Rafael Nadal Playing Golf in Mallorca [Video]

by Tom Gainey | July 18th, 2010, 10:24 am

A week after celebrating Spain’s massive World Cup triumph in South Africa, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was on the golf course at his home of Mallorca on Saturday.

Nadal plays tennis left-handed but as you can see in the video from Spanish broadcaster IB3 he does most other things right-handed including swinging the golf club. Nadal has been known as an avid golfer when he’s not on the tennis courts.

The Wimbledon champion was joined by Uncle Toni Nadal and childhood friend Tomeu Salva. The Renault Llucmajor charity event was held at the Marriott Golf Son Antem and benefited ADAA. Nadal and his family also participated in the event last year.

After further treatment on his knees, Nadal is scheduled to return to the tennis courts next month at Rogers Cup in Toronto and then the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati. The Spaniard will be the top seed at the US Open which begins on August 30.

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44 Comments for Rafael Nadal Playing Golf in Mallorca [Video]

Anna Says:

Rafa is just an amazing athlete and thrives on competition. Tug-of-war, Tiddlywinks, it’s all the same to him.

Jake Willens Says:

He desreves some well earned time off before the summer hard stuff begins!

Ben Pronin Says:

Why is he playing golf if he has knee problems?

Daniel Craig Says:

cuz golf isnt really a sport

Ben Pronin Says:

Sick video. Nadal’s tennis acumen is incredible.

Golf still puts strain on the knees (see Woods, Tiger).

To be fair, the highlights of that video don’t show any knee troubles.

Keith Says:

That bit at the end of the vid, with Rafa holding up a No. 10 soccer jersey standing by his uncle Miguel Angel (new assistant coach), and then his uncle running with some players, that’s when Rafa was asked about him becoming a shareholder in Real Mallorca soccer club.

He laughed a bit explaining how his uncle ran along the players half his age during their first official training, but enjoyed every second of it.

Observe how fit a retired Miguel Angel still is. Rafa has some serious sports genes.

fae Says:

Love to see Rafa relaxing playing golf, I hope he is getting some practice in soon for the dreaded h/c season! and mostly I hope he isn’t gonna play both masters before the US open. Vamos Rafa always!

Anna Says:

Ben – This is a bit of an educated guess so you can make of it what you will. In Rafa’s case the tendons connecting the knee to the quads are put under a tremendous amount of strain in a sport like tennis (think of that sustained knee bent position when Rafa is sliding across a clay court) whereas in golf the injury to the knee would most likely occur from twisting or jerking rather than strain. Don’t know about Tiger but I’ll bet your talking cartilage or ligament damage rather than tendons. Different issues create different problems and apparently golf isn’t a problem for Rafa.

skeezerweezer Says:

@ Anna

Agreed. IMO more concerned about his therapy and the details, as is performance from the therapy has been spectacular, seems he can do anything now. Well done Unc Toni and Med crew!

Anna Says:

Hi Skeeze – Rafa had therapy on his left knee only after Miami (I think doing one knee at a time allowed him to keep playing), but he played like a man reborn in MC. By the time he hit Madrid his confidence was sky high and there was no stopping him. While the right knee apparently was not as bad as his left it did present him with some problems at W, so I was glad to hear that he would have therapy to both knees before US h/c season. If all goes well (it sounds good so far) Rafa should be playing at the top of his game PAIN FREE for the first time in a long time.
This prp/stem cell thrapy is as close to a miracle as you can get without the popes approval.
Anyway, we’ll know soon enough.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Thanks for the info, You are well informed and it helped me as a tennis fan, thank you!

Von Says:

Skeezer: I think you should google the PRP stuff as there are are tons of procedure being done daily for individuals who’ve been injured and suffering from tendonitis. here are a few testimonials with respect to PRP from people who’ve had the theraphy.

” I have been suffering with artritis of my knee for years. I had the stem cell procedure with the follow-up of platelet injections and I no longer have pain. I have full function of my knee and I am able to climb stairs and run after my granchildren. Thank you…” J.O.

“My shoulder was in severe pain from a rotator cuff tear. I saw Dr. Purita who injected my own platelets back into the tear. Within two weeks, I was able to move my arm without that sharp pain radiating down my arm.” E.G.

