Las Brisas, located in Marbella on the Costa del Sol, has expressed its pride in the appointment by Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley of club member Des Smyth as a vice-captain for the next edition of the biennial matches, at Gleneagles from 23 to 28 September. McGinley also named Sam Torrance as a fellow vice-captain.
Saying that the club was delighted with Smyth’s election, Royal Las Brisas Golf Club president Paul Muñoz added, “His appointment is a matter of pride for all of us and we are sure he will do a great job.”
A regular visitor to the Costa del Sol for more than a decade, Smyth has bought a home near Royal Las Brisas Golf Club and stays in Marbella during his breaks from competition on the European and US Senior Tours. His intention – as he has revealed to friends at RGC Las Brisas – is to live on the Costa del Sol when he eventually retires from competition.
Sixty-one-year-old Smyth, the winner of 25 titles as a professional, including eight on the European Tour, competed in the 1979 and 1981 Ryder Cups, and for the 2006 edition, held at Ireland’s K Club, he was one of Ian Woosnam’s vice-captains.
His last victory on the European Tour was in the 2001 Madeira Open, at the age of 48 years and 34 days, a record that would last for more than a decade until it was beaten by Miguel Ángel Jiménez. Since 2003, Smyth has collected five wins on the European Senior Tour.
Royal Las Brisas Golf Club is one of Spain’s most renowned golf courses. Designed by one of the world’s most prolific and prestigious golf architects, Robert Trent Jones, the Costa del Sol layout has been the venue for several top-level international events, including the 1973 World Cup, won by Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller for the United States, the 1970 (Ángel Gallardo), 1983 (Eamonn Darcy) and 1987 (Nick Faldo) Spanish Opens, and the 1990 Mediterranean Open (Ian Woosnam).
“Las Brisas,” said American Paul Azinger on one occasion, “does not have a single bad hole. In fact, it is one of the best courses I have ever played.”