João Tomaz is the new golf pro at Espiche Golf

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am from Portalegre, a small town in the interior of Portugal. Since I was young, I started showing interest in sports and practised swimming, horse riding and rugby.

I had the opportunity to do my studies in Évora, where there was a driving range in a hotel unit, which allowed me to take my first steps as a professional golf coach. 

What made you move to the Algarve? For you, what are the advantages of living in the Algarve?

Due to the lack of opportunities to work in golf in Alentejo, I came after the dream to become a golf teacher on a golf course and eventually be able to run my academy. Today I can say that I was lucky to have the opportunity to work at the Espiche golf course and in a region with a massive golf offer.

When and how did you start playing golf?

I started in 1999 when I was only nine years old. It was at the Ammaia golf course in Marvão. Without any golf culture at home, it was through some family friends that I had the opportunity to fall in love with the sport. I remember that in 1999, the training was somewhat poor in the local culture, so I had some difficulties learning the sport. I remember that I never missed a weekend at the driving range as I aimed to have the opportunity to play on another golf course one day.

Tell us something about yourself, a curiosity or something you like to do, like a hobby, for example.

I love to run ultra-marathons, races with more than 100 km in the mountains. Nowadays, I am still the youngest athlete in Portugal to complete the longest distance of a race. It was 304 km in 60 hours in a self-reliant regime. I did this when I was only 29 years old. 

I like to add the social component to my race. I remember that the one that challenged me the most was as an ambassador to raise funds for OAR (Organization for Autism Research). I joined more than 300 people in a solidarity event in which I ran over 800 kilometres during August. One day I dream of being able to run the Marathon de Sables in the desert.


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