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I'm away at the 2020 PGA Show in Orlando this week and only got time to post my 2020 Dubai Desert Classic Tips.

But here is who some of the other top tipsters are picking this week.
Follow them every week on my dedicated Facebook betting compilation page.



Steve Bamford's tips and podcast on GolfBettingSystem is the most comprehensive preview you'll ever see.
He goes for Schauffele Woodland and Palmer



Ben Coley in Sporting Life says
Recommended bets
2pts e.w. Tony Finau at 30/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

1pt e.w. Joaquin Niemann at 50/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

1pt e.w. Cameron Champ at 80/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

1pt e.w. Keegan Bradley at 90/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

1pt e.w. Cameron Davis at 200/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

0.5pt e.w. Brandon Hagy at 500/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

Niall Lyons in Oddschecker goes with
Tony Finau28/1
Ryan Palmer 55/1
Cameron Smith 40/1
Keegan Bradley 80/1
Talor Gooch 125/1



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I'm in Orlando with for my 11th PGA Show helping to spread the good word about golf in Ireland with the crew from NorthandWestCoastLinks.com.



Last night we headed over to the Golf Channel where Matt Adams hosted a great night of entertainment. Conor Moore from Conor's sketches was there and on top form doing his impressions.



Of course I made the most of my visit to the studio by doing my Dubai Desert Classic tips!


 The Keith O'Neill from Enniscrone Golf Club and I had a heated debate!







On Monday we attended Irish Golf Day at the Golden Bear Club.  It's a celebration of golf and a chance for those involved in the Irish Golf tourism industry to meet and play with key influencers.



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2020 Dubai Desert Classic Betting Preview and Tips

January 23rd – 26th, 2020
Emirates G.C., Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,328
Defending Champion: Bryson DeChambeau


Favourite Watch

Tommy Fleetwood tops the betting at 7/1 after showing some serious form last week. It's his 9th start in this event and he has a best of T6 a couple of years ago. Not for me at those ridiculous odds.

Doc's Top 5 Best Each Way Bets


Sergio Garcia 20/1


Warmed up with a T8  in Abu Dhabi where he drove the ball well but didn't quite pepper the greens with the same unerring accuracy as he likes.  Still 17 birdies and a cumulative -10 on the par-5's there say he's a danger here.  Winner of this event in 2017 and T3 last year.

Victor Perez 28/1


With a T2 in Abu Dhabi last week Victor Perez pretty much picked up where he left off in 2019.  This guy is HUGELY impressive and a Ryder Cup cert for me this year.  Winner of the Dunhill Links, T2 in Turkey, T4 in China on the back end of last year climbing from 139th in the world to 41st in one season.  Averaged 319 yards from the tee last week whilst ranking T3 in driving accuracy and that's a foundation that works pretty much everywhere.  If he can score on the par-5's this week the Frenchman can win.

Henrik Stenson 18/1



After lifting the trophy at the Hero World Challenge at the end of 2019 the question is Will Henrik Stenson get back to his very best in 2020?  The Iceman warmed up in Singapore last week where he started and finished well with some forgettable bits in the middle.  The Middle East has been kind to Henrik over the years; winner here in 2007, twice a winner of the Tour Championship, a win in Qatar way back in 2006 and with four top-6 finishes in his last five starts at Emirates Golf Club. I think he's a solid each way look albeit from low odds.

Robert MacIntyre 40/1


Pulled out of Abu Dhabi last week to let his recent hand injury recover a little more but seems good to go this week. The last of his three runner up finishes in 2019 was at the European Open after which he posted eight consecutive top-30 finishes including four more top-10s. Debut here in Dubai but lets hope it’s a case of beware the injured golfer.

Erik Van Rooyen 35/1


Erik did very well in the betting for us in 2019 and finally got his win at the Scandinavian Invitational in August.  Missed the cut on his debut here last year but its safe to say he's a different player now.  Recovered from a poor 73 on Thursday last week to battle to a T12 finish and can be right in the mix this week with his power.

