It is billed as the world’s largest corporate amateur golf tournament, and is being held nearly simultaneously in 100 countries around the world for the seventh year running. Among the venues are the Ryder Cup’s Gleneagles, Royal Birkdale of the Open Championship – and the Gokarna Forest Resort in Kathmandu.
This is the second time Nepal is a part of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup’s qualifiers which will be held on 11 May with over 100 golfers from various clubs around Nepal taking part. The winner will get to attend the finals in Antalya of the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
“We are thrilled to be back in Kathmandu with the World Golf Club,” said Country Manager for Nepal of Turkish Airlines Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, “Nepal is more than mountains, it is also a golfing destination. Here you can play golf and admire the mountains at the same time.”
This year’s tournament will be in memory of Ang Tshering Sherpa of Yeti Airlines which also manages the Gokarna Forest Resort. The previous Nepal champion, Madhav Acharya, attended the grand finale at Antalya last year.
Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup was initiated in 2013 as part of its ground-breaking golf programs including Turkish Airlines Open European Tour Tournament and the Turkish Airlines Challenge Tour event. Besides golf, Turkish Airlines is also involved in organising tournaments for other sports like soccer, rugby, and basketball.
“There is a huge untapped potential to promote Nepal as a golfing destination for the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign,” said Deepak Raj Joshi of Nepal Tourism Board.
Indeed, the Gokarna course is featured prominently on Turkish Airlines promotional material and home page, which notes: ‘Inspired by the myth, magic and mystery of the once forbidden valley, David Kidd of Gleneagles Golf Developments, pitted his skills against those of nature, creating a golf masterpiece spread over 140 acres at 4,550 ft above sea level, the 6,755 yard par 72 course boasts the only bentgrass greens on an 18 hole course in South and South East Asia.’
The Gokarna Forest Resort is a former royal hunting reserve and the last remaining primary forest on the Kathmandu Valley floor, and the unique course’s fairways curl through jungle teeming with deer and monkeys with the summit of Mt Dorje Lakpa (6,980m) peering over the foothills.
Golfing proponent Deepak Acharya of Gokarna Forest Resort appreciated the effort Turkish Airlines is making to develop Nepal as more than just a trekking and mountaineering attraction to also a scenic golfing destination. Bhairaja Panday of Gokarna Golf Club appreciated efforts made by Turkish Airlines, and especially its Nepal manager Abdullah Tuncer Kececi to promote Nepal’s tourism and its diverse attractions. Both were addressing a press conference on Wednesday to announce the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup.
Turkish Airlines has a fleet of 333 aircrafts flying to 306 destinations in 124 countries carrying over 75 million passengers in a year. The newly opened Istanbul Airport hub is set for completion in 2028, which will serve up to 200 million passenger annually.