Golf News 2004
Golf News in 2004 for Costa del Sol and Andalucia. Keep up to date with the news highlights from the world of golf on the Costa del Sol and Andalucia, Spain.
Ian Poulter of England wins the the Volvo Masters Andalucia 2004 against Sergio Garcia of Spain in a play off at Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande.
Perfect weather conditions marked most of the final day of the Volvo Masters Andalucia. The beautiful blue sky in the morning has encouraged a good turnout of visitors from the Costa del Sol. There was plenty to keep the spectators on their toes. For the second year running they saw the local hero in a play off to try to be the first Spaniard to win the Volvo Masters Andalucia.
Ian Poulter of England, and Sergio Garcia finished equal at seven under par and began a one hole play off on the 18th. Both tee shots were off the fairway. Sergio's went into the crowd and a little girl picked it up. Ian's was in the trees on the left hand side, although he later said he planned to put it there. Sergio's second shots failed to make the green and both golfers were left with an easy one metre put. The difference being Poulter was putting to birdie and Sergio to par.
Ian Poulter of England, had managed a birdie on the second hole, slipped back after bogies n the 4th and 5th but took the lead with birdies on the 8th, 9th and 10th. A bogie on the 14th lost him the outright lead. On the 17th holes his second shot went into the crowd on the right hand side prompting a skillfull recovery.
The local fans never lost faith in Sergio Garcia who after making a bogie on the 3rd and 6th and a birdie on the 5th. He came back in the running with birdies on the 11th and the par three 12th. He was joint leader walking on to the 17th but a tee shot into the trees on the right hand side needed a good recovery not to cost him a stroke. A missed 4 foot hole putt on the 18th lost his a chance of a birdie and the tournament. He finished the tournament seven under par and had to wait and watch last pair home to know if he was the first Spaniard to win this Tournament at Valderrama. It was not to be.
The three shot overnight leader Alastair Forsyth of Scotland finished in third place. He made a disapointing start to the day with bogies on the first two holes the rest of the way out remained at par. A careless bogie on the sixteenth cost him a stroke and took his overall score to six under par after 16 holes.
At the end of the third day Alastair Forsyth of Scotland was leading the 2004 Volvo Masters Andalucia with a nine under par. Six birdies (7th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 17th) and two bogies (1st, 14th) moved him into the lead. Alastair recognised that he is now sitting in the strongest position of his career, "Three shots is certainly not enough. So I have just to go through and hopefully do what I did today and just keep playing good solid golf."
Early bird golf fans from the Costa del Sol were treated to a beautiful blue sky morning which unfortunately did not last through the afternoon and many called it an early day as the clouds darkened and the temperature dropped.
Sergio Garcia from Castellon, Northern Spain is in close second with six under. He had lead the field overnight with six under and had lead for most of the day until just before play was suspended at 17.07 due to a heavy lightning storm.
Most spectators ran for the cover of the busses when play was suspended and even the greenkeepers cut the greens in error. This required David Garland the Tournament Director to decided that the course had not been materially or significantly altered. Play restarted at 18.33hrs but by this time most spectators missed the exciting Forsyth vs. Garcia over the last five holes. Ian Poulter of England crept quietly into a second equal with birdies on the 16th and infamous 17th.
Overall only eight of the 54 strong field were under par at the finish of the tournament, there were only five eagles.
Last years local hero Carlos Rodiles who only just missed the title in the 2003 years play off incredibly trailed home in 49th place at fifteen over par.
Defending champion Fredrik Jacabson from Gothenburg, much to the disapointment of Volvo did not defending his title.
Volvo Masters will take place at Valderrama from 27th to 30th October 2005.
3 of September a press conference was held at the Valderrama Golf Club in advance of the 2004 Volvo Masters Andalucia which will take place from the 28th to 31st October 2004.
