One of the Paul McBeth Foundation's day-one goals has been to install disc golf courses in major cities. And with a population of more than 6.7 million people, Madrid, Spain, certainly qualifies.
So, for the first project of 2023, PMF will help bring a permanent disc golf course to Complutense University, the largest public higher education facility in Spain's capital city.
Working in these large metropolitan areas, though, is a tall task. It requires a strong partner on the ground willing to work hard to get the required approvals, and we were approached by the perfect club in Spain to do just that: the Madrid International Disc Golf club (MIDG.)
In MIDG we found a team that has a long history of perseverance and dedication to introducing disc golf to Madrid. According to MIDG Board Member Robert Abel, a faithful core of players has been laying the groundwork for a project of this type for nearly a decade.
"[It's taken] seven years of transporting folding baskets by car, subway, bicycle, and zuca’s to play disc golf on sundays," Abel said. "The first course in Madrid frees us to enjoy the sport whenever we want. The time we used to spend on transporting and setting up temporary courses can now be dedicated to growing the sport in Madrid, and Spain.“
The partnership puzzle came into even greater focus as two key entities in Europe signed on to get this project over the finish line.
PDGA Europe stepped up to provide financial support for the project, as well as a commitment to support MIDG after the PMF install. As we focus on sustainability for each of our projects, partnerships like this are critical to ensure the long-term success of a location like Madrid; we want our partners on the ground to have a strong network to lean on as they focus on developing the course and growing the player base.
Latitude 64 also came on with a very generous offer to be the project's gold level sponsor. Latitude 64 already has a presence in Spain and expressed a high level of excitement and enthusiasm about getting a course in Madrid. This will be the first time we partner with the Swedish manufacturer, and we are excited to get off to such a strong start with them.
As a result of these partnerships, in a few months the city of Madrid will boast its first permanent course. MIDG has already hosted PDGA events with their portable targets and have seen as many as 73 people play. With the addition of a permanent course the club is expecting to see what they describe as an explosion of players in the capital city.
Plans are in motion to complete the course in the coming months, so stay tuned to our website and social media channels of updates going forward!