Our Golf Manager, Satu Kääriäinen, had the pleasure to interview the Director & Head Golf Professional of Marbella GCC Academy, Monty Bordelon, last June. He has now been at Marbella Golf for more than 2 years. He shared some of his experiences with us:
1. What originally drew you to golf?
My father at the age of 4 in New Orleans in United States, where I’m from. In between my home work from school, my other hobbies – American football, basketball, baseball and soccer, believe it not – we found time to play golf together. I also attended golf junior camps, similar to the ones we organize at Marbella Golf Academy. So, it seems like life is repeating itself. This time I’m the one organizing the camps together with our other professionals, Angel Ibañez and Stephane Hoarau.
2. What is your biggest inspiration?
I would say that it is my father too. He has always been a low handicap player who liked to tee off very early in the morning. He was called a “dew sweeper” and it seems like I’m like that too. I like to get to the golf course very early in the morning.
3. When you are not playing golf, you are…
I love to fish. I live in Rincón de la Victoria and the fishing there is excellent. I get to practice my spoken Spanish with the fishermen on the beach and I respect them a lot as they fish for living. I also like to cook.
4. Do you have a favorite iron or golf shot?
My favorite is the 7 iron and my favorite shot is the flop shot. It is about a 10-meter shot that you have to use your 60º wedge to fly the ball very high.
5. I wish that more people realized that golf…
is not only for old people that smoke cigars or are retired. I still hear that stereotype a lot her in Spain unfortunately, although Spain, just like other countries, now has a lot of junior players. Golf is a great way to do business as you get to spend 5 hours with a business client playing a round of golf and having lunch together. Golf is for any age and any level. You are never too old to begin.
6. What is the biggest lesson golf has taught you?
Education and manners. I learned to be around adults. I always played together with my father and his business partners. Golf teaches the children a lot of etiquette.
7. What is the biggest lesson you hope to teach through golf?
I would like all the players to enjoy playing golf. I don’t like to see when people get angry on the golf course, because you go to play golf to have fun. There is nothing better than to spend quality time with your spouse, children and friends playing golf. When I say that especially for the younger readers, I mean that when you get older, it is great to be able to look back and remember the hours spent on the golf course with my father. Those times together, I now see, are priceless.
8. What are the 5 things on your bucket list?
The first thing is to get fit, as I’m 50 years old, a senior now. I need to lose weight and get stronger too. Secondly, I want to enhance the Marbella Golf Academy with better grass, better golf balls, more service provided to the clients, and improve the operation in general. Thirdly, I would also like to play more golf and participate in more tournaments, which goes together with the first thing mentioned about getting fit. I want to see how I compete with the other senior Spanish PGA golf professional here on the Costa del Sol. The fourth thing on the bucket list would be to continue to work for the members at Marbella Golf. I really enjoy organizing the weekly tournaments for them and spending time with them. The fifth thing would be to all in all be content and happy in my life. I love living in Spain – I enjoy the culture and the food.
9. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I think this goes back to what I already answered to the 6th question, to treat everybody with respect. Not only the elders, but everybody in general and this applies also to golf. My father always told me that you get as much respect as you give.
10. Do you do anything special before or after a golf tournament?
I have a little card from a restaurant in New Orleans, called “Café du Monde”, that my wife gave me and which I keep in my golf bag. I read it every time before I get on the 1st tee and it’s just some words for inspiration. There is also a ballmarker that I have of the best finish I had when I was playing the South African Tour in the 1990’s. It’s a 5 cent Rand coin and I keep it still as my ballmarker.
11. Please tell us a little bit more of the services you offer to visitors and members at the Marbella Golf Country Club Academy.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as other members’ tournaments we offer complimentary range balls for the participants from 9am. For all the clients I try to have my door open at all times. I personally fit Ping golf clubs. Not too many pros nowadays on the Costa del Sol do fittings, but I still do that. I don’t charge the members for the fittings, which is about a 30 to 40 minute lesion. I try to keep the grass tee boxes looking as good as possible. We also have mats downstairs in our covered practice area. The Academy also offers 1 day service for golf club gripping. So, just 1 day after leaving the club, the client can pick up his club with the new grip. And most importantly, I count with a great Team of Golf Professionals; Ángel Ibáñez, our Spanish PGA professional, who apart from teaching many adults is also great with the children, Stephane Hoarau, our French PGA professional and Domingo Ruiz, our another Spanish PGA pro, who I highly respect. We also have a translator if needed into Russian language.