Belek, in the Antalya region of Turkey, to host IGTM 2011

Belek, in the Antalya region of Turkey, to host International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2011
Belek, in the Antalya region of Turkey, to host International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2011

International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) has announced that Belek, in the Antalya region of Turkey, will host the 14th edition of the world’s premier global event for golf tourism suppliers, buyers and media, from November 14-17, 2011.

Belek, one of the fastest growing and most successful golf destinations in the world, close to the cosmopolitan city of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, boasts 14 world-class golf venues, featuring signature designed golf courses by Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, among others, plus a wealth of high quality hotels.

Öner Uygun of Millennium Golf, commented: “We are delighted to be selected as the host of IGTM, which is a globally important event, and look forward to welcoming the industry’s leading golf tourism suppliers, buyers, official dignitaries and media from across the globe to Belek and Antalya.

“Since the opening of Belek’s first golf course, The National Golf Course, and the establishment of the Turkish Golf Association, in the early 1990s, Belek has benefited from huge investment with 14 top golf courses attracting a large and growing number of international visitors. In 2009, 349,000 rounds of golf were played, while 400,000 rounds were played in the first ten months of 2010.

Belek, on the Mediterranean coast, just 30 kilometres from Antalya airport, is at the heart of Turkish golf. The hotels are all 4 and 5-star standard and offer an excellent range of leisure facilities, with plenty to explore in the surrounding area.

“The climate has proven to be a clear attraction to Turkey, with people first visiting the country for its sun, sand and sea, as well as its historical and cultural appeal,” added Öner Uygun. “With the added benefits of high standards of service and accommodation, good value for money, and of course, a fantastic range of international standard golf courses, we are confident that visitors to Turkey and next year’s IGTM will have a great experience.”

Mark Walsh, Group Exhibition Director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, said: “Turkey, the 2008 IAGTO Best Golf Destination winner, and Belek Antalya, in particular, has enjoyed spectacular recent success and now is the right time to host the world’s largest gathering of golf tourism professionals in this exciting destination.

“The quality of the golf courses and resorts in Belek is outstanding, and combined with an excellent conference facility, The Antalya Expo Centre, we have all the necessary logistics to make IGTM 2011 a global success.”

Antalya boasts the world’s 26th busiest international airport with nearly 10 million passengers in 2010, an increase of more than 23% year-on-year.

IGTM will take place November 14-17, 2011, the week after the World Travel Market, London, also a Reed Travel Exhibitions event.

For more information about IGTM, please visit: www.igtm.co.uk

Martin Kaymer challenges Lee Westwood for No.1 spot

They may have been Ryder Cup team mates not so long ago, but Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer look set to be in fierce competition for the remainder of October.

Westwood is unlikely to play for a month because of injury and this move was set to see him move ahead of Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings. However, Kaymer has won his last three events and could threaten the Englishman’s position.

After winning the Dunhill Links Championship, Martin Kaymer sits in fourth position currently. He is set to compete in the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain though and success in this tournament could see him overtake both Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood.

This would be a more conventional way of going to the top of the rankings, winning tournaments rather than sitting out through injury, but that is the way the ranking system works.

It is calculated over a two-year period and because neither Tiger Woods nor Lee Westwood plan to play before 4th November, Westwood – who has had a better time of it than the American in recent months – would overtake him on the 31st October.

Nobody took into account the form of Martin Kaymer though. He has been in inspirational form and even if he doesn’t quite get to the top of the rankings this time, there can be no doubt that he is playing some of the best golf of the year right now.

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has been having his say on the situation, backing Westwood to be No.1 by the end of the month, despite Kaymer’s surge.

Montgomerie said: “”I think Lee will be number one even if he doesn’t play. If Tiger does not change his schedule he will lose his number one spot, it is just the way the world rankings work.”

The main point Montgomerie was keen to stress though was how healthy this is for European golf. Two players battling it out at the top of the World rankings can only be a good thing.
“We have had a fantastic year in Europe, said Monty.  “There is a dominance and there is a changing of the guard over to Europe.”

This is certainly the case, with the Ryder Cup victory coinciding with major wins for Kaymer and Graeme McDowell as well as six Europeans in the top ten of the World rankings.

Who will be top come 31st October though?

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Team Europe win the Ryder Cup in the final Singles Match

Graeme McDowell has finished a great personal year by winning the Ryder Cup for Team Europe in what turned out to be a very close match.  Europe won by 14½ points to 13½ in the last of today’s singles matches, beating Hunter Mahan 3&1.

Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter were mobbed as Hunter Mahan conceded the 17th hole, giving Graeme McDowell the victory needed to bring the Ryder Cup back to Europe. All the Team Europe players gathered around Captain Colin Montgomerie as champagne and tears began to flow.

Colin Montgomerie told Sky Sports “It’s a proud, proud moment for me.”

Europe needed five points from today’s Singles and got the points they needed with wins from Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiminez & Graeme McDowell; and Rory McIlroy and Edorado Molinari.

