Ignacio Guerras has been the head of the Madrid Golf Federation for almost 20 years, which these days celebrates its annual professional tournament, the Madrid PGAe Championship. A good opportunity for an interview that serves to take the pulse of the situation of golf in the Madrid federation, which provides, by far, more federated players at state level…
Ignacio Guerras, statements
“Madrid a tourist destination for golf? It’s an idea we’ve been pursuing for a long time, but we don’t have sun and sand like Levante, the Canary Islands, Andalusia or Murcia.
People won’t come here for a week just to play golf, but we can be the epicenter of the sport, as Madrid hosts a fair or two weekly at IFEMA and that’s where players need to be attracted. Madrid has museums, theatres, spectacular gastronomy and a good leisure offer.
Those are our values and we try to get people to add a good day of golf to that.” In 2021, we created 12,000 new licenses and recorded approximately 4,000 cancellations.
And in 2022, there were 3,500 casualties that we covered after April, so what’s coming through to the end of the year will be positive numbers. And in May alone there were 960 rejections…”. “It’s not that we can’t cultivate in the fields, it’s that they are even decreasing despite the strong demand.
It happened with the Jardín de Aranjuez or with the Canal de Isabel II course… On the other hand, Madrid has seven urban courses, and Paris, London or any other capital with a golfing tradition do not have any.
The luck that we have, moreover, is that here the distances are short and around us we have many satellite fields that are considered almost Madrid” “It is something idyllic, the dream of everyone, but… Look, in Spain there are places where you try.
But it’s more in the North area. In Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria… These are English-type fields that can provide good service without the need for much irrigation or sowing. Maintaining the greens is almost enough. But in this district of Madrid, it is impossible.
The largest exponent of public golf is Saint Andrews, a city that has seven golf courses and all seven are public. It’s a dream, of course, but for that I’m afraid we don’t have time here.”