“When I suffered a tear of my ACL, I thought that I was going to need surgery to repair it. I was told about the PRP treatment and decided to get it done instead of surgery. After rest and physical therapy, I was able to get back to playing soccer within six weeks.” A.P.

” I used to be an active adult with working out and playing tennis. I suffered a meniscal tear of my knee. My activity level dropped to nothing as a result of the pain. I had the procedure and I am very pleased with the results. I am back to playing tennis three times a week and riding my bike. Thank you for your help.” P.S.
I think I’m going to be the next candidate for PRP which will make my arm bionic. Put a racquet in my hand and watch out Serena Williams! LOOL

Ben Pronin Says:

Interesting stuff. Where are these testimonials from? Isn’t PRP incredibly expensive?

Blake had it done. He still feels pain.

Von Says:

Ben: It’s done at an Institute in Florida, but there are many such places throughout the country.

I don’t know if eliminaton of ALL pain is possible. From the little medical knowledge I have, I know that that healing is dependent on the patient’s age, state of health and the extent of the damage done to the affected area which is being treated. Here’s the link:


Rick Says:

Hey Ben!

I remember some Federer fans like you on here were suggested that Nadal was on drugs. When he had Federer defeated at the Aussie Open 2009 final, too! ;)

Von Says:

Ben: PRP is not extremely expensive. I did some research for personal reasons, and was told that it costs $500 per injection, and approximately 2 to 3 injections are needed per knee or affected area, which is not limited to the knee alone. Also, the cost of the injections are not covered by any insurance company as it’s deemed to be elective therapy. I think $1,500 (could be $1,00 as some people only need 2 injections) per knee for an athlete is peanuts considering how much money they make and how much more they’ll earn when they are able to lengthen their careers. I suppose in time, health insurance will begin to cover this type of therapy as the success rate grows and the less financially fortunate, will be able to get that kind of therapy as opposed to surgery. It’s funny how insurance companies think. They would pay for costly surgery rather than pay for a cheaper, prevantative type of treatment — accupuncture comes to mind.

Apparently, the first week the knee is very painful, but then it gets better as the therapy begins to work. Also, some people may need additional injections to realize an appreciable lessening of pain. Maybe, this is the case for James Blake, and his pain will probably subside if he gets additional therapy.

Anna Says:

Just wanted to say thanks for that video. It is awesome!

Ben Pronin Says:

Thanks for the info Von. Yeah, what I meant was expensive for normal folks. Of course a couple of thousand dollars is nothing for pro athletes.

But PRP isn’t completely proven to be fully effective, it’s still a fairly experimental treatment. Walking up and down stairs doesn’t compare to playing hours of competitive tennis. I’ll try to find some of Blake’s comments on the matter.

SG Says:

Of course golf is a sport. It’s not hard on your knees unless you lock out your front knee like Tiger does. You’re walking on grass pete’s sake. Rafa has a better chance of hurting his knees walking on his Persian rug at home than at the golf course.

Ben Pronin Says:

Golf is not a sport.

Anna Says:

Ben – In medicine, I don’t think anything is ever considered to be fully effective for everyone. Investigating James Blakes knee problem is only going to tell you about James Blake. If you want to educate yourself about prp therapy, follow Von’s suggestion and google it. A couple hours of reading will give you a much better idea of the effectiveness of the procedure in general. I’ve read that tendons respond very well to the treatment(better than cartilage/ligaments). The growth factors work to heal tissue, the stem cells both heal and attach themselves in such a way as to actually regenerate tendon. Some hospitals have reported success rates as high as 80-90% for this particular therapy. It doesn’t matter what your doing, that kind of success rate is pretty darn good. Now I know that I’m a glass half full person, and your a glass half empty person when it comes to Rafa, but you really should take advantage of google and find out what’s going on. Sounds like you might benefit yourself.

Ben Pronin Says:

Anna, I get that. I just think that Blake’s a better comparison to Nadal’s problems than J.O. who is more concerned with running around with his/her grandchildren. But I will read more about it, that’s for sure. Might even start saving up to get it myself, but that’s a different matter.

