For the past few years, global investors have been busy buying land in Turkey for the purpose of golf resort development, as the industry is experiencing a boom. I came to the realization that golf could become the future of Turkish tourism and, perhaps, part of my future, too. At first, I knew nothing about golf. I also didn’t know how to speak English, so I decided I would have to live in another country in order to study both these subjects.
It was scary to think about the difficulty of the task that was ahead of me. Yet, I decided to pursue my dream despite the obstacles. The big question I had to ask
myself was “how?” The answer was that I had to find a school that could teach me both English and golf.
After a wide search, I found Selkirk College and contacted Bob Falle, chair of the School of Hospitality and Tourism. His approach was very professional, and he patiently answered all my questions.
In 2002, I moved to Canada to begin my education; after a year of English study I was accepted into the Golf Management and Operation program. I met with Mitch Regiec, golf program instructor, and Wayne Schweitzer, program coordinator, before being introduced to the other instructors.
What professionalism! Their approach was mazing. They gave me confidence and provided me with the opportunity to express myself. They took the time to train me in all the details and aspects of the golf industry, and they taught me how to be part of golf culture. They also showed me how to find a place to work, so I could gain hands-on experience.
Right after I completed my work term, I was hired by Kananaskis Country Golf Course. General manager Darren Robinson, who also graduated from the program at Selkirk College, gave me an opportunity to work in almost all areas of the golf course. I worked at Kananaskis for four golf seasons and the experience was incredible.
In 2007, I returned to Turkey and began looking for opportunities in the industry. After a long process and several interviews, I was hired as a golf club executive by a company that is going to build a brand new golf resort. I am responsible for the construction process of the golf course, as well as establishing the 27-hole golf club with all facilities, including a five-star hotel and spa, in the beautiful Turkish Riviera of Kusadasi.
Today is my fifth day at my new position and my boss (a member of the board) told me that they were very impressed with my knowledge about the golf industry during the interview; they said they saw a great spark of passion in my eye, which Selkirk College gave me.
I owe my career and future to Selkirk College and the great friends I made there. By the way, they are still helping me whenever I have questions.