15 AUG 2018: Oakville, Ontario, is a long way from Antalya, Turkey, but close to 100 participants in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Toronto region qualifier last week had their eye on the latter as they teed off at Glen Abbey Golf Club for a chance to represent Canada at the Cup finale.

For friends of the airline, including many from the travel trade, the chance to play at venerable Glen Abbey – frequent home of the Canadian Open – was enough to inspire an early morning tee-off, but one lucky (and talented) duffer would win a trip to Turkey to take part in the finals of the Cup, along with corresponding winners from a whopping 100 destinations in 63 countries worldwide.

The event, according to Turkish Airlines, is the largest global amateur golf series in the world, “mirroring the truly global reach of Turkish Airlines.” Having launched in 2013, and along with the airline’s extensive sponsorship of professional golf, it also reflects the airline’s “commitment to golf,” especially in Turkey.

Belek, in particular, and Istanbul are hot spots for the game in Turkey, which the Turkish tourism board says is no longer golf’s “best-kept secret,” thanks in large part to its great international standard courses (many paired with five-star resorts), ideal Mediterranean climate and historical setting.

But no matter where duffers take to the links, “Golf clubs fly for free. We like to look after our golfers,” an airline exec assured the Glen Abbey group at the awards ceremony following the event.

As for the Grand Final in Belek, Oct. 27-Nov. 4, Troy Vigushin, an air tactician at Flight Centre Travel Group in Toronto, took top prize and will be flown business class to Antalya and hosted for eight nights at the Titanic Delux Belek.

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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