La Manga Club and The European Tour have both come a long way since they launched in 1972 and Tour chief executive George O’Grady has joined the chorus of approval for the Spanish resort as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The award-winning five-star complex was one of the first places to become a regular tournament venue during the Tour’s early years and O’Grady was quick to acknowledge the role it has played in helping promote European golf on a global stage.
La Manga Club hosted the Spanish Open for five years in a row between 1973-77, South African legend Gary Player was the resort’s first director of golf while Spanish superstar Seve Ballesteros was its touring pro between 1980-85.
In a specially-recorded video message, O’Grady said: “I would like to congratulate everyone connected with La Manga Club for reaching their 40th birthday.
“The European Tour has every reason to thank La Manga Club for, firstly, elevating the Spanish Open in 1972 onto the global stage. Witness the first three winners Neil Coles, Jerry Heard and the great Arnold Palmer from the United States.
“La Manga Club has played a great role in the success of The European Tour. Our qualifying school was staged there for six years and in all that time our players have kept coming back to the resort because of the facilities you have.
“Congratulations again, thank you again. You have really played your part, together with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, in making The European Tour the successful body we are today. Muchas gracias!”
O’Grady is the latest top name in golf to pay tribute to La Manga Club as it builds up to a special birthday weekend at the start of November - the culmination of a series of events to celebrate its anniversary.
Player sent his own personal video message of congratulations – which will also be played at the anniversary weekend later in the year – last month while American legend Arnold Palmer and world number one Luke Donald, who learned to play golf at the venue, have also praised the resort.
Set in an area three times the size of Monaco, La Manga Club is renowned for its first-class range of facilities and has played host to some of the leading names in sport and leisure over the years.
In addition, as well as offering a wide selection of sports academies to children, the resort will be hosting the Lee Westwood Golf Academy, Real Madrid Football Camp and Daley Thompson Athletics Academy this summer where budding sports stars of the future can improve their skills.
La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sport and leisure venue including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses, more than 20 bars and restaurants and is great fun for children.