Peter Gustafsson is quite laid-back – speaking in a slow and calm manner. However, his brain is a smouldering cauldron of ideas, good ideas in general. Gustafsson, who has been living on the Costa del Sol for many years, has played professionally in more than 80 countries and has garnered 11 international victories, as well as two second places on the European Tour. His characteristic and colourful hat is one of the hallmarks of the flamboyant Swedish pro, who is now embarking on a new adventure by taking over – through his PG Experience Golf company – the practice facilities at Atalaya Golf & Country Club.
For more than 50 years, Atalaya Golf has been one of the premier golf clubs on the Costa del Sol, with two 18-hole courses located in a stunningly attractive natural setting. As part of its objective of offering an experience like no other, the club has embarked on a total upgrade of its golf academy, highlighted by the development of top-class practice facilities following the agreement signed with PG Experience Golf.
PG Experience Golf has rapidly established an excellent reputation for offering the best golf trips, exclusive events at some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, and golf lessons.
The main vision of PG Golf & Sports Academy at Atalaya Golf is to offer the finest facilities so that players can work on different aspects of their game, all led by a team of multilingual and highly-experienced teaching pros. The academy plans to introduce latest technology in ball tracking to support professionals, while also enabling players to analyse their own swings. The academy will also be organising junior summer camps and group classes.
Apart from golf, the academy also plans to include tennis, pádel tennis, and yoga classes specifically designed for golfers. Additionally, new hospitality facilities are under construction that will include areas for players to relax during practice sessions.
For Gustafsson, “this new project is an incredible opportunity to offer the best in golf teaching and practice in southern Spain. Working together with Atalaya, I am looking forward to sharing all my experience with club members and players from all over Europe.”
For his part, Atalaya Golf director Andrés Sánchez says he is very satisfied with the agreement with Gustafsson. “We have always had very good practice facilities at Atalaya and now I am excited about this new agreement with PG Experience Golf that will allow us to take our services to a higher level. With the attraction generated by the new academy we hope to welcome many new players and members to our two wonderful golf courses.”
As for why he decided to undertake this new enterprise, Gustafsson explains, “I have been here since 1997 and in all these years it has been very difficult to find good practice courses for amateur players and also for professionals, for national teams... When I found out there was the possibility of managing these facilities, I did not think twice.
“Also, it’s very good for our business with tournaments, events and golf trips, because here I have the office and I am seeing golfers all the time. Bearing in mind the career I have had, I would like to establish an academy for children and people without sufficient economic means, to do something really good here, and also to create a kind of club within the academy for golfers who want to play tournaments and enjoy different activities.”
Another of Gustafsson’s projects is to create a pádel tennis club with half a dozen courts, in the area where the parking lot is currently located.
The Swedish pro stresses that the practice course is open to all coaches, who can bring their students and pay for two hours, with balls included, at a very competitive price. “On the Costa del Sol, there are a lot of good coaches who don't have facilities to teach their clients. Here we are going to give you all the facilities to make you feel comfortable. We are an open academy for all of them, both for those who live here and for those who come from abroad.
“We are going to lay artificial grass on the tee line, incorporate LED lights for night activities and improve the driving range area to make it more attractive, and we are renovating the kiosk to turn it into a cafetería.”
Gustafsson is aiming for the children's classes at the academy to begin during the first quarter of 2021. “We are currently structuring everything to start in January at full capacity.”