Long before the existence of any of the Interclub competitions that we know so well today, Los Bandidos was THE Interclub golf competition on the Costa del Sol. In those early days of golf, Atalaya was a key member of and one of the founding clubs in the Los Bandidos organisation. This was more than 40 years ago, and at that time the Atalaya Bandidos were highly respected and touted the reputation of being “the team to beat”.
Since its inception Los Bandidos has always been known as a fun group that promotes great camaraderie amongst the different clubs that participate in the Interclub competition. Atalaya’s Los Bandidos high point is remembered as being when Javier Serna Ullibarri served as captain. Reminisces of Javier, a well-loved Atalaya member, are still shared to this day. Sadly, he passed a number of years ago, and after his death Atalaya’s Los Bandidos languished.
Over the next few years the situation declined to the point where Atalaya finally withdrew altogether from the Los Bandidos Interclub league. At that time Atalaya could not even field a team of eight players, and the situation seemed hopeless.
Then, a little less that four years ago, Atalaya decided to rekindle the Los Bandidos spirit and rejoin the Interclub organisation, never looking back.
Joseph Durrmeyer took over the captaincy two years ago, and within a year Atalaya’s Bandidos had grown to 30 members, making it the largest Los Bandidos team in the league. That year, Atalaya finished in Second Place in the overall competition.
Last year, the team continued to grow even more, and now more than 40 players are on the roster, giving Atalaya the largest team in league history. The result is a very united, competitive and winning team.
During the past six consecutive years, the powerful Los Arqueros squad captured the competition’s winners trophy. This year, however, is a different story. The Atalaya Bandidos fought long and hard and successfully de-throned Los Arqueros, capturing the 2020 championship and the sought after champion’s trophy.
During the current COVID-19 lockdown, Atalaya’s Bandidos team members, who, by the way, represent more than 13 countries including Spain, remain very supportive of one another and stay in close contact via emails and telephone conversations, even though several are far away in their homelands.
Reflecting on this year’s Interclub win, captain Durrmeyer states: “I am proud of the hard work that our members put into the competitions. It wasn’t easy, and the team handled themselves well and were a credit to Atalaya. Our focus has always been on building a team that is more than just a sum of its individuals, and I believe that we have accomplished that.”
“The fabulous team spirit is completely down to our captain Joseph. When I had to stand in for him, the support I received from the team was 100%”, reports vice-captain Peter Oliver.
Many memorable moments demonstrate the fun and spirit that the Atalaya team brings to the competition, making Atalaya’s players the envy of the other Los Bandidos teams. “The most fun was when my friend Patrick (Rey) decided to take off his shoes to save the hole when his ball had fallen into a river! And it was 14 degrees outside – what dedication!,” says Philippe Vauthier. Terry Imrie remembers, “My partner John Hassay announced when I birdied a hole at an away course shouting – ‘christ, I didn’t think you had it in you.’”
What stands out above all amid this great fun is the camaraderie – the high point of everything that has been accomplished. “Los Bandidos is exciting and very unifying,” comments Jan Sillman. “The pride is well deserved, and the team is very supportive as Atalaya brings home the Interclub trophy to once again put Atalaya in a place of honour.”
So, when will we actually see this sought-after trophy? “The big event where the trophy is given was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown. It is currently sitting at Los Arqueros and unfortunately will remain there until our courses are open and things begin to return to normal. As soon as we can, I will collect it and bring it home to Atalaya. Hopefully, we can have an event to celebrate once social distancing is no longer a necessity,” says Durrmeyer.