Already with extensive experience at the helm of two golf clubs without their own courses, Jesús Rodríguez and Fernando Zambrano decided last year that Spain needed a national organisation to bring together amateur players. They had several objectives. On the one hand, to have a strong representative body that could make itself heard before the various golf federations in Spain. And on the other, to secure good rates for members at golf clubs.
Zambrano, who for 10 years presided over the potent Jerez Golf Club (with as many as 700 members at one stage), is now secretary of the new “baby”: the Amateur Golfers Association (Asociación de Jugadores Amateur de Golf or AJAG, in Spanish).
"The idea," he says, "is to unite amateur golfers and have a voice that represents them and defends their interests with federation and other organisations, because we are defenceless."
The AJAG has only been operating for a few months - indeed, it is still in its launch phase - and it currently has 50 members (mostly from Marbella and nearby towns), a figure the association's leaders expect to multiply once it has become more broadly known, especially through a website (www.ajag.es) which is already operational.
“With significant membership numbers,” adds Rodríguez, currently president of Marbella Golf Club (also without its own course), "it will be easier to obtain better rates at golf courses through agreements, because what we want is for golf to become an increasingly popular sport that can be played for reasonable prices.”
To become a member of AJAG, it is only necessary to fill out an enrolment application that can be downloaded from the association's website. In order to attract a large number of members, this year's membership is being offered for free, and in 2020 new members will be charged an annual fee of only €15.
The AJAG does not plan to organise regular tournaments, although it might do so on some occasions to obtain income for the association’s operations. "Our main objective," says Zambrano, "is to offer a service to amateur players, obtaining advantageous prices for them to at courses where we reach agreements." He once again stresses that it is also important for amateurs have a powerful association that defends their interests with the various federations, and he believes they should provide more initiatives to the benefit of amateur golfers.