2 November, 2022

Meet the Staff – Greenkeepers Paco Soto, Antonio Martín & José Vílchez

We’re very proud at La Cala to have a dedicated team of greenkeepers who share the same passion for our golf courses as we do.  Meet Paco, Antonio and Jose whose tenure at La Cala Resort span more than 30 years of service. Each joined La Cala in 1990 when La Cala had only five greenkeepers, compared to our team today of over thirty.  At the time, our initial Asia course wasn’t yet completed and the area had very few roads and a small clubhouse.  There was one common element in speaking with Paco, Antonio, and Jose about our golf course greens – each shared a magical smile about their love of La Cala.  They truly enjoy keeping our greens in top shape, and their greatest satisfaction is knowing that their contributions make all the difference for our golfers and the beauty of La Cala. 

Paco Soto recalls the early days of La Cala when he first joined.  Living in his hometown of Tolox, he worked in the construction sector for several years before relocating for aspiring opportunities in Switzerland, Germany and France.  It wasn’t until he visited La Cala together with a couple of friends that he decided to be part of our team ever since.  And, he doesn’t mind that he commutes two hours a day to and from Tolox where he still resides.   

Antonio Martín’s origins are from the Sierra del Gibralgalia, a small village of only 500 inhabitants where he, too, worked in construction.  When a friend, who didn’t have a driving license, asked him to drive him to La Cala for a job opportunity, Antonio recalls how he felt at the first sight of La Cala, “when I arrived, I had never seen such a beauty of grass, and I fell in love.” Since that day, he managed to acquire a greenkeeper position at La Cala and he still feels the same as on his first day.  Antonio adds, “When the grass is green, it makes me very happy.”

José Vílchez lives in Palenciana and travels an hour and a half each way from the Cordoba province, on a daily basis to La Cala.  His early days prior to La Cala included serving as a chef in local “chiringuitos” along the coast as well as at Tivoli World.  He learned of La Cala through his mother’s hairdressing client who mentioned the opportunity during a visit to his mother’s hair salon.  Although the distance was far, when he arrived at La Cala he knew that it was a special place and he immediately wanted to work here.  Jose adds, “I love my home here at La Cala, and even when I am away from the golf courses, I dream of them.  They are like my children.”