Mel Pyatt, President of Volvo Event Management announced that the Volvo Masters Andalucía Tournament would continue at Valderrama for the next three years (2005, 2006 and 2007). This was possible due to an agreement between Volvo, The department or Tourism, Commerce & Sport, of the Regional Government, the Junta de Andalucía and Valderrama Golf Club.
Mel Pyatt commented that for Andalucía, the Volvo Masters was an opportunity to see the best of world golf in the south of Spain. . Volvo had created an exceptional event in all respects with an international coverage of 93 millions golf enthusiasts familiar with the tournament. From 2005 the tournament will return again to be titled “Volvo Masters”.
Paulino Plata, Councillor for Tourism, Commerce & Sport of the Junta de Andalucía expressed his satisfaction to see that Andalucía continued being the seat of an important tournament like the Volvo Masters, which would reinforce Andalucia’s image as a golf tourist destination of the first level and in second place because the Andalucians would be able to follow the best golfers in Europe.
El Torcal Real Estate is presenting Antequera Golf during their Annual Charity Golf Tournament on October 16th 2004.
Antequera Golf is Southern Spains newest inland golf development. The course is set above the ancient town of Antequera overlooking Peña de los Enamorados, El Torcal and Antequera. This rustic golf course was designed by José María Cañizares, is a par 72 and covers over 450.000,00 m2.
Around the golfcourse 450 luxurious villas will be built as well as a 5 star hotel and spa, 100 luxurious apartments, a retirement home, a state of the art sport complex, commercial centre and lots more. This development comes with all the luxuries one can think of. For more information on Antequera Golf and the Development please visit www.eltorcalrealestate.com.
To celebrate this unique project El Torcal Real Estate is organising their annual tournament supporting the Antequerian Registered Charity ANIMAN. The tournament will be model Stableford, ¾ and will include prizes for the top 10 players, nearest to the pin, longest drive and there will be a brand new car for the hole in one. To complete this festive day there will be a gala dinner and for those who don't feel like driving home there is a special deal for a double room with breakfast at the 4 star Antequera Golf Hotel.
All proceedings for the tournament will go to ANIMAN. A charity association which has been set up by a group of wealthy Antiquera business men and politicians. They collect money through charity fundraisers and events, such as this golf tournament, and make sure the money goes to the correct people. Any association, person, who is in need can apply for help at ANIMAN and they will check out all the necessities to ensure that all donations are handled in a correct way. All proceedings for this tournament will be going to children in need.
Calanova Golf : A Sea of Golf
The Mijas Golf Valley , an area of approximately 5,600 hectares, already boasts six golf courses, two Grand Luxury Hotels, plus a four-star golf hotel, but it continues to grow apace. In December 2003, the 9-hole La Noria course, outside the village of La Cala de Mijas accepted its first green fee players; in January 2004, Santana Golf opened for play at Entrerrios, and in February, earth moving began at Calanova Golf, situated on terrain between the aforementioned two courses.
Calanova Golf will be a Par-72 course measuring 6,040 metres when, all being well, it opens for play at the beginning of 2006. Manuel Piñero has steadily built himself a reputation in course design after his first foray into the field with La Quinta in 1989. After considering his work at Entrepinos (Valladolid), CG Salamanca, La Dehesa, El Puerto de Sta.Maria and other courses, it was to the ex -World Champion that the developers of Calanova turned after purchasing a finca of 1,130,297 m2, just below La Cala Resort. Piñero was given the job of converting 500,000m2 of rolling terrain into the hub of a luxury urbanisation to be assembled in several phases throughout a period of approximately five years.
A total of 2,300 houses will be built around the course, as well as a 150-room hotel.
The first phase, Calanova Dream Golf, a pueblo-style development with terrific sea-views, was put on sale in January 2003 and is already selling well. Prices start at €295,000 rising to €595,000 for 3-bedroomed penthouse apartments
Once Piñero had studied the topography of the site, he divided his plan in two parts, but not in the traditional loops of 9 plus 9. In order to take full advantage of the Mediterranean views afforded by much of the Calanova development, the Spanish champion has placed 12 of the 18 holes above a dividing road, with the remaining six holes on flatter land nearer the coast. The layout also incorporates five lakes which, apart from complicating par on seven holes, will ensure a sufficient store of recycled water for course irrigation.
