Alcúdia Golf Club, Mallorca.
The first golf course in the Balearics was opened in February 1934 in Alcúdia (it is not the present course Alcanada) The course was near Port de Alcúdia, an area now covered by new hotels, apartments, restaurants and beer gardens.
The idea to create golf course came from Mariano Gual de Torrella who together with two other enthusiasts - Jaume Enseñat and Pere Mas Reusthe - constructed not only the 9-hole course but also built a clubhouse and a hotel with 15 double rooms next to it. In addition to the course and the club house for members the resourceful entrepreneur planned to build an apartment complex. A project that had to be abandoned just as the burgeoning interest in the turf sport on the island became promising. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 they were quickly forgotten. During the war, the golf course was converted into a runway for military aircraft. A mere ten years after the opening of the “Club de Golf de Alcúdia” not much was left either of the fairways or the clubhouse.
The following is an extract from Balearics Bogey by George Houghton describing the Alcúdia course in the early years. “Someone who knew a thing or two decided that a sure way to get British tourists to visit Majorca was to give them golf. In an attractive pamphlet advertising the Balearic Islands there has been added “ALCUDIA – Magnificent Campo de Golf”
Our seaplane put down in AlcudiaBay, and when I went ashore in a rowing boat carrying my golf bag, I’m quite sure the Mallorquins on the beach thought it was a gun. Puerto Alcudia is like any other Mediterranean village, fishermen, women carrying water jugs, dark skinned youngsters.
Not exactly a golfing community. A little boy trying to persuade to go to the Casa Pepe for some vino, trotted by my side along a dusty track. A hastily painted sign was pointed at a windmill, it read “Campo De Golf – Teas and Riding. The novel clubhouse was an isolated building. It stood on a stretch of land which appeared to have been reclaimed from the sea. There was nothing else in sight. No golfer, no cars, nothing.
Peaceful desolation, whitewashed inside and out. There was a simple bar, with bottles of sherry, Tarragona wine, and brightly coloured cordials. A green-baize notice board with one sheet headed “Handicaps.” Under this was there was a single illegible Spanish signature, with the figure 27. A card on the counter said TEA, and this simple word was repeated on similar notices in the men’s toilet, and elsewhere on the premises.
I was quite alone, so helped myself to olives on the counter, then place a five-peseta piece in a metal cocktail shaker and rattled it. The din produced a good-looking young man wearing a white jacket. “Afternoon, sir,” he said. Tea?” I said I’d settle for a bottle of beer. The young man trotted off, eventually returning with hot water, hot milk, a cup and a saucer, a tin teapot, and a little muslin bag of tea on a string. I reminded him I asked for a beer. He put the bag of tea into the pot, smiled expansively, poured the hot water, and hurried away.
I called him back. It seemed pointless to discuss the tea, but very distinctly I said “Golf?” This simple word made the boy’s day. He nodded happily then went towards the open door where I had left my golf clubs. He put his head through the strap and slung the clubs over his back.
The first tee was marked off with a neat white line; also there was a straw basket containing sand, and three canvas deck chairs were arranged to accommodate an audience. About three hundred yards away a little flag fluttered, but no green was visible. There were no bunkers, either, nor anything else, just a long stretch of sparsely grassed pasture land liberally littered with rounded pebbles, like white cricket balls.
We were playing down the next fairway when a woman came running over from the clubhouse . She shouted that the young man was wanted immediately to serve someone with tea…
Without returning to windmill I made my way back to the hotel. A smirking Englishman was on the terrace. “And how was the golf?” he asked. “A very sporting course,” I said”
It seems that the clubhouse, an old windmill, is still standing today. After its use as a golf clubhouse it later became a very fancy discotheque before becoming a fitness club.