Long Odds Glory Shots


Jason Scrivener 80/1 didn't play well last week in Abu Dhabi but finished 2019 really well and has been T7 and T6 on his last two starts in this event.  Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Sam Horsfield 125/1 hits it a country mile and played well last week in Abu Dhabi recovering from a shaky start to finish T12.  Showed in the Czech Republic last year that he can contend.




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Eddie Pepperell is always good for a laugh and he appeared on Monday in Abu Dhabi after having a hole in one. Unfortunately for Eddie he didn't go home with a BMW roadster.


Was he lucky or unlucky!!??




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What a weekend it was for Ping dominating on both major Tours with Lee Westwood in Abu Dhabi and Andrew Landry at the American Express Championship.

Both men used versions of the Ping G410 driver.  Westwood topped the field in driving accuracy with his G410 Plus, hitting 39 fairway for the week and averaging 298.9 yards. Landry was T3 in the accuracy off the tee stats with 42 fairways found and he averaged 285.6 yards with his LST model.



Key for Westwood was his incredible putting with the Ping Sigma 2 Fetch. 21 birdies and 4 bogeys. No 3 putt all week. 112 putts total, 28 per round. +7.3 strokes gained on the field. Westwood seemed to be employing a "raised heel"  method at address.


Here are the full bag checks

What's In The Bag Lee Westwood


Driver: Ping G410 Plus (10.5 degrees set to 10) with an Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 Xshaft.
3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees) with an Aldila NV 2KXV Green shaft.
Hybrid: Ping G410 (19 degrees) with an Aldila Tour Green Hybrid 85 X shaft.
Driving iron: Ping G Crossover (2) with Ping JZ Stiff shaft.
Irons: Ping i210 (4-UW) with Ping JZ Stiff shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees) with Ping JZ Stiff shafts
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

What's In The Bag Andrew Landry


Driver: Ping G410 LST (10.5 degrees) with an Aldila Tour Blue 65 TX shaft.
3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft.
5-wood: Ping G (17.75) with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft.
7-wood: Ping G410 (set at 20.5 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow 83 shaft.
Irons: Ping iBlade (4-PW) with Nippon Modus3 105-X shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (46 degree), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (54, 60 degrees) all with Nippon Modus3 Tour 105-X shafts.
Putter: Ping Vault 2.0 ZB Stealth
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x



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Very interesting listening to Sergio Garcia talk to Tim Barter after his first round at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Tim asked Sergio why he has split from Callaway and Sergio replied that in contract negotiations Callaway were insistent that the Spaniard played the Chrome Soft ball.  It became a deal breaker.



The Chrome Soft ball came in for serious criticism last year after MyGolfSpy found serious flaws in testing the ball. "We began finding visibly off-center cores, inconsistent mixing, and uneven layering. It’s the kind of thing that leads to inconsistent and sometimes unpredictable performance on the golf course."



Sergio used the Titleist Pro V1 in 2019 and was formerly a TaylorMade TP5 ball user towards the end of his 15 stint 

Callaway say if the Sergio split "We parted on great terms and the option for Sergio to carry Callaway equipment in the future remains."

This week Sergio has in his bag

Sergio Garcia Abu Dhabi WITB 2020

Driver: Ping G410 (9 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80TX shaft.
Fairways: TaylorMade SIM (15 and 19 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80TX shafts
Irons: Ping Blueprint (3-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130x shafts.
Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (54, 58 deg) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130x shafts.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x ball


Pic credits: twitter

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Bryson DeChambeau spoke to the media yesterday and as always it was a fantastic mix of entertaining bullshit. 



