Making the Grand Final a once-in-a-lifetime experience for competitors for the past seven years, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup, which brings together countries, cities, and people, tees off!
Turkish Airlines was established in 1933 with a fleet of only five aircraft. But there was always a dream to become so much bigger and today the world-renowned Star Alliance member is a 4-star airline with a grand fleet of 333 passenger and 25 cargo aircraft, and flying to nearly 319 destinations worldwide.
Similarly, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup amateur series began modestly in 2013 with 12 events in 12 countries and almost 960 participants across the globe. But, again, there was this dream to expand on a grand scale and in the intervening years 50, 70, and 80 events took place respectively. By 2017, it had grown in leaps and bounds so much so that the cup had become the widest-reaching corporate golf event in the world with 8,000 participants contesting a 100-event qualifying series, taking place in 60 different countries. And there is no slowing down. The 2019 Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Grand Final hosted on Turkey’s exquisite Mediterranean Turquoise Coast, just east of Antalya, saw qualifiers from more than 100 events in five continents battling it out to be crowned the 2019 Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup champion.
Luke Zhao, originally from Hong Kong but now a Chicago resident, emerged as the C Division and overall champion with an impressive 93 Stableford points over the 36 holes of the Nick Faldo design. “Getting to the Grand Final,” he said, “is a once-in-a-lifetime experience because you meet people from all over the world.”
Tomohiro Uemura from Tokyo claimed A Division honors, saying, “Playing golf is much fun, and you meet so many different people –and this was especially the case at this Grand Final.” Ayşen Erdoğan from Istanbul won the B Division. This was not only a triumph for the host nation, but also for women’s golf. According to Ahmet Ağaoğlu, president of the Turkish Golf Federation, of the country’s 8,300 golfers who are members of clubs and therefore affiliated to the federation, 40 percent are women. The game is clearly gaining popularity among women and Ayşen did Turkey proud.
And, as Uemura said, golf is fun and it’s good for you. It brings people together on both a social and competitive level, also affording an opportunity to network. And let’s not forget that euphoria when you hit a beautiful drive up the middle of the fairway, or when your putt drops into the hole for a well-earned birdie. The more than 8,000 participants in this year’s Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup, which is the world’s biggest corporate tournament, will no doubt experience this euphoria. Maybe not on every hole but, as every golfer knows, there is always one or two memorable and superbly executed shots in any given 18-hole round.
This year’s Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup swung into action in February at the Defence Authority Country and Golf Club in Karachi, while one of the venues this March is the Margalla Greens Golf Club in Islamabad. The cup will held again in Pakistan, and the same applies to Saudi Arabia which will host a qualifier in April at the Nofa Golf Resort in Riyadh. These are just a few examples of just how widespread the cup’s reach is today; the cup is extending its reach to countries where golf is not seen as a major sport.
However, between now and the beginning of November when the 2020 Grand Final will be staged, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup will visit many of the world’s great golf courses in many of the world’s great cities in 66 countries; from Berlin to Bangkok, Cape Town to Copenhagen, Dubai to Dublin, London to Los Angeles, Mumbai to Montreal, New York to New Delhi, Paris to Panama, Seoul to Shanghai, Tokyo to Toronto, and enchanting and intriguing wonders of both the ancient and modern world like Rome, Athens, and Istanbul -the list just goes on and on.
Winners of each qualifying event are invited to attend the season-ending Grand Final. And, as is the case every year, the 2020 Grand Final qualifiers will enjoy return Business Class flights with Turkish Airlines; whose guests can travel with one set of their golf clubs free of charge; accommodation on an all-inclusive basis at a 5-star hotel; two rounds of golf at the final; and will be given tickets to attend the Turkish Airlines Open for the professionals, which takes place just after the Grand Final. For the Grand Final winners, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the Pro-Am of the Turkish Airlines Open awaits.
Over previous years, finalists have partnered with, amongst others, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Rory Mcllroy, and 15-time Major champion Tiger Woods. In 2018, Mehmet Dingaz from Paris and Timothy Roddy from Dublin made Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup history by becoming the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup competitors to go on and win the Turkish Airlines Open Pro-Am with former Masters champion Trevor Immelman as their professional partner.
Participation in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup is primarily by invitation only. Key clients of Turkish Airlines and other event sponsors are invited to take part and network at some of the world’s finest courses, alongside travel industry VIPs. Interested in competing? Log on to the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup website and register your details in the “Participate” section to be in with a chance of getting an invite to your chosen qualifying event!