The promoters have elected the 'pay & play' option over full membership schemes, although a limited number of membership rights will be available in order to maintain an equitable balance. Apartment owners will benefit from a 20% discount on membership rights and green fees.
The clubhouse will also occupy 1,100m2 of a privileged site on the upper part of the estate so that the terrace will be a main feature with superb views over the 18th green and beyond to the Mediterranean sea.
Uwe Seeler's Now A Golfer
Due to the success of his first visit, German football legend Uwe Seeler has brought a group of sportsmen to the Costa del Golf to compete for the 'Postbank Trophy'. All monies raised will be distributed amongst worthy causes by the Uwe Seeler Foundation. The football idol from the '60s and '70s admitted "I haven't touched a club in three months, so I'll have to get some practice on the driving range".
Amongst the favourites were goalgetter Klaus Fischer, hcp 5, 1982 World Cup finalist Willi Schulz, Manfred Kaltz of HSV hamburg, Rolf Ruessman of Stuttgart and Helmut Kremers European Champion from 1972. Other particpants included Marco Bode (World Cup 2002), Karl Heinz Reiedle (Borussia Dortmund) and Olaf Thon. The tournament took place at Mijas Golf and the newly inaugurated Santana Golf with accommodation and prizegiving dinner provided by Tamisa Golf Hotel.
The year 2003 closed in Spain with a grand total of 241,618 golfers officially registered with the Real Federacion Española de Golf. The figure shows an absolute increase of 19,418 over the number of federated golfers exactly a year previously, which equates to a rise of 8.7% in percentage terms.
The greatest concentration of golfers is to be found in Madrid (64,665) and Cataluña (45,211). Although Andalucia is third in the list, the figure of 36,273 does not include the thousands of golfers who visit the area weekly in the golfing season.
Want a bed..?
A tightening of planning controls by the Andalusian government has provoked, during 2003, the registration of projects for the future construction of no less than 133 new hotels on the Costa del Sol . It is unlikely all the registered plans will come to fruition but, should they do so, the hotel capacity of the area would increase by 18,268 beds (26% more than at present).
Many of the projects presented are for beachside developments which are likely to be more closely controlled by soon-to-be-passed regulations but questions must be asked about how such a dramatic increase in the availability of beds might affect the winter trade of 5-star golf resorts.
Young Spaniards At Home In Florida
A strong contingent of young Spanish talent has shown it feels entirely at home in Florida amongst some of the most promising international players from around the globe. Miguel Cabrera, claimed a brilliant triumph at the Doral-Publix Junior Classic thanks to a superb 69 that left the young Canarian three shots clear of American Jimmy Lyttle. Pablo Martin, from Malaga, was fifth.
The Doral Publix Junior Classic, first played in 1982, this year attracted the best players from 40 American States to compete along with representatives from 25 other countries.
A week's further acclimatisation was enough for Pablo Martin to show his talent with victory at the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl, played at CG Biltmore. A surprising 7-under par card of 64 during the last round saw the lad from Malaga's Parador course leap from 5th place to establish a 3-shot winning margin over American runner-up, Randy Lowry.
Seville Open Championship 15th to the 18 April 2004
The Seville Open golf championship will take place at the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla from the 15th to the 18 April 2004. The championship is part of the PGA European tour for the fist time. A field of 156 golfers including Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Nacho Garrido, Soren Kjeldsen, Soren Hansen, Mark Foster, Kenneth Ferrie and Miles Tunnicliff will compete for a total prize money of one million euro. 166.600 Euro being for the winner. In order to promote golf in Seville there is no admission charge to spectators. The golf club is located 5 km from the city centre on the A376 which is the road from Utrera, and Ronda making access easy from the Costa del Sol.