The world's slowest player also said he welcomes the new slow play penalties on the European Tour.  Its kindof the same way the Pope would welcome female ex-hooker Priests.
"I love it....I told you guys, even back on the PGA TOUR, when stuff was happening, I welcome it.
"I was playing under the rules and there was no rhyme or reason to be called out, other than the fact that it looked like it was a really, really long time that it took, and it was, absolutely. I'm not saying it wasn't.
"But I was playing under the rules at that point in time, and there's no reason or why I should have been given so much heat, considering other things that had occurred that day and previous days of other people that I played with and other things that occurred.
"It's just .01 per cent of the time that that happens on Tour, which it happens literally with everybody out there. They just caught it on camera at that specific moment in time.
"You know there, was no time assessed, there was nothing that occurred and I played under the rules. To be called out like that was kind of weird, but it is what it is and I take it and I understand it.
"All I'm doing is my absolute best to be better, and that's what I look forward to this year is, again, like I said, a new me, a new person, and a way that's going to represent all tours, all golf in general in a positive way to help grow the game.
"That's what I've always been about is trying to shine a light on the game of golf and not push people away, with developing the one-length irons, having a new way of swinging the golf club and doing all these different things that look weird, but have been a massive benefit to the game, that's what I'm about.
"So when considering change like that, I welcome it. I don't want to be out there for six hours, nor does anybody, right. And there's numerous times out there, more than not, our group is waiting for people to go, and so I certainly don't want to be waiting on players. It's going to hurt my momentum. Every time it happens, I feel like I get cold.
"I don't want that to happen to people behind me or in front of me. There's a lot of things that happen during the course of a golf round. People don't just hit in the middle of the fairway or on the green all the time. You have situations that occur.
"Taking that into account, which I think they have done beautifully, it is a good thing. Having the, hey, can I get 40 more seconds because this is a weird shot, the wind came up, or something happened, I think that's great. I think what they did there is awesome."
From there we went onto muscle!


Hats off to Sky's Mike Wedderburn who hinted there might be more to Bryson's weight than the "gym".

And finally....


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2020 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Betting Preview And Tips

January 16th – 19th, 2020
Abu Dhabi G.C., Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,583
Purse: $7 million with $1,139,894 to the winner
Defending Champion: Shane Lowry
Official website: Abu Dhabi Championship
 

2020 Abu Dhabi Golf Betting Tips


Favourite Watch

Believe it or not Patrick Cantlay is the bookies favourite at 10/1 on the back of a solo 4th at the reduced field Tournament Of Champions and a second at The Shriners.  That looks a bit of a red herring for a debutant to me.  If I was looking for a win only bet I'd look no further than reigning Open Champion Shane Lowry at 18/1.  He's also the defending champion here and warmed up with a solo 2nd at the Hong Kong Open (behind Wade Ormsby) last week.

Doc's Top 5 Best Each Way Bets in Abu Dhabi


Louis Oosthuizen 16/1


16/1 are low odds for a place bet but Louis is a live contender to take a win also and his consistency of late give him the nod (over Tommy Pieters at 25/1).  His solo second last week at the SA Open included a hole in one when most needed to put pressure on Branden Grace. T6 at the Nedbank meant a decent South African swing, solo third too at the WGC HSBC and it all adds up to watch out for Louis  who has four top-10's from eight Abu Dhabi starts including a solo 3rd last year.

Matt Fitzpatrick 20/1


Matt didn't play Abu Dhabi last season but finished T3 in 2018 and returns this year for his fifth appearance. 2019 was a season of pure frustration for the Englishman with three runner-up finishes and a string of agonising top-10's at the end of the season when he could have, and arguably should have, won.  New year, clean slate, I think he'll do well this week.

Bob MacIntyre 35/1


Rookie of the Year in 2019 and Bob MacIntyre comes into 2020 with real hopes of a Ryder Cup spot and breaking into the world's top 50 (currently 65th).  The last of his three runner up finishes in 2019 was at the European Open after which he posted eight consecutive top-30 finishes including four more top-10s. T63 on his debut last year but the Scot his matured quickly since and is headed for big things in 2020.

