Turkey is really serious about its golf commitment

thy_worldfinal_1This May I had the pleasure to stay in Belek, Turkey for a week full of golf. I played 5 different courses, all in immaculate condition and beautifully laid into the (planted) pine trees. Belek is an impressive golf mecca, no doubt about it, and my absolute favourite courses are the Cornelia and the Carya. But as well Monty’s Maxx Royal is a very, very decent club.

This is exactly where this year’s Turkish Open will be held. To be precise: “The Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture”. A very long name for a very short tradition as it’s the inaugural event. Last year the Antalya Golf Club in Belek hosted the World Golf Final, a golf tournament which was not on the regular tour schedule but attracted many high class golf players because Turkey and Turkish Airlines have put a lot of money on the table – for the winning pot but as well for just playing as well – a signing bonus heaven!

Obviously it turned into a success as we have the first Turkish Airlines Open this year from 7-10 November at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club in Belek – not the most beautiful course around there I’d say but without a doubt a setting which is more than tour-like and fully deserve to be a regular tour event, especially being one of the 4 prestigious tournaments of the “Final Series” before the golf year comes to an end at the Race to Dubai.

Not bad for such a no-name golf country. There’s no professional Turkish tour player, the whole country has not more than 23 golf courses, 20 of them in Belek and as a result, only a tiny amount of Turkish people really play, i.e. get a chance to play. But the golf tourism booms at the Turkish Riviera near Antalya – and the country and Turkish Airlines profit from that and are therefore for sure willing to pay their stake to promote the region even further. Easy!

Please read my comments and experiences about the course here.

More information about the tournament:

And here some impressions of last year’s World Golf Final:

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