Olazabal and his advice to Jon Rahm: “I speak from the heart and my experience”

“Supporting Spanish golf is something I owe it for everything it has given me”


The Spanish golfer José María Olazabal remembers with emotion the “wonderful week” of the Ryder Cup, returning to a unique tournament nine years later as vice-captain to transmit his experience, more than 30 years playing golf that he wants to extend by supporting this sport in Spain , as in the Spanish Professional Championship.

The veteran golfer will compete this year in Logroño on the 10th anniversary of his Prince of Asturias award. “That day was one of the most special of my life, you never expect them to think of you for an award of that caliber. When I received the call I was surprised, it was an endearing day, surrounded by family and friends, without a doubt one of the most beautiful as always,” he says in an interview facilitated by the Royal Spanish Golf Federation (RFEG).

At 57 years old, the man from Hondarribia wants to continue enjoying golf. “Life goes on, supporting Spanish golf is something I owe it for everything it has given me. It is a pleasure to share this tournament with young generations and see how this sport has evolved. I have had a pretty tough year of playing. No “I’m where I should be or I would like to be. This course doesn’t give anything away, there are a series of extraordinarily hard holes. You have to play well,” he confesses.

The champion of two Augusta Masters competes in the Champions Tour, the American Senior Circuit, where the best players in the world in the category share experiences. “The Champions Tour is the ideal final culmination after dedicating a life to this sport. The tournaments are very well organized, they treat you very well and you play with people you have lived with for many years. The truth is that it keeps you active, a perfect excuse to continue training and try to do things as best as possible,” he says.

On the other hand, as a special parenthesis to his season, Olazabal remembers his presence in the recent Ryder Cup that Europe won in Rome. “The week at the Ryder has been extraordinary. I had been out of this tournament for 9 years, since 2014, and I did not expect the call. I think Luke Donald ran out of candidates, pulled the list and chose me. They played golf wonderfully well “The tension, the atmosphere that exists in a Ryder is unmatched and it was a wonderful week with some great memories,” he says.

‘Ollie’s’ role within the European team, throughout history, was once again praised by all its members, with special mention to his compatriot Jon Rahm. “I speak from the heart and from my experience. When you dedicate yourself to this for more than 30 years, you have played with the best and you have lived special moments, you learn. It is a learning of many years. Transmitting those experiences to the young generations helps them to put yourself in the situation, or have another perspective,” he says.

Furthermore, Olazabal coexists with the evolution of golf. “The evolution has been tremendous, not only in terms of materials. The players have become more professional, a lot of importance is given to physical preparation. They have many tools at their disposal that help them better analyze which are the facets where they have to improve. Golf is played differently today,” he analyzes.

“In our time you had to rely on personal talent, today too but now the players make much fewer mistakes and do not face those situations that we faced,” he adds, wanting to continue competing while he dedicates himself to the design of golf courses. golf and with the support to the Spanish golf quarry from its headquarters in Jaizkibel.

“I feel like a lucky person. I have done what I liked in life, with its hard and bad moments, but golf has given me a lot. I am aware of how hard it is to advance in this sport and that we must help young people who have passion and desire to fight to get there. That’s why I’m here,” he concludes.