Tom Lewis 45/1


Looking down the field for value I see Tom Lewis at 45/1 and he looks a great each way bet.  This guy has oceans of talent and really seemed to have grown in stature over the past two seasons to the point that he's now 53rd in the World Rankings from a low of 394th at the start of 2018.  Finished 2019 with three European top-10's from five starts including a T6 at the Tour Championship in Dubai.  One to watch this week.

Joost Luiten 50/1


Any tipster worth his salt will tell you that those who top-5 in Abu Dhabi shower the greens in regulation and if there's one man who you need for that job its Joost Luiten.  Solo third here last year and has three other top-6 finishes besides in the last eight years.  Loves this course, his stats tee to green here over starts are the best in the field and if he gets his putts can definitely post a place finish.


Long Odds Glory Shots


Pablo Larrazabal 66/1


Winner again in South Africa at the Alfred Dunhill to end 2019 and former winner of this event in 2014. T6 here in 2019 and T2 in 2017 and I'll be having a fiver each way on Pablo myself this week at those odds!!

Paul Waring 70/1


T6 here to start his 2019, then T3 in Dubai and went on to have a super season including 8 consecutive top-30 finishes from the Czech Masters to end it.  Now 73rd in the World and rising. One of my favourite players on Tour.



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It was a very emotional Cameron Smith that lifted the Sony Open in Hawaii yesterday as his thoughts were clearly with his fellow Australians battling deadly bushfires back home including his Uncle Warren who lost his home and farm.


On the course Smith was nerveless in a playoff with Brendan Steele beating him with a two putt par on the first playoff hole.



The 26 year old started the event at 60/1 in the betting and looked value after a T10 at the Australian PGA before Christmas and a T3 at the CJ Cup.  The win is technically Smith's second on the PGA Tour but his first "solo" win; he won the 2017 Zurich Classic when he teamed up with Jonas Blixt.

Before the event began at Waialae Country Club Smith pledged to donate $500 for every birdie and $1000 for every eagle he made in the tournament to go towards the wildfire relief efforts at home.

“Every birdie putt I had, just meant that little bit more. Rather than kind of wanting to make it I almost felt like I had to make it,” Smith said after winning.

What's In The Bag 2020 Cameron Smith


Driver: Titleist TS2 (9.5 degrees) with a UST Mamiya Elements Platinum 6F5 shaft.
3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees) with a UST Mamiya Elements Platinum 7F5 shaft.
Utility Iron: Titleist U500 (3) with a Dynamic Gold AMT White X100 shaft
Irons:  Titleist T100 Black (4-9) with Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx X100 shafts.
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8 (46, 52, 56, 60) with KBS Tour 130X  shafts. (*46 deg has Black Onyx X100)
Putter: Scotty Cameron TFB 1.5 Teryllium
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

2020 Sony Open Highlights



Cam Smith Winning Stats Check

For the week Smith hit 36 fairways with his Titleist TS1 driver, and 11 of 14 Sunday averaging 297.3 yards. The Aussie got back on track with his Titleist T100 irons hitting 51 greens, T20 in the GIR stats.  On the greens he was peerless in the birdie stats with a field topping 21 using his Scotty Cameron TFB 1.5 Teryllium putter. In total he needed 111 putts, for a T4 clip in total putting. Those 21 birdies versus 7 bogeys for the week Smith resulted in a charity total of  $21,000 towards wildfire aid at home in Australia.

2020 SA Open Branden Grace WITB


Branden Grace got his 2020 off to dream start by carding an incredible 62 to storm to victory at the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club. Even a hole in one fromrunner up Louis Oosthuizen could only get him within three shots of the amazing Grace.

The 31-year-old was on fire on the greens and afterwards thanked his putting coach Brad Faxon for transforming his stroke.  The win signals a return to form for Grace who had slipped to 126th in the world after a forgettable 2019 season.  With the win he's now back up to 72nd in the OWGR and secures a coveted spot at the 2020 Open Champion.

