I’m not much of a golfer. In fact, you couldn’t even call me a weekend duffer. I do like playing the game, though, even if my score weighs more than some very large dogs.
But fortunately, handicaps are made to even out the playing field and take even the worse golfers score and make it respectable.
And that’s why when Turkish Airlines had their World Golf Cup Amateur Series at Inwood Country club the other day, I had to play. Even though, I knew there were better golfers playing, my handicap gave me somewhat of a fighting chance.
Now, Turkish Airlines has this event every year and has qualifiers in New York, which already passed, but also in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington DC. And here’s the best part. The winner gets a tript o Turkey, including Business Class flights with Turkish Airlines, accommodation on an all-inclusive basis at the 5-star Titanic Deluxe Belek resort, a two-round Grand Final at Titanic Golf Club and season tickets to attend the Turkish Airlines Open, which will be held at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort, Belek, Antalya.
And the Grand Prize winner who win that tournament gets to play in a Pro-Am with the likes of g Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods.
Now all of this is because Turkish Airlines has a committement to golf in Turkey. When you fly on their airline, your golf clubs fly for free and they have a commitment to the golf courses that opened in Belek and even Istanbul.
Sorry if you missed the New York tournament, but there is next year. Needless to say, I didn’t win, even with my high handicap. We will go with it was too hot out on Wednesday.
However, Paul Salvatore, President of Meetings & Events of Direct Travel, did brave the heat and took home the trip.
But there is still a chance to qualify with these tournaments coming up in September.
- 10 — San Francisco, Ruby Hill Golf Club
- 12 — Los Angeles, Angeles National
- 17 — Atlanta, Mano Gold & Country Club
- 26 — Washington D.C., Potomac Shores Golf Club
If you are just getting the hankering to play in Turkey, there are these great courses in Belek.
- Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club (2008) in Belek is Colin Montgomerie’s first Mediterranean design and has been described as one of the finest courses in the world. It features 18 holes within 256 acres of pine forests and ridges with a naturally sandy ground, eight lakes and about seventeen acres of bunkers, making it one of the toughest in the region.
- Vita Park Golf Club (2008) was the first in the Bodrum-Milas region. The 18-hole, 6,337-yard, par 71 course includes features reminiscent of the best Scottish links courses.
- Papillon Golf Club (2008), a $100 million golf and resort complex, features the Colin Montgomerie-designed, 18-hole, 7,021-yard par 72 that, like many others in the region, winds through pine forests and dunes to create a challenging and exciting play. There is also a nine-hole academy course and a fully equipped practice facility.
- Lykia Links (2008) features 27 holes of golf on a course designed by Pete Dye and offering magnificent coastal settings with challenging playing conditions.
- Carya Golf Club (2007) is a classic, heathland-style course roaming over undulating sand hills and shaped by home-grown heather rough, pine and eucalyptus trees. The 7,186-yard, par 72 Players course is a demanding test of golfing strategy. Carya also offers a world-class Golf Academy and spectacular new Club House.
- Sueno Golf Club (2006/2007) features two stunning 18-hole championship golf courses: the 18-hole, par 69 Dunes course measuring 6,190 yards, and the more challenging, par 72 Pines course measuring 7,013 yards. Both are links courses with natural bunkers, dunes, numerous lakes and pine forests.
- Kaya Eagles Golf Club (2007) is set in a veritable forest of pine trees. Designed by David Jones, the 18-hole, par 72 championship course measures 6,419 yards, with tough shot-making and a few extra hazards along the way, more than making up for the relatively short length of the total course.
- The Cornelia Faldo Golf Club’s (2006) centerpiece is the Cornelia Nick Faldo course. Twenty-seven total holes – three nine-hole courses called the King, Queen, and Prince – combine to create three championship courses, with the longest, at 6,947 yards, deemed “ferociously” challenging. The resort also features the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, the first of its kind in Turkey.
- The Gloria Golf Resort (2004), one of Turkey’s premier golf hotels and the first to feature an onsite championship golf course, offers an 18-hole, par 72 courses measuring 6,863 yards designed by the French golf architect, Michael Gayon. Nestled in pine forests at the foot of the Taurus mountains, the course is distinguished by Gayon’s signature deep bunkers and seven lakes. Gloria also provides a three-hole academy course, and a new nine-hole Verde Golf Course is currently in development.
- The Antalya Golf Club (2003), designed by Davis Jones and European Golf Design, offers two PGA courses: the challenging 7,060-yard, par 71 Sultan, and the 6,247-yard, par 72 Pasha. Deceptive dog legs, hidden bunkers, and a forest setting make both much more than a walk in the woods. Antalya also offers a full-service Golf Academy for individual and group lessons, practice areas and pro shop.
- The Nobilis Golf Resort (1998), framed by the pine forests along Belek’s Acisu River, is noted for its 18-hole, 6,880-yard course featuring Bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens and tees. It was designed by world-renowned golf architect, Dave Thomas.
- The TAT International Golf Club (1998) features 27 championship holes designed by the celebrated Hawtree of England firm. Noted for panoramic views of snow-covered mountains, the Mediterranean Sea, dunes and numerous lakes, the 18-hole, par 72 courses is complemented by a large training facility, including a putting green, chipping green and a separate green for bunker shots as well as a driving range.
- The National Golf Club (1994), just 25 minutes from Antalya’s airport, offers golf for all playing abilities, with 27 holes, including a par 72, 6,659-yard course with sculpted fairways, broad bunkers and numerous natural lakes, and a nine-hole PGA academy course. The first course on the Turkish Mediterranean coast to be built to international standards, it was designed by European Ryder Cup team member, David Feherty.
And the guys from Turkish Airlines seem to like Inwood, so expect it back there in 2019. Maybe it will be cooler and maybe I’ll just be better and can take home the trip.
Who’s looking to challenge me?