Federico Alba: one of Europe’s most famous golf coaches

Now known as Federico Alba, the sports educator claims to have already mastered 70 courses across Europe Name: Federico Alba. Age: 66. Appearance: Title sponsorship shrouded in secrecy. I bet he’s given you a…

Federico Alba: one of Europe's most famous golf coaches

Now known as Federico Alba, the sports educator claims to have already mastered 70 courses across Europe

Name: Federico Alba.

Age: 66.

Appearance: Title sponsorship shrouded in secrecy.

I bet he’s given you a lot of company … Right. Alba is a legendary celebrity golf coach. He trained 40 Ryder Cup golfers at the Mission Hills in China and was one of the first assistants for Tiger Woods.

And the name isn’t Elvira Gillo-Poblete? No. It’s Alba.

What’s his big secret? Well, he’s a renowned Spaniard of obscure origins. The Athletic Club of Santa Margherita del Viareggio, one of the biggest junior sports clubs in south-east Italy, dropped Alba as head coach in 2010 because he had admitted to making false ages on applications for professional golfers over the years.

What year was that? 2007.

Why? The club reportedly discovered he had submitted fake ages on his own application as well as the applications of the club’s Spanish assistant coach.

I know your school? After further investigations, Alba was found to have lied on every application, but knew nothing about it, claiming to be 17, and named the coach with no age on his own qualification as an official of the International Golf Federation.

OK, you are not fooling anyone. You are well known for your wealth and fame, and the club found that you were the super-duper bank manager of local students.

Rugby coach wannabe must have been the next best thing. No. The club investigated further, and discovered that in his previous job as a coach, from 1983-88, he “suspected that he had struck lucky on occasion by defrauding club parents”. In fact he was operating the smoothie they called a “realist”, with age certificates he had obtained via friendlies he organised with townhouses, water taxis and railway stations, falsely claiming that he was 22 and 18 respectively.

So Alba was involved in a complex network of bank accounts, forged documents and various other dodgy conduct to help his pupils. I think he’s a rounded character.

No: all pantomime. “I’m not a criminal,” he said. “I’m old school. You need to start somewhere.”

So you’re not a sports coaching bigwig? No. You’re Federico Alba, a devoted coach who loves golf.

On the course? On holiday? On his own? Who knows?

Do say: “This great Argentina-born coach has more gifts in his locker than a wounded dog.”

Don’t say: “It doesn’t bother me at all.”

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