FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Turkish Airlines World Cup

by Francis X. Gallagher

Nov 1, 2018
Golf

PROUDLY BOASTING ITS CLAIM as the only Jack Nicklausdesigned golf course in Los Angeles County, Angeles National sits at the base of the Angeles National Forest. The 18-hole course offers lovely views and generous fairways and, important in the thirsty California of today, plenty of water, as the greens and fairways were lush and green when we played.

Global Traveler held an outing at Angeles National when we launched some 15 years ago, long before it even built the clubhouse. This year I was the guest of Turkish Airlines for its annual Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup championship, dubbed the widest-reaching corporate golf tournament in the world. The airline hosts tournaments like the one in Los Angeles all over the world, with the winner of each invited to attend the grand championship in Antalya, Turkey, at the end of October each year. Last year 8,000 participants played in 100 qualifying tournaments across 60 countries.

Our foursome included Steve White, GT Globility Board member, and Bill Noonan, a longtime veteran of the airline industry who worked with carriers spanning from TWA to Malaysia Airlines. Before he teed off, Steve made a point of thoroughly reading the tournament rules and listening to the pro’s instructions; it turned out to be vital information to the outcome. Bill and I played a skin game in which we bet $1 per hole with carryovers, which proved enjoyable as well.

HOLE 2 | 562 yards, par 5
As we started our game at Hole 4, Hole 2 was toward the end of the round and where Bill and I really began to have our competition. On the previous hole, I was ahead by $29; there was no way for Bill to win, so I challenged him to a double or nothing bet on the remaining three holes, and he accepted.

This is the longest hole on the course; although listed as the No. 5 handicapped hole, it can be more difficult. Power hitters can shorten it by cutting off the dogleg and carrying the fairway bunker to the landing area. Mere mortals have to play a straight shot and treat it as a true par 5. Errant shots off the tee to the right will find a stand of cottonwood trees. Your second shot to the landing area needs to avoid the bunker on the right. Clearing this bunker offers a clean approach shot to the green. Both Bill and I struggled; I had a terrible third shot from a side bunker and blamed this on bad club advice from Steve. Bill took the hole!

HOLE 9 | 446 yards, par 3
The tournament was played with a shotgun start, so we played the holes out of sequence. We started on Hole 4, so the No. 1 handicapped hole came relatively early in the game. It also was beginning to get hot, at least for those in Southern California; but for guys from Pennsylvania where the summers are blazing and the humidity is near saturation level, it was not a big deal. Nine offers a nice layout with a wide-open fairway but also an arroyo full of brush before the green. I landed left center, shocked at the distance I still had to carry to the green from this position. Bill sliced one with a near chance of staying in, but then it bounced in the brush on the right. Bill found an enormous number of balls in these dry areas prone to snakes — we called him the snake charmer. Steve hit an equally good shot dead center.

From here, it seemed like a long second shot, and I overcooked a utility wood to the top left of the green. Bill continued to charm the snakes while Steve hit a perfect shot on the green. I could feel my wallet growing as I scored a par.

Hole 10 © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

Hole 10 © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

HOLE 10 | 429 yards, par 4
The little pond should not come into play on the left as it is so close, but psychologically it rattles many golfers. Bill skipped one across the pond and somehow made it through the fence. I hugged the left side, never turning enough, and caught the left bunker. Steve hit his typical not-so-fun accurate drive — I laughed as I asked, “Where is the joy in a near-perfect shot?” Bill came back like a champ with a hard 3-wood to the left side but short of the green. I made a fantastic shot out of the sand with a 7-iron, but it came up short. Steve, of course, landed on the green in two. As the competitive energy grew, both Bill and I chipped on and one-putted for bogey.

HOLE 18 | 377 yards, par 4
We thought it was hot before, but the sun came down hard at Hole 18, and we had a slight backup at the tee box. It gave us the opportunity to discuss the best play on 18, a wonderful closing hole with many obstacles. The fairway goes slightly uphill and then crests and returns toward the green. Bill’s tee shot looked great as it headed out left over the brush and wasteland and started turning right. I was sure this would bounce freely to the center of the fairway, but the snake charmer was back and the ball was lost. I killed a ball with the Cobra, straight and true and landing past the crest of the hill to the flat area below. Steve landed short and farther right, nearly in the rough but safe. From here, players must hit an accurate ball to the green, which hugs the left side and a large pond. I took dead aim, struggled about the correct club and launched my iron. I pushed it right, fine, as this is the bail-out area. From here I chipped on for another bogey, as did Steve.

There are many other great holes at Angeles National, but more important is Turkish Airlines’ dedication to educate the world about the fine golf in Antalya. On a final note, I liked the Cobra F6 set so much, I bought the driver, utility woods and some irons, used, online!

Angeles National Golf Club

9401 Foothill Blvd.
Sunland, CA 91040
tel 818 951 8771
angelesnational.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 22, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Panama City, Panama, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.

Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

LGBTQ+
Jun 18, 2021

Show Your Pride with Essentia Cocktails

Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 16, 2021

Harmony at Hotel San Luis Obispo

Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 16, 2021

Vitamin Sea, D & Me at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta

Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.