Ramón Espinosa, who passed away in Madrid on May 22nd, 2019, was one of the most respected Spanish golf course architects. He was one of the founder members of the European Society of Golf Course Architects (ESGA) whose president he was from 1994 – 1998. He was a leading advocate of the amalgamation of ESGA with the British Institute of Golf Course Architects (BIGCA) and the French AFAG out of which emerged the EIGCA as the sole representing body of the European golf course architects in 2000.
Ramón was a proud and passionate member of our Institute, highly respected because of his professional qualifications and extremely popular amongst his colleagues thanks to his amiable and unobtrusive character.
Ramón Espinosa had an engineering doctor’s degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and a master’s degree in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin. He was not only responsible for the design of many notable Spanish golf courses but also for the construction of many golf courses, executed by his own construction companies Ibergolf and Golf & Garden.
Under his management and guidance, these companies had also built a lot of golf courses for other renowned golf course architects, among others Gary Player, Fred Hawtree, Robert Trent Jones, Ron Kirby and Javier Arana. Ramón’s company Golf & Garden was decorated with the Golf Merit Plaque of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation in 2002.
In a recently published interview with “Golf Industria”, Ramón summarised his design philosophy as follows: “I have always designed golf courses with both the desires of the players and the environmental procurements in mind, by designing enjoyable courses with fairly negotiable challenges.”
Speaking on behalf of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, President Christoph Staedler said: ” It is with great sadness that we learned of Ramón’s passing. He was a remarkably amiable and respected colleague whose opinion was highly esteemed. We will miss him dearly. It’s certainly a consolation that his son Leopoldo has recently become a Member of EIGCA. He will pursue the heritage of his father and will always remind us of Ramón.”
EIGCA Past President Rainer Preissmann commented: “Ramón Espinosa was something you miss in the modern business world – a true Grand Seigneur or better: a Gran Caballero. We have had some board meetings and AGMs in Spain and Ramón and his lovely wife, Josefa, introduced us to the typical charming and friendly Spanish hospitality. Apart from giving us an insight into the Spanish golf industry, Ramón taught us a lot about the Spanish culture. He has contributed significantly to the development of golf in Spain, being one of the pioneers of this sport, providing excellent golf course designs throughout Spain.”
All EIGCA members pay tribute to Ramón Espinosa’s memory. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Pictured top: Ramón Espinosa with his wife Josefa