Team Europe won four Singles matches today:

Luke Donald beat Jim Furyk (1up)
Ian Poulter beat Matt Kuchar (5&4)
Miguel Angel Jiminez beat Bubba Watson (4&3)
Graeme McDowell beat Hunter Mahan (3&1)

The United States also won six Singles matches today:

Dustin Johnson beat Martin Kaymer
Jeff Overton beat Ross Fisher (4&3)
Tiger Woods beat Francesco Molinari (4&3)
Phil Mickelson beat Peter Hanson (4&2)
Zach Johnson beat Padraig Harrington (3&2)
Steve Stricker beat Lee Westwood (2&1)

Rory McIlroy v Stewart Cink – halved
Edorado Molinari v Rickie Fowler – halved

ProQuip new Aquastorm rain suits range comes with a three-year guarantee

ProQuip, the world's leading innovator of lightweight golf weatherwear has produced two new rain suits - the Aquastorm Elite and Aquastorm Classic.
ProQuip New Rain Suits - the Aquastorm Elite and Aquastorm Classic

ProQuip represents the very highest standards in performance golf weatherwear, providing golfers across the globe, including Colin Montgomerie’s European Ryder Cup Team 2010, with state-of-the-art, agenda-setting technical garments to cope with every type of weather condition.

Since its foundation in 1981, ProQuip has grown to become one of the world’s leading innovators of lightweight golf weatherwear, supplying thousands of golfers every year – men, women and children – with the very best performance products, whether they be award winning waterproof rain suits or the brand’s acclaimed water repellent knitwear range.

ProQuip, the world’s leading innovator of lightweight golf weatherwear and Preferred Supplier to the European Ryder Cup Team 2010, has produced two new rain suits combining outstanding style with technical performance and value.

Aimed at the discerning golfer, the Aquastorm Elite and Aquastorm Classic rain suits both feature a new, exclusively developed, satin-finish performance fabric offering supreme softness, comfort and quietness during the swing.

It is ProQuip’s first entry level suit with a technical waterproof outer (as opposed to waterproof drop liner technology) so rain is repelled from the surface like water off a duck’s back.

With an athletic, slim cut, the Aquastorm Elite jacket is designed with a contemporary, sporty look and stand out colour contrasts and stripes on the shoulders and sleeves (Black/Steel; Navy/Sea; Sea/Navy; Steel/Black).

The Aquastorm Classic jacket is the epitome of smart, understated style and features two classic plain colour options (all Navy or all Black) or plain colours with a contrasting collar lining (Navy with Sea collar; Sea with Navy collar; Black with Steel collar).

Both suits are complement by the high-spec Aquastorm Trouser available in Navy and Black, with front and rear pockets, leg zips, half elasticated waist band, fly zip and two stud fasteners.

Richard Head, ProQuip managing director, said:

“In my opinion, Aquastorm is the best rain suit in its class. It offers all the high-performance benefits of a technical waterproof outer with the soft comfort and quietness golfers expect of ProQuip’s exclusively developed fabrics.”

As with all ProQuip rain suits, the Aquastorm range comes with a three-year guarantee.

ProQuip is one of the highest profile weatherwear brands in the world of golf and is proud to have been the Preferred Supplier to more Ryder Cup teams – European and US – than any other clothing manufacturer.

The 38th Ryder Cup 2010 will take place at Celtic Manor Resort

There are around 200 golf courses in Wales but the most talked about course right now is Celtic Manor.  With just over 100 days to go it will be hosting the Ryder Cup 2010 as the best golfers in Europe take on the best from the USA.

Two years ago the European Team, captained by Nick Faldo were odds on favourites to beat a weakened United States team without Tiger Woods who had withdrawn after knee surgery. But the American team ran out comfortable winners at the famous Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky with the help of a boisterous crowd and a few European players for whatever reason underperforming over the three day event.  One of Nick Faldo’s captain’s choices was Ian Poulter.  His inclusion paid off as he was the highest scoring player in the European Team.

The Ryder Cup is like no other golf competition in the world.  Crowds are rowdy and behave more akin to football supporters rather than quiet, appreciative golf fans.  The US crowd helped their team to a famous victory and unsettled European nerves by cheering and booing; while a small group of European fans chanted “there’s only one Ian Poulter, one Ian Poulter” before teeing off.

Lee Westwood did himself no favours by speaking out when Boo Weekley pretended to ride his golf club down the fairway in a mock Kentucky Derby fashion.  The light-humoured fun was said to be disrespectful by Westwood, which only caused the crowd to get on his back.

Previous Ryder Cup ‘sledging’ incidents include Colin Montgomerie’s outburst when certain members of the crowd likened him to Mrs. Doubtfire.  Everyone else seemed amused by this look-a-likey except Monty himself!

Ian Poulter’s was included in the last European Ryder Cup team over this year’s Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie.  It will be interesting to see how Monty handles that situation nearer the time as it is obviously going to be a question that is thrown at him by journalists, especially if Ian Poulter doesn’t win an automatic place in this year’s European team and has to rely once more on being a Captain’s Choice.

The 38th Ryder Cup 2010 will take place at Celtic Manor Resort on the outskirts of Newport in South Wales between Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd October.

What an experience it would be to play the same course as the Ryder Cup players.  There is a growing market in the UK for golf holidays and many websites cater specifically for golfers in the UK by regularly offering special deals at some of the best golf courses in the UK.

Celtic Manor includes no fewer than three top class courses, an award winning  clubhouse and floodlit golf academy; and a golf break at one of the UK’s leading golf courses, including one round of golf on the Montgomerie Course, bed and breakfast can cost as little as £79 per person.

Above all other sports, the Ryder Cup is quite possibly my favourite sporting event, and I for one cannot wait for the European Team to reclaim the cup in October.