Patricia Lobato & Los Naranjos GC Junior Academy
Patricia started coaching out of necessity. She was playing during one of the worst times for the European Tour, when the lack of tournaments and sponsorship forced many professionals to look for other means of income. The big surprise for Patricia was to discover not only that she loves teaching but that her pupil numbers are constantly increasing. Driven by the desire to come back home, Patricia talks to the director of Los Naranjos Golf Club, explaining her idea to start a Junior Academy. Julián Romaguera, always in search of improvements for his club, had no doubts at all.
Two years ago Patricia Lobato started her Academy at Los Naranjos and already she has to display a ”no vacancies” sign. Out of her 40 pupils, a greater percentage are girls, making her really happy:” I’m delighted as I am already at maximum capacity: I just cannot take any more. What has really impressed me is the high percentage of persistence in the girls who usually, are the first to give up: but they love to play with other girls and having a female teacher is an extra plus as well. I have a better feeling with them, making my job easier. In the end you build a community of a group of friends who play golf together, it’s wonderful”, explains Patricia.
When she decided to return to Andalucía, Patricia thought immediately of Los Naranjos Golf Club because of the support and importance that the Club attributes to women’s golf. This is also emphasized by the fact that Los Naranjos Golf Club will be hosting the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open:
” I think it’s marvellous that it will be at Los Naranjos. It’s a Club that understood that we needed help and not only supports us with the Ladies Summer League each summer but also now with the Open. I feel comfortable here and as a woman golfer, I also feel at home here”, she remarks.
Patricia is looking forward to welcoming her professional female colleagues to her Club, confident that it will be an excellent promotion for Los Naranjos: ”I think it’s going to leave everyone with wonderful memories considering the terrific scenery, in particular the outstanding last few holes. The 18th is spectacular,: the best on the entire Costa del Sol. It’s the perfect kind of course for exciting performances, ideal for women’s golf,” confirms Patricia. She would love to see a fellow-countrywoman as winner:” I think the best Spanish player will be María Hernández. I know her very well and she’s going in the right direction. I would bet on her as she plays well with irons and this course could be really good for her. Here at Los Naranjos, it will be the player with the best shot to the green who will lift the trophy.”