Gloria Hotels & Resorts Director of Golf and PGA of GB&I Professional, David Clare, explains how the famed Turkish resort is preparing for the 2015 Annual Congress and International Team Championship in December, along with how the resort tailors itself perfectly for visiting PGA Professionals and their guests…
Q. The Annual Congress and the ITC are heading towards Gloria this year for the second time. How do you get prepared for this huge event?
Obviously having the course in its best condition for such an important event is of the upmost importance, so we actually have a long term plan which the greenkeeper follows starting from June onwards, so all the hard work is done before the event.
Fortunately as Gloria specialises in such tournaments and conferences we know that the event will be a huge success just like last year’s conference.
Q. What are the advantages for PGA Professional Members to be part of the Gloria-world?
PGA Members benefit from special packages available to themselves and their guests including room upgrades and transfer services from the airport. Also PGA Pros get special rates on range balls and are allowed to reserve the Practice areas in advance for the teaching groups – Gloria is the Only Resort in Turkey that offers this unique advantage.
Q. Which team will be strong at the ITC this year?
Traditionally the stronger golfing nations always do well but as the title of the event says it is International with 7 different countries winning in the last 7 years. I think last year’s winners Scotland will have a good chance to defend their title this year as they always seem to be in the leading groups but as always it will be a very tough competition and being played over the Gloria Old Course, which is slightly tougher than the New Course, it will be a very close and exciting Championship.
Q. Gloria has also opened the Gloria Sports Arena as the largest privately financed sporting facility in Europe recently. What kind of target groups are you addressing? And is there anything special for golfers?
The New Sports Arena is ideal for any form of Professional & Elite sporting bodies as it covers some 50 sports. Obviously Football Teams and Athletic Federations are the main groups that are using the facility but we are also aiming at the National Golfing Federations to use the facilities as physical fitness has become so much more important at top level golf and the Sports Arena has the very latest high level training equipment. It is not just for teams as we get Individual trainers bringing their players as well.
Q. What would you recommend PGA-members to do after a challenging game on your golf course?
Definitely take advantage of the superb beach and pool facilities we have as it is the perfect way to relax after a demanding game or better still relax with one of our special golfers massages available from our award winning Spas.
Q. Besides playing at the largest golf complex in Turkey, do you have any tips for visitors to discover the beautiful region around Belek?
The area around Belek is a quite remarkable with the ancient amphitheatre at Aspendos only 15 minutes away and the Roman Village ruins at Perge are only 25 minutes away. Tourists come to this area just to visit these sites alone so it is a great opportunity to mix playing on the Championship courses and then have a cultural tour in the afternoon. You can also go white water rafting on the Koprucay river, which is only 1 hour from Belek, or simply enjoy the beaches and Mediterranean sea.
For more information on Gloria Hotels & Resorts visit www.gloria.com.tr.