What is the role of the Balearic Federation of Golf within the island's sports industry?
The main goal of the federation is to promote golf. In addition, our target is to manage the sport activity related to golf. We are seeking to expand the sport of golf in schools and among the public, both young and old. The main goal is to bring golf closer to more people. Many think golf is something exclusive to the wealthy, and that is no longer the reality. We have carried out several initiatives in this direction and have grown tremendously as a result. When we started, there were 7,200 members within the federation, and we are about 7,700 right now. With COVID-19, golf has become more popular because it is sport done outdoors. We developed security protocols for COVID, and many people started to come to play. We have agreements with schools in Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza so that golf is included in their sports activities. We are organizing a competition in which 12 schools will participate, and more schools will join. We would also like to develop some public courses for training that will also help to promote the sport of golf. We are in talks with the local government in an attempt to obtain a public location where that can be achieved.
What are your views on the golf tournaments that take place in Mallorca?
At a sport level, we are a small federation but we are extremely active. We have more than 54 amateur tournaments. That includes Mallorca championships as well as circuits like we hold for senior citizens, women, and children. We do competitions for teams, single players, and other categories. We hosted the Road to Mallorca, which was part of the Challenge Tour, the second division of European golf. All the big golf stars participated in these tournaments. About 45 players reached the final, which is played in Mallorca, and 20 of those players go into the first division. This tournament has been extremely beneficial in promoting the island as a great location in the golf universe.
What is your opinion on the current infrastructure on the island to play golf?
Mallorca is only two hours by plane from many places in Europe. One advantage of Mallorca is that things are close to each other. There are more than 20 clubs, and they are an hour away from most hotels. We have a great hotel infrastructure and incredible gastronomy. The quality of our golf courses is magnificent, and we are among the top three destinations in Iberia. Our main competitors are Andalusia and Portugal. There are efforts ongoing to bring in more events that can put us on the global map of golf. The US is one of the main producers of golf tourists, so it would be interesting to become closer to that market.
How are golf courses embracing sustainability in Mallorca, taking into account the limited resources of the island?
In terms of sustainability, our courses in Mallorca are irrigated with purified water. We are a solution in terms of water-related problems. The purified water used to irrigate the courses is filtered again into the soil, and the water cycle never stops. We only use 6% of all the water that is purified in the Balearic Islands. Investments are also being made to robotize the irrigation system, which helps to control the irrigation in the event of a dry or rainy day. There are also some courses in the Balearic Islands that use a type of grass that consumes 30% less water. Golf courses on the Balearic Islands have had to invest heavily in developing water treatment systems or infrastructures to bring that purified water into the courses. There are also some courses with solar panels to become more sustainable. Furthermore, there are birds flocking into Mallorca due to the biodiversity brought about by the golf courses. Many of the golf courses have also invested in developing their own apps that are customized to offer a better service to their customers. Additionally, golf plays a crucial role in the tourism sustainability strategy of Mallorca. The golf season is March, April, and June as well as September, October, and November, which is off-season for traditional tourists. That allows us to reduce the seasonality linked to tourism and helps to extend the tourism season.