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
Jan 21, 2022

Reasons to Visit New Orleans This February and March

New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel

Daily
Jan 20, 2022

5 Remarkable South African Women Changing the Travel Industry

With Black History Month and Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s time to highlight and recognize South African women working hard to make the travel industry better.

eFlyer Reviews
Jan 19, 2022

Cheval Blanc Paris Review

Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.

 Reconnect with the world in The Islands of Tahiti

Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.

eFlyer News
Jan 19, 2022

New Specials at Well & Beings’ The Spa at Red Rock, The Spa at Green Valley Ranch

Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.

Daily
Jan 19, 2022

“JEOPARDY!”, Lindblad Expeditions Announce “Explore Alaska Sweepstakes”

Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.

Seabourn: It’s Not an Escape, It’s an Arrival

Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.

Daily
Jan 18, 2022

6 Reasons to Put Santorini, Greece, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.