Clay court king Rafael Nadal is a formidable golfer and was close to the pinnacle of amateur golf when he hit a handicap of 1.5.
Nadal holds a record 21 men’s singles Grand Slams, 13 of which are Roland Garros. In his last tournament – the BNP Paribas Open, in Indian Wells – where he just lost in the final on March 20, California, the Spaniard came 10 days early to prepare and also play golf.
“If you say this place is a tennis paradise, golf is more than that. There are many interesting courses,” Nadal said in the newspaper. Desert Sun golf versus tennis in a city in the Coachella valley. He is close to tech billionaire Larry Ellison – owner of the BNP Paribas Open.
Nadal travels internationally, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore golf. However, he says he is only “sticking” in his Spanish hometown or at Coachella, which has about 120 pitches. When going to Indian Wells to combine golf, Nadal often plays at Ellison’s Porcupine Creek resort, sometimes playing at the Madison Club or Stone Eagle.
Nadal has been playing golf since 2013. He and fellow golfer José María Olazábal jointly opened Olazábal & Nadal Invitations in Mallorca with proceeds from pro-amateur (pro-am) sessions donated to two private charity groups. In 2015, Nadal entered a professional tournament – the Balearic Golf Championship for the first time. In the 2020 tournament, he was ranked sixth overall.
In early February 2022, Nadal finished second in the Balearic Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, just days after winning the 21st Grand Slam of his career with the 2022 Australian Open.
For Nadal, playing golf is even more important, as he gets older and suffers from chronic pain in his left leg. Nadal has “Mueller-Weiss syndrome” – a degenerative bone disease in the midfoot.
The Spaniard revealed that doctors told him to live with it for the rest of his life. “The truth is that the condition of my knees and feet prevents me from playing aggressive sports like football and rugby. Golf is okay, I can compete, and there are lots of social opportunities. Low levels can also compete. High performance thanks to handicaps”, says Nadal .