The Villa Raffo institution, in which figures such as De Vicenzo, Romero and Vicente Fernández stood out, is sustained by the strength of its 350 members.
The traditional community Golf Club General San Martin, in it Party of February ThreeWest zone of Greater Buenos Aires, arrives at the end of 2022 with a double reason to raise the glass and toast: it has just celebrated its 110 years of history and is undergoing a recovery process that is restoring the brilliance of its best times, in honor of to its rich social and sporting history.
In addition to the October celebrations for the anniversary of the iconic club, which for more than a century it has been standing in the town of Villa Raffo, A magazine was launched that precisely brings together valuable records from the past of this valued civil association.
The publication was in charge of Andrés Gazzano, a member of the Board of Directors, and realize the origin of the golf club, which maintains a very close link with the railway then called ‘Buenos Aires al Pacífico’ (or ‘Pacific Railway’) before being renamed ‘General San Martín’, in 1948.
The foundation of the institution was in 1912 under the name ‘Pacific Railway Golf Club’ around the Sáenz Peña – Villa Luro railway line that operated between 1908 and 1938.
four years earlier, the then railway employees had been given land to practice traditional British sportssuch as field hockey, football, rugby and tennis. later and by initiative of the hierarchical personnel of the railway, the golf would be added. With the backing of the ‘Pacific Railway’ company, construction began on the course, which initially had nine holes and then reached 18 in 1920.
It is worth noting that After the nationalization of the railway, in 1948, the institution was renamed with the name it still maintains: Golf Club General San Martin. The detail is not minor taking into account the series of milestones that occurred in subsequent years in the 44 hectare property located between Lope de Vega and Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear avenues, and Senador Benito Ferro, San Pedro and Justo José de Urquiza streetsa few meters from General Paz avenue and the border with the City of Buenos Aires.
Over there the Open of the Republic was disputed, five editions of the Argentine Professional Championship, two of the Argentine Amateur Championship, three from the Alberto del Solar Dorrego Cup and many others of Argentine Ladies, among some of the most important prizes in the country. Also Argentine professional golfers passed through the facilities of all times, such as Roberto de Vicenzo, José Jurado, Vicente Fernández, Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabreraamong others.
a new stage
“We are happy to be able to celebrate this 110th anniversary with all our partners, employees, professionals, caddies, neighbors and with all those who, in one way or another, are part of the General San Martín Golf Club”, says Gazzano, who is deputy secretary of the institution that currently has more than 350 people associated and that until not long ago He also went through a complex stage.
As detailed in the previously mentioned magazine, the club remained intervened for almost a year, it was provisionally disaffiliated from the Argentine Golf Association, had the field in poor condition and employees who could not collect on time. Besides, of course, the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic that forced the doors to close for a semester.
“Being president was and is a huge honor. A big commission was put together. I still feel very useful and the club, in addition to being my home, is the place where I spent and continue to spend the most beautiful moments surrounded by friends and the affection of many people. My family says it extended my life,” says Enrique ‘Coco’ Lombardini (90)highest authority of the institution that was unanimously elected to chair it in 2019 with the aim of changing its face and, thus, beginning to write a new golden page for the Golf Club (it had already had a mandate 25 years ago).
Finally, Gazzano concludes: “We were only 50 active members in the assembly that ended with the intervention and unanimously elected Lombardini and the current Board of Directors. The challenge was enormous, but it was worth trying.. In its more than one hundred years of history, it was not the first time that the club had to overcome the slope. It was a duty to try to do it, we could not disappoint the institution or ourselves. Many members got involved and pitched in to get the club back on its feet. There is still a lot to do, we are only at the beginning of this new stage“.