Speaking of slots at Royal St George's special mention must go to Marcus Armitage for securing his Open berth, after his best ever finish on Tour with third place.

What's In The Bag 2020 Branden Grace


Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Tour Spec X shaft.
3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees) with an Oban Kiyoshi Black 75 shaft.
Hybrid: PXG 0317X (17 degrees) with a Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 83 X shaft.
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 19 (4-PW) with True Temper Project X 6.5 shafts.
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (52, 56, 60) with True Temper Project X 6.5 shafts.
Putter: Odyssey Toulon Atlanta Stroke Lab
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x


Highlights


Branden Grace Winning Stats Check

Branden Grace hit 30 fairways for the week with his Callaway Epic driver, T13 in the stats, and averaged 298.1 yards. That improved up a clip of 54 greens in regulation (T13 in the GIR stats) using his Callaway Apex Pro 19 irons.
Using an Odyssey Toulon Atlanta Stroke Lab putter the South African took 106 putts total but needed a miserly 22 on Sunday.  His final round included 7 birdies and an eagle and nine consecutive one putts mid round. Grace topped several stats for the week including Strokes Gained Total with +5.02.



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Thie video below by former PGA Tour pro Tim Herron is brilliant.  The golf swing explained.  Lumpy is one of the few that has a sense of humour!



Make sure to like the GolfCentralDaily facebook page for more fun like this.  Social media is where its at!  Feed feed feed!



Meanwhile Darren Clarke looks to be in a rebuilding phase.



Make sure to like the GolfCentralDaily facebook page for more.

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Last I heard of striker Peter Odemwingie he was still out in the car park at QPR on Transfer Deadline Day! The poor guy was stuck at West Brom for years and they never played him.



Now 38 the former Nigerian striker is about 8 months officially retired from football and now he's training to be a PGA pro.

Apparently Peter is a decent player too, satellite Tour standard with plenty of tournament experience and he's now training at the University of Birmingham  for a foundation degree in professional golf studies.

Lessons coming a car park near you.

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In case you'e living under a rock.....next week the European Tour's Middle East Swing kicks off and with a tonne of American stars on appearance fees and with massive money to play for, the question is Will They Show Up?

The US has its citizens in the region on high alert following the drone strike on Iran's top military man Qasem Soleimani, which naturally enough really pissed the Ayatollah off and left him threatening retaliation.

Is the risk real? Absolutely. Sort Of.  Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are well with within Iran's range and while it would be political suicide to harm a hair on anyone's head within either of those two countries (which have money and oil) risking a further escalation of tensions, it's still dangerous.


Among those set to travel are Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau.

So far all are still confirmed, but Bryson has spoken about his doubts to Luke Kerr Dineen who said in a tweet that DeChambeau.....

Says he's "really not sure" if he's going to go to Abu Dhabi next week because of recent events in the region. "No American is safe."

DeChambeau is chalked in to play Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Brooks Koepka is set to play Abu Dhabi and the Saudi International along with DJ, Pat Reed and Phil Mickelson.

Watch this space.

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I had the pleasure of travelling to Turkey on behalf of DestinationGolf.Travel to play golf recently and made this video to explain everything you need to know to book your own holiday. It was an absolutely brilliant experience!!

I cover getting there via Turkish Airlines, staying at the Gloria Hotels, playing golf on the three Gloria Courses and things to do for the non golfer.



I hope this helps and encourages you consider Turkey as a destination for your golfing holiday.



Hi everyone its Donal here on behalf of DestinationGolf.TRAVEL and if you are thinking about a golf holiday in Turkey you're in the right place. I'm just back from a trip to Antalya and can fill you in on pretty much everything you need to know.

Now I had never golfed in Turkey before so I was very eager to see how it compared with other…..lets say more established golfing venues like Spain and Portugal. I've seen the Turkish Open on the European Tour there and it always looks amazing.

