Golf News 2001
by Colm Gill
The Golf Police
New Year Tournament
Members of the Local Police, the National Police force and La Guardia Civil of Marbella celebrated the end of 2001 and the entrance of 2002 in a sporting fashion in a New Year Tournament organised by their colleague, Jesús Rubio.
Some thirty policemen gathered together on Saturday 29th December to play a Texas Scramble competition at the attractive Cabopino course, which opened last summer, thanks to the director Andreas Hagemann.
Meeting before dawn, the players could enjoy, not only the golf, but also a day of splendid winter sunshine, and were able to appreciate the magnificent views to the sea. The game was lively and competitive, and Jeselu Gonzalez and Antonio Cuevas took first prize with 55points.
Following the game, the golfers enjoyed an excellent spread prepared by the clubhouse staff, and thanks to the generosity of the many sponsors, no player went home empty handed.
The latest 'Pay & Play' facility on the Costa del Sol opened to the public this summer.
Flamingos Golf, after Cabopino and Santa Clara, is the third course in 2001 to attempt to remain independent of surrounding real estate developments and survive on its own two feet - perhaps, in the case of Flamingos, that should read one foot !
Situated in Benahavis, close to El Paraíso, Atalaya Park, Monte Mayor and Marbella Club Resort, Flamingos Golf has been built around a natural lake, fed by the Taraje stream, ensuring water comes into play on six of the eighteen holes. Although not overlong, 5642metres from yellow tees, Antonio Garrido has added a personal touch , together with many technical difficulties, to an original course design by Chamberlain and .
Each hole is distinguished by distinct species of trees; citrus, pines, olive, jacarandas and pomegranates that will all add definition to the fairways when mature, but, in the meantime, various Roman statues decorate various sections of the course. An assortment of raised tees and greens will keep players on their toes, while several large, severely undulating putting surfaces mean pars cannot be carded until the ball is in the hole.
A public green fee price of 90,15 euros may mean that Flamingos Golf is pitched at the upper end of the scale, but those responsible seek to justify the price by matching the service offered at a level with the exceptional Mediterranean and mountain views enjoyed from many parts of the course.
THE PGA OF EUROPE FESTIVAL OF GOLF 2001 and more...
The PGA of Europe's links with Atalaya Park Golf Hotel and Resort, which were first forged in 1995, have entered a new era with the signing of a new 5 year agreement as Corporate Partners which creates new opportunities for innovative joint ventures.
Between 2001 and 2006 the relationship between us will grow and prosper as the outstanding golf, leisure and business facilities of the hotel are utilised by the association, its 33 member PGAs and their collective 12,000 individual club professionals.
This means that while, on official terms, the hotel continues as the PGAE's Southern European Headquarters, in reality it is regarded as the Association's "Winter Home". Set alongside the recent signing also of a renewed 5-year Corporate Partnership with the Costa del Sol Tourist Board, the PGAE's relationship with the Costa del Golf could not be more amicable.
Among the major introductions will be the staging of the second WORLD CONFERENCE OF PGAS as a key feature of the PGAE'S 2001 FESTIVAL OF GOLF. Delegates from the global community of PGAs will meet to discuss those issues of essential importance to golf at all levels for the present and in the years ahead.
Another development about which the PGAE is especially pleased is the return of the annual INTERNATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP after a 2-year break. Wales will defend the title they took from England in Tunisia last December against an increasingly strong challenge from a field now drawn from all PGA's world-wide.
THE FESTIVAL OF GOLF WEEK will have as its climax the GALA PRESENTATION DINNER, at which, along with the prize presentation and other formalities the three winners of the 2001 Sunderland 5 Star Professional Awards and the Lindberg Bowl will be revealed.
A comprehensive DIRECTORS OF GOLF SEMINAR PROGRAMME will also be staged during the week of activities as part of the on-going opportunities presented by the PGA of Europe for the club professional to increase his or her knowledge and expertise.
Shortly after the 2001 FESTIVAL OF GOLF and during Atalaya Park's own two months programme of special events, a new joint venture is being launched. This is an innovative departure in the form of the inaugural DON MIGUEL BETTER-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP in mid-January. Also, to add to the escalating schedule of events, an ADVANCED EDUCATION CONFERENCE is in the planning stage for a date in February.
