La Cala Resort, Spain's largest golf complex and benchmark for golfing enthusiasts, celebrated its 30th birthday on Saturday.
Festivities included a tournament and dinner in which golf professionals and authorities alike shared anecdotes of the resort's past. Guests laughed at the fact that the 400-hectare complex is almost the same size as the entirety of Fuengirola. Memories of the Guinness record win, when the complex succeeded in bringing together 614 golfers on the resort on 22 July 2007, also raised a smile. The charity event that raised 18,000 euros for Unicef too received a mention.
In a country of more than 300 golf courses, La Cala Resort continues to be the largest, a record confirmed by the Real Federación Española de Golf. Much of the 30th birthday celebration revolved around this achievement.
Party guests at the five-star Mijas hotel remembered the torrential rain which fell on 14 November 1989, which not only brought life in Marbella to a halt, but was also a pivotal moment for La Cala Resort; golfers were stranded as the only escape route was by the Ojén river itself. It was out of fear that history would repeat itself that Mijas town council, led by then-mayor Antonio Maldonado Pérez, proposed the construction of a bridge, connecting Las Lagunas, Entrerríos, La Cala de Mijas with the N-340 highway and the complex itself. This bridge has since proved absolutely essential, and the complex now enjoys links with Marbella, through the Mairena development.
An on-site luxury hotel
The complex also has an on-site luxury 107-room hotel. Managed by Sean Corte Real, this hotel has welcomed famous faces from the world of sport, Spanish politics, nobility and royalty over the years. The resort has also enjoyed stardom as the setting for various programmes, with Canal Sur's series, 'Arrayán', a particular highlight.
Sean Corte Real reminisced nostalgically about La Cala Resort's roots: "It all started in the eighties, when FBD representatives, following their investment in the Sunset Beach Club, Benalmádena, decided to buy a plot of land with the intention of building a 54-hole golf complex with its own hotel. Look how far we've come."
Golf course designer, Cabell B. Robinson, and general property manager, Pedro Negrette, were thanked for pursuing their original vision. With a look towards La Cala Resort's "promising" future, mayor of Mijas, José Antonio González, and regional delegates, Patricia Navarro Pérez, Arturo Bernal and Nuria Rodríguez, shared their impressions of the exemplary golf resort.