There were two fourballs from the Midlands of England and there were two from somewhere in Russia and they collided on a golf course in Turkey last week.

International relationships were not enhanced. Because some of the Midland Eight could play a bit and had a passable grasp of the etiquette of the game while none of the Russians had the faintest knowledge of either basic requirement.

For the best part of five hours on a track called Gloria at a place called Belek, the Russians set a pace that made the resident tortoises, which are a feature of the course, seem positively hypersonic.

The most noticeable feature presented by the Eastern European entourage was the stern furniture of one of its lady members.

To watch the body being levered into position from which to attempt to play a golf shot was to become aware of the limitless enormity of human optimism.

Were the suffering Midlanders relieved when it was all over! Roll on tomorrow.

And tomorrow dawned and there, directly in front on the first tee of a course called Nobilis, were the Red Menace. Real despair is measured in moments like this.

So a deputation from the Midlands presented themselves to the starter and as politely as was possible, explained that none of the eight players that he had just let on to the tee had the vaguest idea of any aspect of the game and that he now had a paralysed golf course on his hands.

And to be fair to the course management, they put a marshall on the case and by the seventh hole, at his instruction, the two Russian fourballs had called the two Midland fourballs through.

Ever tried playing a tee shot with an eight-point ray of hatred beaming into your skull? But when you come across incidents like this, you are forced to accept that every time you book a golfing holiday you are taking a risk.

Usually, we read of clueless Germans or Swedes clogging the resort courses and it's the same in Turkey as it is in Portugal or Spain. Resort courses pay lip service to standards but they never require proof of them.

In Turkey, where we spent a week, 12 million people a year visit and as there's not a lot else to do, they mostly get themselves onto the golf course.

Six million of those customers, so we were told, are Germans and Russians and while I have no doubt that there are decent golfers in both those countries, you can be sure that the German in front of you on the course is the one who creeps down at dawn and nicks the best seats by the swimming pool.

It's one of golf's ironies, really. There are all sorts of well-meaning organisations trying their damnedest to get more and more people playing the game and the more they succeed, it seems the less the pleasure when you get to the course.

There's sadness, too. There is huge investment in golf these days; new courses everywhere that do not get the standard of golfers that they deserve. There are eight courses, all pretty new, where we were in Turkey and there are more on the way.

I have to say that there's a rather depressing sameness about them. They're all on the coastal strip and all hewn out of pine forests but they are good courses, well set up and very well maintained and they are there to be enjoyed.

But it seemed to me that a large number of the people on them would have been perfectly happy playing pitch-and-putt in the hotel gardens. We played four courses, the Gloria course twice.

And a six-handicapper in our group, playing there the second time, couldn't remember a single hole from the first time, three days before.

You have a choice, you can vary your itinerary but you might as well stick to one course because the difference between any of them is marginal.

The National is held to be the prestige course but I would plump for the Nobilis. It's a good driver's dream, as you would expect from a Dave Thomas creation, and all the greens have character.

It was my first time in Turkey, I stayed in a five-star hotel, which was at least two stars too many, and the overwhelming impression after a couple of days was that I could have been anywhere in the world.

Golf resorts are like that, given that it's not pouring with rain. You can compare Turkey with Portugal or Spain, favourably in any respect.

Then you might conclude, as I did, that the disadvantage for the potential British customer is that Turkey is just too far away. I shall leave it to the Russians.