It has become more and more obvious with the growth of communications in terms of the Internet and new publications that relationships with the media are more than ever a fundamental requirement in the modern world of the 21st Century. As part of this recognition serious consideration is being given to the staging of a CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE EUROPEAN GOLF MEDIA at Atalaya Park Golf Hotel and Resort. Further details of this will be announced shortly.
The appointment in January 2001 of Señor Jaime Ortiz-Patiño as President of the PGAE for a 2-year term is proving another significant means of cementing relationships with the Costa del Golf. Señor Patiño is established by his actions as President, as a great champion of the club golf professional, in addition to the very significant contribution he has made to the tournament players.
Welcoming the renewal of the Corporate Partnership, Sr. Gabriel Antico, General Manager of the Atalaya Park Hotel, commented "Backed by the experience derived from our previous years, both Atalaya Park and the PGAE can only achieve further mutual advantages by continuing to work together in such a positive and productive manner. The World Conference, the Better-Ball Championship and the return of the Team Championship are outstanding examples of what we can achieve. We are certain that further such worthwhile events will follow during the next five-years of our agreement."
PGA of EUROPE 'IN THE NEWS' AS IT LAUNCHES WEB SITE
The PGA of Europe's new Website www.pgae.com has gone on line with two News Releases of essential interest and importance to all golfers.
Apart from being an online Notice Board for (and an instant link to the web sites of) its 33 member country PGAs and some 12,000 individual professionals, the web site contains click-on links to a wide variety of companies in the golf industry plus golfing topics of general interest.
Welcoming the launch of the web site, General Secretary, Lawrence Thornton, commented: "We have held back for a while in taking this step to examine trends and have now taken the decision that a simple, easy-to-understand site is the one that will serve us best.
"It gives us a shop window to display to the entire on-line golfing community who we are, what we are and what we do. We can, and will, update the contents on a regular basis to keep it fresh and interesting while providing an information service to our member PGAs and their individual members."
Americans Go 1 Up
Ryder Cup fever has set in early at the Cádiz course of Costa Ballena. One of the peculiarities of this José María Olazábal-designed layout is that distance markers all state distance to greens in both metres and yards. The reason for the dual measurements is that the course is situated on the Atlantic coast, just 8km (or 5 miles, if you prefer!) from the American Naval Base at Rota. This being the case, the course is extremely popular with American personnel from said base. With the Ryder Cup matches only a couple of months away, the idea to stage a match between the American Navy and representatives of the British military stationed in Gibraltar was born. An indication of the seriousness with which the challenge was taken is that, of the two sides of fifty selected, the vast majority played off single handicaps. The exact result is subject to the Official Secrets Act, but if the the Yankee celebrations in the brand new Costa Ballena clubhouse are anything to go by, the Americans scored a psychological victory before the official matches take place at The Belfry this autumn.
Lucky For Some
The 13th golf course in the province of Cádiz will be opened to the public at the end of June, 2001. CC Benalup is situated on the outskirts of the Alcornocales Natural Park midway between the six courses near Gibraltar and the other six courses around the Costa de la Luz.
Benalup Country Club, an 18-hole, par 73 course, is the first of three courses planned for construction in the La Janda area by the Belgian Bernard Devos. Tranquility and nature are two of the outstanding characteristics to be found at Benalup as there are no plans for real estate developments within the complex. More than 1,300 cork oaks and olive trees have been planted along with 40,000 plants of other descriptions as well as 20,000 flower bulbs. All the flora has been carefully selected by the landscape department of the University of Geneva whose objective was to integrate the course seamlessly into its surroundings so that each hole would enjoy spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
The course is situated within the municipal boundaries of Benalup-Casas Viejas, a village of some 6,000 inhabitants situated on the tourist routes of 'Ruta del Toro' and 'Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos' and only 30 km from the sandy beaches of the Atalntic coast. As a water saving measure, and to protect the autochthonous vegetation, more than 55 tons of terracottem, a hydrogel that permits a reduction in the usage of water and fertilisers as well as strengthening root-hold. There are plans for a 230-room, five-star hotel to be ready during 2003.
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