In this episode of Club + Resort Talks, Rob Thomas speaks with Santiago Gomez, Founder and CEO of Padel Haus. Santiago shares the origins of padel, a sport invented in Mexico in 1969, combining elements of tennis, racquetball, platform tennis, and squash. Padel involves playing with walls, adding a unique dimension to the game. Santiago discusses the rapid global growth of padel, noting that the demand for their locations has significantly increased.
Santiago’s journey into Padel started in Mexico as a teenager, playing with his parents. After a career in finance and running restaurants, he decided to open the first padel club in New York, seizing the opportunity during the COVID pandemic. Despite initial uncertainties, the success of the first club in Miami encouraged him to introduce padel to New York, considering the city’s openness to new experiences and its diverse population.
The interview covers the expansion of Padel Haus, with locations in Williamsburg, Domino Park, and Dumbo neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The facilities include indoor and outdoor courts, steam rooms, showers, juice bars, lounges, and social areas. Santiago announces the opening of a fourth location in Nashville, highlighting the city’s potential and growth.
Looking ahead, Santiago envisions Padel Haus expanding to around 50 locations within five years. He predicts that Padel will reach 30 million participants in the U.S. and become an Olympic sport, possibly by the Los Angeles or Brisbane Olympics. Santiago expresses confidence in Padel becoming the most-played racquet sport globally, citing its unexpected growth in various countries worldwide.
Rob and Senior Editor Phil Keren also discussed a project at Raven Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. where tee complexes were revitalized, the course’s 60 sand bunkers were restored, and playing corridors were opened to showcase panoramic views. Arcis Golf’s Construction Division led the project using the Better Billy Bunker liner system and a specialty blend of sand from Gillibrand Materials in Simi Valley, Calif.
In addition, Rob and Phil talked about Concert Golf Partners finishing a multi-year, multi-million-dollar capital improvement project at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, N.C. LED lighting was installed in the Lakeside Room and the upstairs conference room for a more updated look, and new carpet and paint were added throughout the facility.
The C+RB duo also shared thoughts on a fun story out of Hobe Sound, Fla.: Ted Crocker, 85, on Jan. 15 recorded a hole-in-one for the second time at Heritage Ridge Golf Club in Hobe Sound. Here’s the remarkable thing: He made the ace 23 years to the day after notching his first hole-in-one at the same course. Perhaps he should use the numbers “1” and “5” on a lottery ticket.