Anna Says:

Ben – Right. If something is available to the general public then you can be sure it is no longer experimental. Because they are still looking at ways to improve on the therapy there are probably still trials being run. Basically, what we don’t have are long term studies showing overall effectiveness. Someone like Rafa is so unique it would be hard to find a study group to throw him into, but they have studied other pro athletes. The bottom line is these athletes would not have been able to continue in their sport without a good measure of success from prp and several of them are still playing 2-3 years later.
Also, this is a therapy that can be repeated should damage reoccur. When Nadal’s camp told the media (earlier this year)that Rafa had 5 good years of tennis left, I believe they were taking into account not just scheduling but this particular therapy as well.

SG Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Golf is not a sport.


Please explain how such a technically demanding “task” such as golf is not a sport.

1) It requires physical motion that involves one standing and walking up and down hills in some very hot weather over a 5 hour period (at the pro level).

2) It requires excellent coordination

3) It requires excellent mental toughness

4) Swinging a golf club is an athletic move is it not? Not too many people on earth are coordinated enough to swing a club properly. Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley don’t look very athletic swinging a golf club and they are considered two of the best b-ball players ever.

5) There is a definable, non-subjective way to keep score of it.

Sure seems like golf shares a lot of the criteria that apply to other sports. Poker’s not a sport. Hell, I don’t even think car racing is much of a sport. But golf? Come on Ben.

Von Says:

PRP is very much available to the public due to its use by several athletes. For example, there’s a group of doctors in the area where I live who are the doctors for one of the baseball farm clubs and are administering the PRP therapy to those athletes. One of the doctors on that staff, whom I previously mentioned a few weeks ago, when Nadal’s PRP therapy was initially mentioned, was among the first of a group of select physicans to grow cartilage. Hence, PRP is now available to the public and is being done on a regular basis in lieu of arthroscopic surgery in some instances. Unfortunately, it won’t be a household word due to the fact that it’s not being paid for by the health insurance companies, as yet. Maybe soon …

Keith Says:

Found an article in local Basque press mentioning the therapy Nadal received.

A day before travelling to Johannesburg to watch WC, he visited that famous physician (who did the PRP not only to hundreds of ordinary citizens, but to the King of Spain and numerous Spanish athletes as well), in a small town in the Basque region. On the ocassion, Rafa also went to check out a Basque ball game called remonta (see photos with the article):

Translation of therapy-relevant sentences from the article mainly covering a celebrity visit to the local ball game:
“Rafa Nadal took advantage of his stay yesterday at Vitoria, where Dr. Mikel Sanchez cares of his knees, to visit guipuzcoano friends and, incidentally, satisfy his curiosity to see them play remonta live, even though in training.”
“Nadal had asked the officials of Galarreta to avoid climbing stairs. For that reason we opened the front door next to the wall of the court. “I’m sore after the infiltration,” he confessed. He could hardly bend over. He received two sessions of plasma in the knees. He wore a patch on each.”


grendel Says:

It’s funny how dogmatic people can get about what is and what isn’t a sport. Is horse racing a sport? It’s certainly reported on the sports pages, and receives coverage second only to football in quantity. I used to hate it in the days of predigital television, because I’d switch on the box to watch some cricket or tennis, and instead you’d see some horse being led round and round a paddock, a woman with a funny hat (apparently the owner of the horse) being interviewed, a chap with a fast voice endlessly calculating the odds, and meanwhile this would just go on and on and on. The race itself would only last a couple of minutes or something, but when the race was ended, that wasn’t it. Far from it. The chap with the fast voice would be back, calculating new odds, various horses would be walked around again, the woman with the hat would put in another appearance, and meanwhile the tennis match one had wanted to watch was probably over. So personally, I refused to call horse racing a sport and regarded it instead as a branch of economics.

What about motor racing? This was even worse, since whereas the preliminaries – when you would see chaps changing wheels and so on – would go on just as long as those for horse racing, the race itself would be endless. Nothing ever seemed to happen, the cars would just go round and round some track in a more or less stately procession, occasionally one car would attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to overtake another car, thereby sending the commentator into some sort of apoplexy which subsided (when, after all, nothing happened) into a sort of sheepish murmur and clearing of the throat.

