We interviewed Bernat Llobera, director of golf at Arabella Golf Mallorca.

Arabella Golf Mallorca is the largest golf resort in Spain and a leader in the Mediterranean. It has 4 golf courses in the exclusive residential area of Son Vida, 5 minutes from the centre of Palma. We spoke to its director, Bernat Llobera.

How do you start the Autumn season?

We are having much less occupation than in previous years, but we are strengthening our relationship with partners, local customers and potential new golfers, creating new synergies to increase sales through hotels and tour operators to futures.

The courses are in a great state, we are following the health safety protocols, and accompanied by the good weather of the island, makes new customers interested in a sport of social distance, safe and that takes place in an open and natural environment.

What measures are you taking against the COVID-19 and how are the players taking them?

We carefully follow the protocols and rules that the government and the federation propose to us. We work daily to ensure that they are complied with and we are very proud to have the involvement of all the staff on the pitches to ensure that this is the case.

Our clients take it naturally and even appreciate our commitment. We are all becoming more and more educated in following these measures.

What packages or promotions do you have? 

We are launching monthly promotions especially focused on the local client, campaigns for new members and loyalty of those we already have, offers for members’ guests and introductory courses to show first hand the benefits of this sport.

On its website, www.arabellagolfmallorca.com, you will find the most outstanding and updated promotions.

We are also working on the offer of our cuisine in the Golf Son Vida and Golf Son Muntaner restaurants, with daily suggestions from our chefs and creating a very special proposal for the Christmas holidays, not only to enjoy in our restaurants, but also to take home.

What competitions do you have planned?

Luckily, all the planned competitions have been maintained, once the Royal Spanish Golf Federation authorised the holding of official competitions, even recovering some of those cancelled during the confinement period.

During the summer social competitions were held at our club (Lottusse Social League), those of the Balearic Golf Federation (Hexagonal Team, Junior Circuit, Senior Circuit, Pitch & Putt Circuit, and the Balearic Under-21 Championship), as well as open competitions (XXV Edition of the COPE Golf Tournament).

For the rest of the year, our 2020 Social Match Play Championship is already underway and will end in mid-December. The 2020 Balearic Islands Pitch & Putt Championship (two-day event, 31/10/2020, and 01/11/2020). In November and December there will be two Lottusse Social League events (28/11/2020 and 13/12/2020), the President’s Trophy (05/12/2020), and the End of Year Tournament (19/12/2020).

New Circuit of 7 9-Hole Tournaments

In order to extend the activities offered to our clients, we have also set up for the first time the new 7 9-hole Tournament Circuit (“Improve your HCP”), which offers the possibility of playing on alternate Fridays (every 14 days) at Golf Son Muntaner and Golf Son Vida. The success of the participation has forced us to extend the timetable for these tournaments, and even add Thursdays, in order to accommodate all requests.

How are all these changes affecting the game and your organisation?

Luckily, the practice of golf allows us to maintain the safety criteria set by both the health authorities and the federations, although it is true that some services have been affected (cleaning of the clients’ clubs, use of the ball cleaners and benches that are on the course), but all this has been overcome with the predisposition of the company and the employees to apply the COVID19 protocols regarding the game (bunker raking, hole flag), the disinfection of buggies, trolleys and rental clubs, and the use of the clubhouse facilities.

With regard to sporting events, the format of some of the competitions has been changed to departures every 10 minutes, instead of the usual shotguns, which has allowed greater care to be taken in the application of safety protocols, given the sponginess of the arrival and departure of clients.

The elimination of prize giving at the end of competitions may have affected the final image of the event in some way, but the understanding of the participants, and the imaginative solutions to replace physical prize giving and draws, have helped in some way to minimise that impact.

The implementation of online tools for the tournament registration processes, thus avoiding the crowding of customers at certain times, is something that has come to stay fully installed in the usual process system, and not just for the daily direct booking procedures.