses that are on our list.
Unfortunately, our experience at Kuşadası International Golf Club really missed the mark.