It seems so recent, but 25 years have passed since the launch of Andalucía Golf/España Golf. Twenty-five years during which, against all odds, we have managed to keep the magazine alive, dedicated in the main to promoting golf in Andalucía. Over this time we have acted as the region’s “spokesperson”, highlighting its image, amenities and attractions and firmly committing ourselves to an industry that currently, in spite of the crisis, provides jobs for thousands of people, generates wealth and helps overcome the seasonal nature of tourism in Andalucía – which represents 12 per cent of GDP.
Throughout this time, Andalucía Golf has been able to count on only limited institutional support, no doubt due to the fact we haven’t had the same political influence as other media, or because our circle of friends does not include certain people who hold the key to everything, or just about everything. We have never received a single “subsidy”, just the occasional congratulatory slap on the back – and not that many we have to admit. This is not meant as a complaint, just a statement of fact. What we can proudly claim to have received over these past two and a half decades is the understanding, affection and support of the Andalucian golf industry, which has enabled us to reach this point today.
There are so many whose support we warmly appreciate that it would be impossible to name them all. However, I would like to highlight two people, two friends, who have always been there with us: Ángel de la Riva, president of the Royal Andalucian Golf Federation; and Don Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, founder and president of Valderrama Golf Club for many years. A huge thank you to both: we will never forget what you have done for us.
On this long path, we have been witnesses to, and sometimes participants in, many key moments in the history of golf in Andalucía: 21 Volvo Masters, the 1997 Ryder Cup, two American Express World Golf Championships, several Spanish Opens, two World Cups, the Andalucía Masters, the Volvo World Match Play Championship, etc. We have organised national and international promotions and spread the word about golf in Andalucía. We have “recreated” an image when it barely existed. In short, we believe we have made a significant contribution to the development of what, in spite of the crisis, arguably remains the premier destination in Europe.
We are living through difficult times, very difficult, when it is tempting to withdraw and just stare down at our navel, but we are convinced that we can continue to be of use to the Andalucian golf industry after 25 years – and that we can count on your support for many more years to come.