This, too, I declined to regard as a sport, confining it in my mind to the realm of technology. Some people swear snooker is a sport. About twenty years ago, it was extremely popular in England. There was no doubt about the tension it could engender, no different really to that of a close and important tennis match. When Denis Taylor potted the final black in the world snooker championships against the great enemy Steve Davis (a veteran whom I now rather like – success can be hard to tolerate) I threw myself onto the floor in a sort of ecstasy of disbelief. Skill, co-ordination, strategy, tension, mental toughness – all play an enormous role in snooker. But one thing you can’t call snooker is athletic. Does that rule it out? Well, it certainly would for many people, perhaps even most. The trouble is, the definition of a word is rarely cut and dried, especially such a general word as “sport”.

I had never thought of golf as being athletic, but SG’s reference to the swing is rather persuasive. In what part of the newspaper do you think golf should be reported, if not the sports pages?

jane Says:

What about poker?? TSN (acronym for The Sports Network) regularly shows poker games. Not to mention fishing. Or what about “the Strong Man Contest” in which a big fella stands in a car frame and proceeds to lift it and walk-about, sort of how Fred Flinstone drove his car. All of these while a Masters Series tennis event is underway live, and not being shown on TSN. Sigh. Certainly the people who control the networks have funny ideas about sports – and what denotes one.

Anna Says:

You must get invited to one party after another because you are so entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, but mostly hilarious.

SG Says:


As a fellow Canadian, I feel your pain regarding TSN programming selection. The NHL lockout really forced TSN to drag the riff raff out of the closet (…or is it a Pandorra’s box). And once Pandorra is out, it sure is hard to stuff her back where she came from. I’d definitely rather watch tennis more than Poker. Then again
there’s some probably some buffoon on a Poker X blog site that thinks I’m an idiot.

SG Says:


Truth is, I don’t mind watching a car race once in a while. I won’t watch NASCAR but I’ll take in an F1 race here and there. This being said, it’s hard to take even F1 seriously when half the cars never even have a chance of finishing the race from the get go. Imagine a tennis tournament where half the players only have half the strings in their rackets. F1 and car racing in general seems more focused on advertising for sponsors than putting on a good show. At the end of the day though, no matter how good a driver you are, if your car is lousy, you lose. Sport at it’s highest level is about leveraging your skill towards winning whatever it is your playing for. Tough to do this when your car can’t get through lap 10 because a wheel fell off or an engine blew.

margot Says:

sg: now have wonderful vision of bloggers on “poker x” going, “there they go again, those idiots on tennis x rubbishing our sport; damn it hearbeat rises, brain engages, sweat breaks out, what more do they want..?” expletive, mutter, mutter, teeth gnash, joint crack, eye roll, etc
Thank you!

grendel Says:

Anna, thanks for your compliment but to be honest with you, I find I can be more spontaneous with a pen than with my mouth. I regret this, but the cards are stacked as they are, and one has to play them as one can. The post with which you initiated this thread set my mind to thinking.

There is no doubt that Nadal is ultra competitive – even amongst his peers such as Roddick, Federer, Murray etc who by definition almost are far more competitive than most of us – and yet he remains, so far as one can see, a levelheaded, self-contained person of great charm.

There is someone I know who once remarked about her husband, whom I also know, that he was so competitive that he had never once allowed his son to win a game of anything, even if it was something as trivial as tiddlywinks. Her tone, if not contemptuous exactly, was certainly wondering. Deep down, I have always found this bloke to be rather likeable, but there have been times when I have wanted to – well, I’ll leave that to the imagination. But it was his relentless competitiveness – always having to be right, being reluctant to be told anything etc etc – that would prompt the urge to strangle him.

Why, then such a contrast with Nadal? Let’s leave aside the quirks of personality, because I don’t think that’s it. Most people who always have to be right are pretty tiresome. I wonder if success has anything to do with it? If you are very, very successful perhaps, counterintuitive though it may sound, you can afford to be relaxed and even modest – you have nothing to prove. I wonder if that might be it.

Because this apparent contradiction in Nadal is very striking, to me at any rate.

margot Says:

grendel: if you channel all your aggression into something, we’ll say sport in this for instance, and are successful, then you can perhaps allow a gentler you to emerge outside your sport. I’ve met men like your friend and found that at a very basic level they are dissatisfied with their achievements, or lack of them, and hence bring this need to be right/to win into all aspects of their lives, private and public. It’s all about self-esteem isn’t it?