3rd Selected Hotels Festival of Golf Now Underway
More than 20,000 golfers and around 1,200 media delegates are expected to attend the 3rd Selected Hotels Festival of Golf which started in December and continues until February 2004. As in previous years, the Atalaya Park and Don Miguel Hotels will be focal points for a wide-range of golf-related activities that are to be complemented by an attractive cultural and leisure offer presented in an innovative way.
The event, created to boost occupancy levels during the off-season, has grown each year. For the three-month Festival, the PGA of Europe, Turespaña, Turismo Andaluz, Selected Hotels and the Costa del Sol Tourist Board have invested over €7m in a programme full of variety, golf, culture and fiestas. Exhibitions, gastronomy, wine fairs, flamenco and language classes all form a periphery to important golfing events such as the PGAE Congress, Annual Conference of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, Beach Golf, Media Masters, International Fourball Championship and national age group finals. Additionally, weekly seminars on golf health, psychology, teaching, as well as free golf lessons for children, are on offer to hotel guests and the general public.
Slovenians Choose Atalaya Park
The Slovenian Golf Federation and the Atalaya Park G&CC have signed an agreement by which the club will become winter headquarters for the federation. Slovenia currently numbers 5,000 registered golfers, although the actual total of active participants in the sport surpasses 30,000. The agreement will permit Slovenia's top golfers to play and train using the Atalaya facility which is also winter HQ for the PGA of Europe and the DGV (German Golf Federation). News of the agreement has aroused interest among other eastern European countries, such as Serbia which are themselves developing as golfing nations.
New MD For Sotogrande
Sotogrande, the luxury residential estate founded in 1962, has a new Managing Director, Gustavo Gabarda. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, Gabarda joined the Sotogrande Board of Directors in 1996 and has been promoted to replace Ignacio Aranguren who has moved on to design strategy and management procedures within the NH Hotel Group - 78% owners of Sotogrande SA.
With 5 courses, RCG Sotogrande, Valderrama, Almenara, La Cañada and La Reserva, plus 11 polo fields, Sotogrande provides leisure, privacy and security to permanent residents on the estate as well as the many top-income visitors who have second - homes there.
La Noria Golf Resort
The Mijas Golf Valley will become even more of a reality with the opening of La Noria Golf Resort in February 2004. Measuring 2,026m from the yellow tees, the par 33, 9-hole complex, situated beside the N-340 on the road to La Cala Resort, will not be officially inaugurated until Spring but green fee players are now being accepted. For their €25 (9-holes) or €40 (18) golfers can expect a severe examination of course management skills, as, where water comes into play, the driver is not always the best option from the tee.
>R&A Revise Rules For 2004
Golf's governing body has published the most revised edition of playing rules for 20 years. Each one of the 34 rules that govern play has been amended with an emphasis on making the rules easier to understand.
Commenting on the changes to the rules, effective from January 1, 2004, R&A Rules Secretary David Rickman says: " In an essentially self-regulating sport, players need the rules to be as simple to understand as we can make them. Our latest revision benefits from expert linguistic advice that has resulted in more plain language in the new pocket-sized book. "
In addition to language improvements throughout, other major changes include an expanded section on Etiquette, with the ultimate sanction of disqualification for a serious breach; the dropping of a century-old rule covering the removal of loose impediments; and a new ruling on club length (48inches, putters excluded) and clubhead size (470cc) that is designed to cap future technology developments.
Other noteworthy changes include increasing the value of a prize that an amateur golfer may accept from €435 to €725 plus a reduction in the waiting time from 3 years to 2 for professionals applying to regain amateur status.
Thanks to a new sponsorship deal with Rolex, the R&A has been able to make 4 million copies of the new edition freely available. Additionally, Golf Unions affiliated to the R&A reproduce copies in more than 20 languages, from Arabic to siSwati (Swaziland). The Rules of Golf are reviewed constantly with amendments introduced every four years meaning the new rules book will be valid until the end of 2007.