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Dante de Macedo: When golf is (much) more than a game

13 October 2021

He started playing late, but has been the leader of the Architects GC, one of the great promoters of golf in Portugal.

Architecture has always been there. For as long as he can remember, Dante de Macedo has been an architect. At 16, even before entering college, he already imagined and drew spaces on paper. At the age of 18 in the architecture studio of Arq. Fernando Torres, he collaborated with architects such as: João G. Horta, Manuel Madruga, João Paciência and Jorge Barros. When he entered the Escola Superior de Belas Artes in Lisbon, he took all this experience and passion. The same enthusiasm, which he carried to the teaching of Architecture, which he did for 35 years.

Golf has always been there, too. Asleep. The first time the game touched him was in 2008, on one of those “dolce far niente” vacations in Penina. A friend, São Monteiro, decided to offer golf lessons to four couples. “I can say that of those eight people, three remained, and currently there are two,” Dante de Macedo remembers to GOLFE, speaking of the “joy” that remained that afternoon, and that even today he identifies as the true essence of golf: "The conviviality."

Later, he returned to that “joy.” In 2010, due to the influence of friends, he bought some golf lessons at Paço do Lumiar, and he stayed. António Bexiga just as an attentive observer ended up joining the group, remains today! "It was truly my first real contact with golf." He was 60 years old, and one of the (many) things that surprised him, that fell in love with him, was realizing that there were people older than him playing. “This dimension of golf, which allows all ages to play, which through handicaps allows you to play a game with a professional, fascinated me,” and the “be gentleman” says the President of the Architects (AGC), one of the most representative in the country.


Dante de Macedo arrived at the Club - thus, in capital letters, as he likes to refer to AGC - in 2013, responding to the invitation of the President at the time, Emanuel Pacheco. “As vice-president, but due to the professional tasks of Arch. Emanuel Pacheco, who had projects to monitor in Angola, I ended up having to assume more responsibilities in the direction,” recalls Dante de Macedo, who since that date has maintained responsibilities in the AGC. He spent two years as vice president, and, after 2016, as President of a Club that is more than golf. “I think we are different. We cultivate a lot of associations. The spirit of the Club,” he says, listing: “playing golf, fundamental; competition, fundamental; conviviality, very important.”

AGC tournaments do not start or end on the course. There is a whole involvement promoted by the management, where there is no lack of a cultural component, either through musical moments that animate and provide ambience to the post-game, or during visits to projects carried out by fellow architects and museums, “when we go on weekends, we always have that focus. To visit a project by a colleague, to exchange experiences. It is golf that unites us, but the Club is much more than golf,” underlines Dante de Macedo, exemplifyed with the annual events Brisa do Sul or Gala a North, when several tournaments and activities take place in the Algarve or in the North of the country, or with the Iberian Cup, which, for 18 years, Portuguese architects opposed Spaniards, in a match. “This year, it is scheduled for July, at Lisbon. Hopefully everything goes well,” says Dante de Macedo.

The AGC, which completed two decades last year, has 536 members, 160 of whom are active. “We don't leave anyone behind. Even those who have not, for one reason or another, managed to be assiduous, continue to receive our news, and when they return we make sure that they are well received,” he explains. The Club is also open to members' family members, even when they are not architects, and admits the aggregate partners, whose only difference in relation to the others, is not being able to exercise management positions. "As long as they share our vision of the game, everybody is always welcome," says the President of the AGC, who week after week, month after month, is cementing an image of professionalism in the events he organizes.

“Our strategy is to delegate tasks. In the direction, everyone is involved. Some deal with the draw, others with the classifications, some with the Club's polo’s shirts, others with the Media, others in their relationship with specialty magazines, etc. We work very well as a team, so things go well and everyone can play,” explains Dante de Macedo, who would not conceive that someone from the board would not play the tournaments, just to worry about the organization.

The AGC's next step is coming soon. By the end of the year, the Club's headquarters should be operational. “All sponsors have helped. It will be our place, where the files, the trophies will be. Where we will meet.” It is this legacy that Dante de Macedo and this Direction want to leave. This is to contribute, through the AGC, to the development of the sport in Portugal. “Everyone needs to be involved. Clubs with and without a course. Federation. And the Government itself,” he considers, saying that it is important, on the one hand, to demystify the elitist image that golf still has in the country and on the other to promote the connection to schools. Especially in small towns, where the proximity between the school and the community is stronger. “We have to be able to enthuse the youngest and golf has that ability. We have to promote that connection, make them know about golf, have contact with it," he adds, admitting, " of course, it would be very useful to have a Ballesteros, a Tiger Woods, or to make Ronaldo play golf... ”

Dante de Macedo, has done his part. His two grandchildren, aged six and four, will go to golf with their grandfather, and their passion for the game is contagious. He feels when he talks about the ‘green jacket’ he won in 2017, for being the AGC Net Champion. “It is my best golf memory. I pursued it for five years and I succeeded. This is also golf. Persistence. Dedication. Friendship. "You know, he added, there are things that I know I will never win, like a Longest Drive award, but golf has given me so much, so much...

The President of the AGC does not just refer to the special prizes, the ‘closest,’ the ‘best second shot’s’ or the ‘hole in one’s’ he’s made. He talks about the trips, the friends, the memorable courses he played, like the one in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, Tiger Woods Golf Club of Miami in the USA, or Victoria, San Lorenzo or Amendoeira, with his VIP treatment. All “wonderful courses.” Like those he hasn't played yet, but dreams of playing, Augusta National or the Blue Monster, in Miami.

Golf is all of this. The AGC is much of this and it's only possible thanks to the teamwork of the cohesive and collaborative management of the Architects Golf Club.


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