Now a little disclaimer before we start, this  wasn't your typical "lads"  golfing trip, this was a press trip with Turkish Airlines and Azalea, but having said that we were had a great little group.  Aodhnan and Johnny are longstanding sports journalists, Mark and Katie are young sports writers and I'm somewhere in the middle.  We had Onur as our host from Turkish Airlines, THE nicest guy you could meet, one of these people who are professional and super organised, always going a million miles an hour to make sure everything ran smoothly. And we had Neil from Azalea, former pro, top man who organised our stay in Gloria Hotels and golf on their adjoining courses.



But lets start with getting to Turkey from Ireland and the UK.  We flew Turkish Airlines from Dublin to Istanbul new airport, that’s about a 4 hour trip, and from there you hop onto a one hour flight to Antalya.  The new airport in Istanbul is something to behold, it is massive, the biggest airport in the world. It's a tourist destination in itself.  It’s the hub for Turkish Airlines, the "meeting place of the world" and they serve 238 different locations from there.  The Turkish Airlines business lounge in Istanbul is positively enormous, football pitch sized huge, with all the food you can eat.  There's private bedrooms and meeting rooms and even an art gallery, I mean its 5 star hotel stuff…..ultra modern and high tech yet with areas designed like a darkened quiet library…it's so well thought out.
There's even a masseuse that walks around and gives the weary traveller a back or neck rub.  If you treat yourself and fly business class with Turkish Airlines, access to this lounge is included in the fare and for me to experience business class, with the big high tech interactive entertainment seats, the flying chef, the service and to visit the Turkish Airlines business lounge for even a couple of hours was certainly one of the big highlights of the trip.



There are 14 Dublin-Istanbul-Antalya flights with Turkish Airlines every week, Economy class return starts from 358€and Business class return ticket starts from 1143€. Your first set of golf clubs are free, the baggage allowances are great also and you can find out more flight info on TurkishAirlines.com.

With Dublin to Istanbul to Antalya done by air, the bus transfer from Antalya airport to the Serenity Gloria Hotel where we were staying takes about 40 minutes. This is a top class hotel, by the sea, all inclusive too, which is great.  You simply don’t need money.  Food is always available 24 hours a day and all you can drink. I can never get my head properly around how that works financially, you tell an Irishman like me that there's a free bar and I'm like a moth to a lightbulb, but you know what, it's great. You are on holiday and it's ok to indulge a little!



As well as the always open main restaurant, you've got a Steakhouse, a Japanese sushi eatery and a French restaurant that you can book a table in.  We went to a different one every night, great food and wine, and when your stuffed you just get up and walk out without paying; it's all included!
Rooms are top notch as you'd expect in a 5 star resort, pristine clean, big open luxurious, loads of cool mods and cons, wifi'd up to the max and service checks on you.  They bring traditional Turkish treats to eat everyday, loads of fruit and my favourite…..a box of Pringles.

Before I get onto the golf, I want to mention the non golfers in our gang Katie and Onur because I was interested to see what they would do to pass the days.  I needn't have worried.  They went shopping in Belek which is five minutes down the road, they had massages and turkish bath treatments in the hotel, they went swimming, they went to the gym, they went to the beach, they even went to the incredible driving range and short game facilities at the Gloria Golf Resort and got some lessons from the pros!



Which brings us to the golf.   We played three rounds.  A warm up on the 9 hole Verde course the day after we arrived and then the Old and New Gloria courses.  I say "warm up" on the 9 hole course, but we played from the back tees and it was a beast of a track; I absolutely loved it.
The Old and New courses are top class layouts. They both hosted countless professional and amateur events, top Tour events and you can immediately see why. I've been lucky enough to play Valderrama and the Gloria Old Course in Belek is Valderrama on steroids. Fairways are flanked by pines with big exploding canopies of needles, that when your ball hits them, they suck it in, and drop it straight down.  They are always in your way if you are wayward and it is just brilliant fun trying to plot your way around.  You get the occasional break from the pines too to play super holes over water.  The greens are relatively flat so you CAN get putts; it was just a class track, everyone loved it and pretty much played to their handicap too which made it more enjoyable.



