Alvaro Venegas is a professional of the golf industry with more than 5 years of experience in golf course management, after completing his studies at Birmingham University in Golf Course Management (FdA in Professional Golf) and after 3 years in England working for High Elms Golf Course, he returned to Spain.
Alvaro Venegas has not only dedicated himself to the golf industry but also before joining R.C.G Guadalmina as Director of Golf Operations, he was in Los Naranjos Golf Club for the past two and a half years as Director of Golf Operations but, before Los Naranjos Golf Club, he was part of the Excellence / Prinsotel Hotel Group as Deputy Hotel Manager. Due to his experiences Alvaro Venegas knows that golf courses are experiencing a generational change, and realising the importance of providing our members/customers with unique and exceptional journeys.
What makes R.C.G Guadalmina a unique place with respect to other golf courses and resorts?
In my opinion what makes this club a unique place and the best social club in Spain is its daily activity in which we try to please a base of members of more than 22 nationalities, it has not been long since I started but, in the short time that I have been here I have realized that I have never seen another club with this great social life and how all the members enjoy themselves before, during and after their tournaments, I am very impressed by the Ladies section which is a very large section. And I think that we will continue to do great things and of course, keep improving the ladies tournaments. I also have to highlight the importance that R.C.G Guadalmina gives to its golf academy which is the most important academy for junior development in Spain, without a doubt and we just have to look back and see how Azahara Muñoz, Laura Gomez, Noemi Jimenez, Angel Hidalgo or in the present having Alvaro Mueller-Baugart.
What objectives have you set as the new Director of Golf Operations at R.C.G Guadalmina?
Well, to begin I have many ideas that I would like to implement in the R.C.G Guadalmina due to my past experiences providing customer service excellence in the different establishments where I have had the opportunity to work, all these ideas are designed to promote a unique and personalized service for our members and try to satisfy all the needs that our members may have, but, I think it is very important to live the essence/DNA of R.C.G Guadalmina before making decisions about the direction in which we will develop the club.
The club has already provided the members with the latest driving range technology called Top Tracer, one of the first in the South of Spain, R.G.C Guadalmina is fortunate to have a Board of Directors and a General Manager who are willing to invest as much as needed to provide our members with latest technologies or services in golf.
I have come across a team that wants to innovate, with a lot of potential and with very good ideas, so we will take advantage of this inertia and work together creating new ideas and reinventing ourselves to make all of our members proud.
Where does your love for golf come from?
It's a fun story ... to be honest I didn't like golf when I was young, my family used to have to push me to go to play golf because there were some classes that the town hall was offering for young people for free, until, I met a golf professional who inspired me and has been a great help throughout my professional career Andrew Laird (Director of Golf at Sheshan International Golf Club), now that I think about it thanks to my family for pushing me to take advantage of that opportunity and my former teacher and friend Andrew Laird I have been able to study what I like and dedicate my day to day to what I like, as Mark Twain said “find a job you have fun, and you will not have to work a day in your life”
How often do you play golf?
I usually play golf twice a month with luck and try to practice once or twice a month, I think that for us managers it is vital to play the golf course because that helps us to have a critical eye with the maintenance of the course and makes decisions based on what we really feel as golfers.
I must a highlight that in this short time, I have been able to observe the commitment and feeling that our team of GreenKeepers Marcos Araujo (Head GreenKeeper) José Luis Prado (GreenKeeper Assistant) and Víctor Vaca (GreenKeeper Assistant) have towards what they call their home R.C.G Guadalmina, We know how hard it is to maintain 18 holes in the best conditions, but, here we are talking about a team that is maintaining 45 holes with a large traffic of daily golfers and a big number of tournaments that we hold each year in our emblematic South, North and Pitch & Putt and the courses are always presented to a very high standard.
Do you come in with new ideas? Will you make changes in R.C.G Guadalmina or will you follow a policy of continuity?
As we have said there will be improvements, I have already had the first meetings with the team and we have presented several ideas which we will be developing step by step, and following up on them, we know that the improvements are not always going to be easy and of course we do not change for changing sake, we change to evolve and develop but, as the great Robin Sharman said "All changes are difficult at the beginning, frustrating midway and wonderful at the end"
What are the qualities you value most in a person?
The ability to have an open attitude to learn new things and never give up in the face of adversity.
What do you like most about your profession?
I consider myself a person who faces the unknown very positively, very self-critical and very tenacious, this helps me to reflect on my professional career and how to improve in a daily basis.
What I like the most is to manage teams on a day-to-day basis, and above all in helping my team members improve both professionally and personally and successively create an ideology of ONE team where a group of people come together to achieve incredible goals !!
I would like to show a great gratitude to the Board of Directors of R.C.G Guadalmina and its General Manager Ignacio del Cuvillo for believing in myself for this great challenge.