CHILEAN OPEN 2002
1st - David Valenzuela (Chile), 56
2nd - Felipe Miranda (Chile)
3rd - Francisco Vera (Chile)
Report by Jose Maria de Anzizu
Summary by Jose M. De Anzizu
The FEDERACION CHILENA DE PITCH AND PUTT (now finalising the process of being legally registered), had organised a First Pitch and Putt Open as a part of the IV ?Inter- Regional Medical Games?, together with football, tennis, athletics etc. More than 100 players participated, of which five were from Catalonia. The first day individuals ended with a best gross of 56 from a local player and the subsequent team event was won by Catalonia. A total of twelve clubs or associations (3 players each, counting the best two gross) participated in the second day.
During the opening ceremony I gave a speech on Pitch and Putt in Catalonia with comments on the European situation and possible development in other world countries. After my introduction there was a question and answer period. The conference was attended by officers and players of existing clubs as well as possible investors.
Chile has now three or four short par three courses that have accepted to adapt to the local Pitch and Putt distances. One of them is located inside the property of the influential ?Colegio de Medico? (3.000 doctors plus families and friends are members of this association). It is a nine hole course with double tees and distances from 45 to 125 meters (total length 1474 meters). A very difficult course, with a number of greenside bunkers, water hazards and small greens.
There are three other short par 3 courses in Santiago and at least three more being planned around the capital. There is also a plan to develop municipal courses in other cities.
Six clubs have already accepted to form the ?Federacion Chilena de Pitch and Putt? under the approval of the country sport authorities and the Chilean Olympic Committee. They plan to have distances with a maximum of 125 meters (only one hole) and a total lenght of about 1.500 or 1.600 and are considering the limitation of clubs to seven, including the putter. It is interesting to realise that, as in the case of Catalonia, they do not think that courses with very short distances could help the development of the game in Chile. They are aiming at new players as well as golf players who do not have easy access to private clubs.
The Chilean Federation is ready to send a delegate or two to Montpellier if there is some financial help for travelling. They are also enthusiastic about the idea of a possible World Cup and offer its organisation in Chile for the year 2006. Golf is still an elitist game but there is a movement towards making it more popular. Pitch and Putt might help a lot on this.
They are also willing to explore the situation in other nearby countries such as Argentina and Brazil.
No doubt that there is ONE person that is the key to all this process: Dr. Fernando Morgado, an epidermotologist that loves the idea of Pitch and Putt and is devoting lots of his time to it. His enthusiasm, leadership abilities and, also, his connections might be of utmost importance in this development process.