Hearing the sound of golf balls being hit while passing Madrid’s GreenCanal at Canal de Isabel II transports me to another place and time. Suddenly I’m in a golf cart during the 80s, bored out of my mind and noshing on a Snickers bar while hoping – praying – my dad will let me drive to the next hole. Ah, those were the days.
I grew up on the golf course – my dad was a golf pro, and I spent a solid decade between college and post college going to NCAA tournaments and then pro tournaments across the nation (as a spectator!). So passing by Canal de Isabel II, which Allison introduced to us a while back, I’ve found myself pining over putting and pitching wedges. It was only a matter of time before I gave into the temptation.
And so I finally did. Last Sunday I put on some cozy clothes and marched my way into the driving range office located midway down the long park block on Islas Filipinas. I rented myself a 7 iron (“the most versitle club in the bag,” says my golf buddy back home) for a wopping 3.30€, leaving them with my DNI (always a stressful moment considering the agony I went through to get that darn thing).
I paid my 3.40€ entrance fee and was directed to my tee. There, I discovered my fancy golf set up complete with multi-colored buttons, a mirror for inspecting my swing, and a timer to let me know just how slow I was going. I pressed an orange button and up and out popped a beat-up golf ball just as the ticker that read 60 balls dropped to 59. Fancy shmancy, indeed.
I’m kind of blown away by the driving range on a whole bunch of levels. Not only is it super-centrally located and pretty cheap, but the facility prides itself on being environmentally friendly. With 100 driving range spaces and a 9-hole pitch and putt, it’s like a mini golf paradise right in your madrileño backyard. When are things ever that convenient, efficient and environmental in this darn city? Seriously!?
Let’s see if the sound of golf woos me back for another batch of balls. At very least, I imagine it will have to wait until the blister on my hand heals…or until my ego recovers from just how horribly I play the game. Maybe next time I’ll bring a Snickers bar for good measure.
Avenida de Islas Filipinas between Avenida de Pablo Iglesias and Calle de Santander
902 22 24 21
Metro stops: Islas Filipinas and Ríos Rosas