Much anticipated main golf tour for 2019 for most of us – 12 Swashbucklers headed out to Belek in Turkey for the second year in a row. The Jolly Boys are off to Spain next week, we await a tour report from Mr Adams.
Overall a really great week… heaps of ropey golf, some ok, sun n’ beers. The weather was not as hot as last year but only by a degree or two… it remained around early to mid 30s all week and some very humid days. Unfortunately we had just one day of rain at arguably the best course, the PGA Sultan, but we managed to wait it out and played on with everything soaked.
We all had a good journey out, plane was on time and not full so a few had a chance to spread out. As with last year we arrived around midnight-ish at the 5* Cornelia Diamond for late dinner and arrival beers. Game on.
For those not familiar with our tour scoring, we have a heap of competitions running during the week led by Sean and this year helped by Graham who managed the who-plays-with-who-table. The bet for the week covered the following…
- Overall top stabledford score on the day together with front/back winnings
- Cumulative stableford scores going towards towards overall tour winner (end of week prizes for 1st and 2nd)
- Cash for four nearest the pins on the Par3’s on each day (with ongoing totals tracked)
- Best-of-three rounds winner
- As there were 12 of us, paired match winners in each 4ball
- Daily 6v6 team winners
- Finally, based on standard scratch on each day your club handicap was adjusted daily… and then calculated each day against the course/tee slope index.
Day1 The National
A humid day at The National and this year we played a new 9 for me followed by our front 9 last year – so that would be the Ada then Akana nines. Greens were not great, wirey, inconsistent and quite marked given we played towards the end of the day. Out in the first group, we all played off the whites and Brian and I took on Winkle and Mr Loveless. Golf was not sparkling but 4 up after 4 and we were dovetailing well. Things steadied out and we all toiled on the ropey golf until the 16th.
We all found it quite tough but no issue for Richie who walked the day with 34pts, head and shoulders against the rest of us hackers. His 7pt lead was a great start to the tour and he set the tone for the week with some very solid tee shots setting up some good scoring.
First evening on tour got quite messy with everyone on form as we found our favourite pier bar again.
Day2 Gloria – New Course
A fairly late tee time and we enjoyed a good morning by the pool and beach before the real business started.
Gloria was one of the 3 new courses for me in here 2019. After a late tee time, we played off the yellows, more holiday quality greens (i.e., not super).
Scott and I were up against Brian and Simon in the match and some steady golf saw us go a few up and we kept our noses in front. I managed a solid 20pts front nine which helped Scott and I take the lead and despite some decent holes from Simon and Brian on the back I was solid on the par3’s and we wangled a 2&1 win.
Phil had a very good day and he and I ended up halving the overall on the day with 33pts – 20 front and 13 back. Whilst Richie didn’t have his best day, he retained the tour lead by 3. An hour plus pick up and we had plenty of time for post round beers and bants… Mr Winks reeled in quite easily it seemed.
Of the two courses at the impressive Sueno resort, Dunes and and the Pines, we played the Dunes. A fun holiday course and one I hadn’t played.
Given it was a hotel/resort course, we had lengthy internal discussions about which tees and slope to use… turns out we could have done rhe whites quite happily.
It was a fun, short course with lots if short par4s but was tight enough to require approach shots to be from the right spots. They liked creating undulating fairways. Greens were best so far, rolling well and some cheeky lines to figure out. Cracking 18 to finish to an island green.
Jaggsy and I took on Sean and Mark. Sean’s steady play helped with some extra holiday shots saw him and Winkle get their noses in front and stay there, we didn’t have much chance espeically with Sean’s luck on the day! Sean managed an 8 for 1 on a par5 and Jaggsy birdied a par3 with a shot for a nett1.
Overall Sean won the day with a very impressive 36, and another steady round from Phil sees him take the overall tour lead.
Another good evening, some going to the very nice fish restaurant and the others doing the food hall… all meeting up for beers at the pool bar later.
Woke to the expected rain overnight amd the late morning and afternoon were not looking too good with storms and lightning to mess things up.
We headed over to the Sultan course late morning. Whilst we managed the range and practice areas without rain, it arrived at the end of the first hole. We each had buggies and waited out the downpours, till we had to take 45mins under cover at the halfway house. Lightning cracking off, we really should have been bought in.
We headed out again and only had one more hard downpour to deal with around the 8th hole. All a bit disappointing having everything soaked on the best course, but we knew it was coming. We all got round ok although poor old Simon really was quite ill during the game.
In the end, we finished in much better weather and Brian and I beat a determined and overall day winner Mr Loveless who was partnered with Philip. Tweedy scored well in the poor weather and drew level with Richie on tour lead.
Our group fish restaurant reservation was cancelled due to the harsh weather (staff having problems I guess), so we all headed to the buffet and pool bar for drinks.
Our early start of the week and when Jaggsy eventually turned up to the bus, we were back out to Anatalya GC to play the 2nd 18, the Pasha course.
The slope was in effect again and not popular with all(!). After the rain yesterday we had a very hot and sticky day. A fun course, Sean and I were partners on the day and lost to Phil and Richie who were dovetailing very well… and Richie especially driving well off the tee.
Winkle wins the day with the best score of the week 38pts (19/19). Well played. Richie had another good round and retained a 1pt lead over Tweedy going into the final day.
In the evening we were all out to Mediterranean restaurant.
Day6 Cornelia Golf Club
Nice lazy morning for final day. Quick courtesy coach to the closest course and we were on the Faldo designed course playing the Queen and Kings nines.
Off the whites the course was a very good track, probably the best on the week especially how wet the Sultan was on the day. Greens here were very good on the front and whilst the back appeared to be double seeded, we were warned that the greens had been left long. (4mm to be exact).
As our final day, the playing order was marked out from yesterdays final cumulative scores and as is tradition the tour leader had the choise and the top group went out first.
First group: Richie, Tweedy, Simon, Phil
Second group: Hew, Tom, Brian, Graham
Third group: Winkle, Jaggsy, Sean, Scott
Playing with Tom, Graham and Brian in the middle group, we had quite a relaxed fourball (mostly relaxed) on the final day when things can get tight in the first group aiming for the win, and in the last group to avoid the sh*t emoji golf tag for last place. My golf was kind of steady but wasnt alone with some end-of-tour swings getting me in trouble off the tee on back nine.
Graham had one remarkable explosion of emotion after shanking it sideways through his own buggy on an uphill lie. He cooled down thanks to a water bottle shower from Tom… who may have needed it himself on the 18th as his 6iron was impressively wrapped round a tree 40yards away. Brian and I managed the match win and I at least kept a blob off the card. Think just the second blob free round of the week, Tweedy doing the same at the soggy Sultan course.
Richie wins Turkey tour 2019
So over beers in the clubhouse, it was soon clear that that Richie won the final day with a solid 36pts, securing the tour win and best-3-rounds title. Well played Riccardo.
Myself and Tweedy returned second place and unfortunately Scott was the recipient of the tour sh*t emoji.
Firstly, big thanks to tour organiser Winkle – another cracking job getting us all paid up, on the right plane and setting us up for another great week of holiday golf.
Simon was our winnings meister, dishing out the hard earned during the week (and making a certain Mr Blake very grateful). Sean did a great job for setting up and recording all the scoring and slope calculations, helped by Google Sheets. Sean was aided by Graham who setup the group matrix of who was playing with who each day. And finally to Scott for being the Whipman for the week, top job mate.