In March the season at Santa María Polo Club has started with the first tournament, the Torneo Santa María. This month the season continues with the tournaments the José Ignacio Domecq Memorial from April 11th to 20th and Conde de Guaqui Memorial from April 25th to 27th, both with a team handicap of 10 to 12 goals. Each team that has this handicap is allowed to participate in the tournaments. Nine to ten teams are expected to come to these two tournaments. Simultaneously a low goal season will be held during all the Spring Season with six teams from 0 to 4 goals handicap taking part of it. Including the low goal tournaments in the Spring Season is one of the new actions of Santa Maria Polo Club to promote polo during all the year and bring new patrons to play official tournaments in the club.
But how does the club prepare for the start of the season? Santiago Torreguitar, sports manager at the Santa María Polo Club: “We never really have an opening, as we play all year round, even in the winter there is practice.” Santiago Torreguitar is responsible for organizing the sportive part of the club. By now, he has been doing this job for 15 years and during this time he gathered a lot of experience and knowledge.
To prepare for the tournaments and to organize them there is a lot that needs to be done. First Santiago Torreguitar has to set a goal how many teams shall be in the tournament, maybe five, ten or twenty teams. Two or three months before the tournaments the teams are invited. This is followed by arranging the stables, the facilities and the fields where the matches are played in. Once the teams have confirmed their participation, the fixtures have to be made depending on the number of teams that enter the tournament. Then the playing days have to be set and together with the marketing department the sports department organizes when finals are, what people will come and what VIP guests will come. Normally the club tries to hold the matches on the weekend, but during the Eastern holidays there are matches being played during the week as well.
The main factors for the perfect organization of the tournaments are the polo fields and the weather. Four persons work full time for the maintenance of the fields, during the high season in August there a six more. The polo fields of the Santa María Polo Club have a cutting-edge draining system, which can endure rain showers and lets the fields ready to play in optimum conditions in a very short period of time. Santiago Torreguitar: “The maintenance and the construction of the polo fields in Sotogrande is the best in Europe.” While organizing the tournaments the staff tries to avoid all complications, all small problems that may rise normally are solved in time. Only when there is a storm there is little to be done for the staff.
But what makes the opening of the season so special? Santiago Torreguitar: “Although we play polo all the year, and that’s one of the good things of Sotogrande, players and patrons are anxious to start the official season. They all want to play competitive polo and now is the time for it!” For that reason, and for the good climate all the year in Sotogrande and the facilities of Santa María Polo Club, is that the club is starting some new actions to promote competitive polo also during the Winter Season.
Here you can find an overview of all tournaments of the Santa María Polo Club in April: → click here