By Bianca Neff
Golf lovers along the Costa del Sol will be delighted that champion golf professional Michael Campbell is heading up the new Villa Padierna Michael Campbell Golf Academy. Located on Villa Padierna’s beautiful complex, the new academy is Campbell’s first golf academy, with a launch date scheduled for the first week of May.
What brings the New Zealander golf champion to Spain? “I love the lifestyle. It’s very relaxed, similar to Australia and New Zealand,” Campbell said. As far as professional fit, he mentioned that since he plays on the European tour, he needed a base here so after 12 years in London, he moved with his wife Julie and their family after also considering southern France and Portugal. But in the end – lucky for those who will attend his golf academy – our beloved Costa del Sol won out. “After 24 years professional, I take my hat off when I come here,” Campbell said. “I can relax here in Spain.”
He described why he loves the game. “Golf saved my life,” he told us. “When I was 13 or 14, I was at a real crossroads. I ended up choosing the right path, but the guys I knew then didn’t. One is dead; another is in jail.” He loves the sport for what it has done for him: “Thousands and thousands of kids grow up wanting to win a major championship… and I’ve done that.” He’s also given back, focusing his attention on children from disadvantaged backgrounds. “I’ve always wanted to make people’s lives better, which I’ve done through golf,” he said.
Campbell has a great team at Villa Padierna, including extremely experienced PGA golfers Steven Palmer and Daniel Williams. The three have a unique relationship, a combination of relaxed yet professional that will make the Villa Padierna Michael Campbell Golf Academy a place for superlative coaching in an environment where everyone – and they truly do mean everyone – is comfortable and welcome.
The academy’s week-long launch will feature a different topic highlighted each day. From Monday to Saturday, six days will be dedicated for special niches such as juniors, ladies, a pro-am competition, a junior’s tournament, Q & A with Michael, plus a day for photos to be taken with the US Open Trophy. Once the academy opens, Campbell plans to develop a top-notch fitting centre where his qualified team will fit out hyper-customised, tailor-made clubs for all sizes, abilities, and speeds of swing to suit each golfer.
“We’ve created this through being hard workers and being decent guys. We’re excited about this academy, we want to have fun with it,” said Campbell. And with their experience, Campbell and his team have the expertise to cater to literally everyone of all ages, male and female, beginner to intermediate to advanced, with a special focus on customer service, “where every person feels as special as the next one.”