Patriotic people often hold many ambitions for their country. In war-torn parts of the globe, patriotic sorts want to see their country united. In oppressed parts of the globe, they want to see their country gain independence. In poor parts of the globe, they want to see their country thrive and become a place where their citizens can live.
Ahmet Agouglu is one such patriotic individual. And he holds one very dear aspiration for his country. Ahmet is the President of the Turkish golf association and he announced this week that there is zero chance that he will go to his grave without having seen Turkey host the Ryder Cup.
We will be the strongest bidder for 2026.
I will not die until I have the Ryder Cup played in this country.
Ireland is being proffered as a potential host in 2026 but how can we compete with that kind of maniacal commitment?
Turkey has not previously been thought a golf stronghold. There are still only 18 golf clubs in the country, but seven of those have been established in the past 18 years. The country boasts the largest number of junior golfers in the world.
Agouglu had expressed an interest in pushing Turkey as a prospective host in 2022, but said the government didn't stand behind him.
It is a pity that we did not bid for 2022, but the mistake I made with that was I expected government support but didn’t get it, and I will not make that mistake again.
What the relatively genteel environment of the Ryder Cup needs is a trip to Turkey. If the country's golfing fraternity are anything like their football supporters, it will make the atmosphere at Brookline in 1999 look very tame by comparison.