SG Says:

margot Says:

It’s all about self-esteem isn’t it?


this is exactly what it’s about.

grendel Says:

yes, I think you’ve both cracked it. That makes sense. Thanks for that.

grendel Says:

don’t want to drag this out too much, but, in the light of the margot/SG doctrine – to which I now subscribe – this might account for the state that a coach observed Nadal to be in (I posted this a week or two back)following his defeat by Ljubicic in Indian Wells. He was alone and apparently utterly disconsolate. Nobody likes losing, obviously, but given the role self-esteem evidently plays in his entire life a great deal more than just a loss, even a loss following on other losses, was at stake. It’s interesting, isn’t it, that Nadal probably won’t have consciously worked that out, but understands it very well at an instinctive level. Well, that’s my little contribution to psychobabble – I do enjoy probing into these things, and even if one is utterly wrong, it still seems productive, somehow.

Skeezerweezer Says:

A breath of fresh air up here to read thought provoking stuff other than the occasional troller who mouths off “Fedtard” or “Rafatard”. It’s basically mine is bigger than yours or something like that. What was that you were talking about self esteem? :)

Anna Says:


Your friends husband lost a great opportunity to teach his son that sport is more than winning. I think this transfers to a life lesson as well. In life we have to deal with disappointment much more often than triumph. I think Rafa is as grounded in reality as any 24 year old can be because he had family and mentors who took the time to teach him from a young age. And I’m not just talking tennis, but those things that will be of value throughout his life. The family’s philosphy seems to be a good combination of old and new ideas that work well for Rafa. Respect and responsibility were themes throughout his growing up. Respect the equipment, respect the opponent, respect the game. Should you lose, be responsible,own the loss and move on. So for Rafa there was no throwing racquets or blaming others for mistakes made. Seems simple but those two notions carry alot of weight. Also there was no going home and slacking off. He lived with and loved these people so it’s not like he had the opportunity to drive a wedge between differing opinions.

I’m sure growing up around sports all his life helped him to see the value in losing as well. Having Uncle Miguel winning or losing on the soccer field was probably discussed prolifically at family functions.

Success doesn’t always bring out the best in people. I think we’ve all known champions without a modicum of humility. I’ve heard it said that Rafa “compartmentalizes” aspects of his game better than anyone else. I think “losing” is just another aspect. He gives it it’s due, but no more. So he can afford to be generous.

As far as being right goes, when I was younger and new everything I insisted that I be right. Now that I’m older I try to sidestep that particular trap.

Anna Says:


Oops, “when I was younger and knew everything”

grendel Says:

Anna – well, I thought I recently detected Rafa contemplating throwing his racket before he remembered himself…Still, I agree, he is obviously a well grounded person. The chap I was referring to wasn’t, funny thing is, he genuinely doted on his son. Just couldn’t bear to lose.

On this business of throwing rackets – you often hear a commentator say that sometimes it would be better for a particular player to smash his racket, and get all that frustration out of the system. I think that could be right, so why penalise a player – he’s not endangering the crowd or anything. Just accruing a big bill.

Anna Says:


I think smashing rackets is almost expected from a 14-15 year old, but as a person matures you’d hope that they’d develop better coping skills.
My feeling is if your smashing rackets and such your giving your opponent to much of an edge. It’s hard to be at your best with an emotional overload. A little stress/anger is good, alot is dangerous. Besides, quite often the game is held up while the player searches for a new racket.

grendel Says:


I agree that smashing the racket gives an edge to the opponent. Any kind of negative body language does. That’s why I find Djokovic surprising – even when he is dominating, he can look disconsolate with a particular shot. Mind you, you can’t help liking him for it. In my experience, people who show no emotion are very annoying to watch unless you happen to like them, and then they seem like gods. I liked Borg, for instance, so his famous ice cool demeanour went down very well with me.

The positive point about smashing a racket is that it can clear the air. Not always – with Safin, for instance, you got the feeling it sometimes only served to ratchet up the pressure. But with some players, the release seems to do them good, and perhaps outweighs the advantage they give to their opponent. Shouting might be better – but it seems to be embarrassing.

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