The new course is a little wider and more undulating, a different test to the Old. But a super test nonetheless.  This is proper golf, you have to hit your shots.  From the back tees you have to be able to move your ball to be in with a chance of scoring.  You could transplant any of these courses home and they would be in the top 5% here…there is no question about that.
The weather on the other hand in Turkey is excellent pretty much all year round.  We did see a little bit of rain, it was December, but that just served to keep the golf courses green and lush and natural…..it is mostly warm and sunny and playing golf in your t-shirt two weeks before Christmas felt great!

In summary the courses, facilities and service at the Gloria Golf Resort are top class; as a total package I don’t think I've visited any place in the world as well equipped as it.  You could happily spend a day moving from the range to one of the many chipping greens and on to the putting green.  The clubhouse itself is hotel sized with a top class restaurant and bar. Lockers and showers are pristine and even you've arrived without clubs, they have everything absolutely you need to get you out on the course. More info on the hotel and golf can be found on www.gloria.com
And its not just golf that Gloria do.  And I think this puts how they do things into perspective.  Down the road from the golf courses is the Gloria Sports Arena which is up there with the best training facilities in the world. Pitches, an athletics track, indoor and outdoor 50 metre swimming pools, Olympic diving facilities, countless gym and indoor courts, athlete accommodation and what was were simply incredible injury rehabilitation facilities.  We went into their Icelab, 3 minutes in a room at minus 136 degrees C, I was super nervous, but it was an incredible experience!

One thing you have to do while in the region is a shopping visit to the markets in Antalya.  Our bus  parked down at the marina where all the tourist trip boats go from, it’s a really vibrant area with gorgeous views and about a 10 minute walk to the markets where you can get everything.  Even if you don’t want anything! Everything is a haggle, every purchase involves a bit of gesturing and walking away but that’s the way its done; and it can be fun too.  And there's no doubt that even after all the haggling you'll away with a bargain.



My overall takeaway is that I loved Turkey, I would and will go back there in a heartbeat.  It is safe and welcoming, the Gloria Hotels are gorgeous with impeccable service, the golf courses are super tests and off the course there's so much to do for the non golfer.

For more information on Turkey, you can view our bespoke golf guide on DestinationGolf.TRAVEL but from me for now thanks for watching and enjoy your Turkish golfing holiday.


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I'm not kicking off my 2020 Betting Tips Posts until next week but I've had a quick look at the Sony Open and here's a little explainer as to why the top-3 in the betting this week are where they are.

I use OddsChecker Golf to compare the odds.  It's really handy and presents a nice comparison table of the odds.  There's rarely much variance between them. Click here for the full Sony Open table. 



For people who want to browse the stats, player form and get predictions a great site is GolfPredictor.


It puts all the numbers into a giant mathematical pot and works out the probability of what's going to happen in the form of a prediction. This week's top five for instance is....

1. Thomas
2. Simpson
3. Reed
4. Matsuyama
5. Kuchar

Browse the odds and see does it tally with your own picks.

Here's the top-3 favourites this week.

Justin Thomas 5/1


Winner last week, albeit that he stumbled over the line in Kapalua.  Winner here in 2017 and this is a free hit this week. Crazy odds for me of 5/1, indicates the perceived lack of depth in the field.

Pat Reed 12/1


Lost in that playoff last week while someone shouted "Cheater" during his playoff putt.  Top 15 finish last year.  Poor tee to green stats last week despite his finish leave questions.

Webb Simpson 12/1


Never missed a cut in this event, top-20 in his last five visits although he didn't play last year. 2nd at the RSM and T7 at The Shriners so far this season.


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