Dr Bulent Goktuna, President of Mineks International, raised 36,000 euro for the National Golf Club Junior Team through the sale of a number of signed Ladies European Tour photographs, golf gloves and balls at an auction ahead of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
Since the opening of National Golf Club back in November 1994 it has been the vision of Dr Goktuna and the management to encourage the young to participate in the sport.
In 2006, Dr Goktuna instigated the National Golf Club Junior Training Program and there are now 77 juniors who receive regular training at the club, 11 of whom come from the local orphanage.
Many of the children have a unique opportunity to improve their life styles from this project and in additional to golf they also take social education and English classes.
Tournament Director, Tony Martin, from Mineks International, commented: “I started off doing the auction and I started off at 500 euros. It’s only a thing we made up ourselves with Laura (Davies), Mel (Reid) and Helen (Alfredsson) and made up a few bits and stuck them in a glass case.
“It was a bit more than a glass case: it was quite nice. I started off the bidding in English and then the club captain said, ‘Let me do it in Turkish’, so I handed the mike over to him. Next thing it was 36,000 euros! I said, the people here have a lot of money and I thought we’d get 5000, but 36!”
There have already been several success stories from this project and many of the juniors have low handicaps. One day soon, there is a real possibility that the Ladies European Tour will have its first Turkish representative and Martin is adamant that a golfing superstar may even emerge.