Life takes on several roles. Tell the story of Jesús García Sanjuán (Zaragoza, 1971), a world footballer who today, at the age of 50, is dedicated to bringing amateur golfers to play on Scotland’s most famous courses through his company, Golf Scotland.
But before we tell that story, let’s go back. Sanjuan was a midfielder for Zaragoza in the 1990s, and was a player in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup. Coming from the youth academy, he shared the team’s most distinguished title.
This is from Naim’s big goal, which he did not see live due to a disagreement with the coach, Victor Fernandez, over his replacement. He came in the 68th minute as a substitute for Higuera and the coach decided to replace him with Geli six minutes after the end of extra time.
Logically, it did not suit him. “I was heading to the bench and calling for the coach and all of a sudden I saw my teammates go crazy. Naim had scored,” he says at St Andrews, cathedral golf which is currently hosting the 150th British Open.
Jesus Garcia Sanjuan, History
Three years later he moved to Villarreal. At the time he was already playing golf, but not so much because it was “totally forbidden” in Zaragoza. In Castellón, he participated in matches “almost every Tuesday” with the Danish Spaniard Thomas Christiansen “in La Coma”.
It was there that he met Sergio Garcia, at that time a boy he worshiped and took him to some yellow submarine training. “He always wanted to play with us. He hit the ball like he was coming off a chain, but you can’t imagine he would go that far,” says Sanjuan.
After Villarreal there was a flight to Cordoba and from there to Scotland. “I found myself without a team after my last season in Cordoba. About to start the season, Bahia, my representative, called me to come with a small group of seven or eight Spaniards on a team that Steve Archibald was going to buy.
He did not fill what he had to fill and disappeared. Scottish Premier League teams have signed with us. I went to Kilmarnock. You are quite mature. He’s had a terrible year in Cordoba to assess the possibility of not continuing to play,” he explains.
In New Caledonia, Zaragoza reversed: it was normal for colleagues and the coach to play golf. Because they provoked us. I arrived with a disability of 20 and they were all three and five… Now I have six,” he confirms.
Little by little, Sanjuan lost his passion for football: “I started not enjoying it anymore, as I had small injuries: a small break, an overburden … I didn’t think about it anymore. Sometimes he would remove me from the team. He would tell the coach I was suffering. From a stomach ache because he did not want to play.
Or the typical thing for a coach who looks at the bench to see who’s ready to go out while I’m in hiding. “It was then that he began to forge his life outside of football. “I took advantage of my name to know many areas, to start thinking in my head.
I retired in 2003 and had my first clients already. So there was no cell phone or anything. With a website and phone my mother used, it worked. In the first year I formed four groups, in the second twelve, then twenty and some …
And you’re like, “Holy shit, this could work.” Sanjuán is currently “the only authorized supplier of St. Andrews in Spain”. It’s a member of the New Golf Club, which has a beautiful seat overlooking the common fairway between holes 1 and 18 in the sports cathedral.
You have optional authorization to play The Old Course. The Open is not operating normally but the fact that it is taking place on this course and that it is the 150th edition has caused an influx of requests to play in the region, which is also home to other gems such as Turnberry and Royal Troon…
After stopping the spread of the epidemic, which was difficult (“for seven months, no one called me”), there was a significant rebound in activity: “This year, we will probably have about 500 customers in total, but since I am drugged, I have all the delays in the past two years.”
He also had to extend the options to Ireland and England “because people ask you to” but releases in these areas are rare because of the means he has and the personal attention he likes to give.
Nobody has the gift of being ubiquitous. “As we used to say in Scotland as a joke, my name is Jesus and not God,” jokes the one who found another way to continue enjoying the ball, even if it was smaller and was instead struck with a stick by the feet…