A bunker from the Spanish Civil War used by Republicans (right side of Hole 9, "Yellow Course")
The Club de Campo was officially inaugurated in 1931, occupying land owned by the City Hall of Madrid. The inauguration was a social event of the season. A year later, in 1932, the golf course opened with nine holes and since then a passion for golf started at the Club.
The designer of the first nine holes is not confirmed, but some people believe that "those first five holes were designed by the club staff or members."
In 1936 came the Civil War ... and what in the beginning appeared to be a golf course became a battle field between the “Republicans” and “Frente Nacional”. The land where golf is now practiced was then the scene of battles like the Battle of “Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid”, in a period from November 1936, to the end of the war. The target of Republican militias was the "defense of the capital at all costs" and, from the other side, attacking rebel armies were aimed at "conquering the city" in the least possible time. The persistence and tenacity of both contenders in the battle marked a turning point in the course of the Civil War.
The old wall was the limit of the first holes built in 1932, that were completely distroyed by the Civil War
Once the war ended, in 1942 the “Club de Campo” merged with “Real Sociedad Hípica Española” resulting the “Royal Spanish Riding Horse Club de Campo” and began the construction of social facilities and reconstruction of sports facilities.
The agronomist D. Javier Arana, was the person in charge of designing an 18-hole course on the old trenches left by the civil war. On April 21, 1956, the prestigious golfer D. Miguel Angel opened the "Black Course", which is in its current location. At that time, it was almost impossible to have more than 20 players at the club, while today, there are more than 8,300 licensed players.
In the late 80s, more than 70 golf events were already organized at the “Club de Campo”. At this time, Spanish players such as Ballesteros and Olazabal were the best players on the European Tour and worldwide. That was when golf demand began to rise and “Club de Campo” decided to build a new nine holes plus another nine par-3 holes, that were added to the existing 27 holes.
The new nine holes, which became part of what is now called the “Yellow Course", were designed by Severiano Ballesteros and inaugurated in 1993. Hole 5 has his usual signature, with a bunker in an "S" on the left side of the fairway.
Equally important from the historical point of view hole 16 on the “Yellow Course”, which has extraordinary and spectacular views of Madrid. This place was the same point from where Goya made his "La Pradera de San Isidro" painting, in 1788.
Current views from hole 16th, "Yellow Course"
La Pradera de San Isidro" (Goya) painting, in 1788
It's hard to imagine now how the venue for the Open de España Femenino - Madrid 2020 was once the scene of an intense military conflict in the Civil War.
There are few golf courses in the world with such a rich history as Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, which makes the venue extremely special.
In September, the decision of the IOC will be made and perhaps the lands where Goya painted, militants fought and golfing giants Severiano Ballesteros and Olazabal played, could be the same spot where we watch golf in the 2020 Summer Olympics.