EXCLUSIVE: Non-members have to pay just to walk through the club’s gates

THE new radical, left-wing mayor of Madrid wants to turn the capital’s most exclusive golf course into an urban farm.

Manuel Carmena, of Podemos-backed Ahora Madrid, has made the Club de Campo, on the bank of the Manzanares river, a symbolic target for the country’s political reform.

She believes that because the golf course stands on land belonging to the city, it should be made of use for everyone, instead of merely ‘serving the interests of a few’.

It is currently a members-only club with a waiting list of thousands and a one-off joining fee of €3,000, while non-members cannot even walk through its gates free-of-charge.

The Royal Equestrian Society is a major shareholder in the club, while King Felipe’s eldest sister, Elena de Borbon, keeps some of her horses at the adjoining equestrian centre.

The proposal to turn the golf course into a public farm-school originated from a popular idea posted in Ahora Madrid’s online forum for citizens.

Carmena’s manifesto aims to ‘create centres of environmental education and urban gardens’.


  1. Presumably this new mayor is frothing at the mouth otherwise she would not be going to such a huge effort to close it. Why does it have to be this particular site? Why can’t they find another suitable location that also belongs to the city? I don’t like golf and even if I did, I would not be able to afford to be a member of that club but that does not mean I do not want other people to enjoy golf or be a member of that club if they can afford it. This sounds like the politics of envy to me.

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