Polo is like football or soccer, where two teams have to score goals against each other. The only difference is that the players are riding on horses (and some other extra rules.) This list is a list of the top 10 Polo clubs around the world.
The International Polo Club (www.internationpoloclub.com)
Located in the heart of South Florida’s tony horse country, this club provides an elegant setting for players and fans. The main road lined with stately palms rolls past lush grounds punctuated by tropical plants. The season kicks off in January and ends in April. Thousands of people father to watch some of the best players and ponies in the world show off their mastery of the ancient sport. The arenas of play include three playing fields and a stick and ball field. The clubs is quickly overtaking its rival, the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, as the place to see and be seen on Sunday afternoons. Built in 2004, the posh International has a state-of-the-art stadium, restaurant and bar.
Santa Maria Polo Club (www.santamariapoloclub.com)
Located in the Costa del Sol region of Spain, this club is one of the most highly reputed sports complexes in the world. The Santa Maria Polo Club offers its members nine grounds spread out across four gaming area. It organizes more than 30 tournaments a year in high, medium, and low handicap. The club’s polo school has developed an excellent reputation under the capable hands of five polo instructors and assisted by Tito Gomez, an experienced player.
Guards Polo Club (www.guardspoloclub.com)
In terms of members and grounds, Guards is the largest polo club in Europe; the 10 playing grounds are spread out over about 53 hectares. Situated south of London in the center of Windsor Great Park, the club was established in 1955. Polo season here goes from April to mid-September. The three main tournaments-the Queen’s Cup, Royal Windsor, and Archie David-take place in June. However, the biggest crowds come in the following month for the Hurlingham Polo Association’s International Day. The club offers “The Polo Experience,” in which you spend a day in the care of a pro, learning to play polo under the tutelage of John Horswell, coach of England’s polo team.
Cowdray Park Polo Club (www.cowdraypolo.co.uk)
Combine a day out in the beautiful Sussex countryside with the opportunity to watch top-notch polo. At Cowdray Park, coaches are on hand also to teach rookies or help experienced players improve.
Eldorado Polo Club (www.eldoradopolo.com)
Located about two hours east of Los Angeles, the Eldorado covers 73 hectares of the east side of the Coachella Valley. IT is the perfect place to play polo, desert-style. There are 14 fields and stables for 1,000 horses. Eldorado prides itself on sponsoring two women’s-only tournaments each year.
Will Rogers Polo Club (www.willrogerspolo.org)
In the 1930’s, there were more than 25 polo fields in the Los Angeles area. Today, the Will Rogers Field is the only one. The humorist created and landscaped the field in 1926 on the grounds of what later became his home. Rogers, an avid polo fan, used to play here with his friends. David Niven, Spencer Tracy, Hal Roach, Walt Disney and Clark Gable played on the fields. After Rogers died, his widow gave the grounds as a gift to the state of California. People can watch matches here free of charge on weekends from April through October.
The Chantilly Polo Club (www.poloclubchantilly.com)
Equestrian sports have long been popular in Picardie. It was here, on the grounds in front of the glorious chateau de Chantilly, that the first thoroughbred horse race too place in France during the reign of Louis SIV, the Sun King. So it is appropriate that this region should be home to the country’s largest polo club. Located just west of Paris, the club has 250 players competing in various tournaments and some 3,500 horses in training. The famous Rothschild family built a polo field in 1920 on one of three farms that surrounded the chateau.
Whitfield Court Polo Club (www.whitfieldcourtpoloclub.com)
Major Hugh Dawnay started the Whitfield Court Polo Club and International Polo School in 1976. Since then, players from more than 30 countries have visited this place in southern Ireland to learn the sport. There are two fields, one full size and the other all weather. Members play three days a week from May to September. The club’s major tournament takes place in August.
Royal Palm Polo Sports Club (www.boca-polo.com)
This state-of-the-art club has a stadium, 350 stalls, and seven fields spread out across 65 hectares in South Florida. It was the creation of Arthur Vining David, one of the founders of Alcoa. He wanted to bring high goal polo to the area, so he laid the fields out in 1955 next to his hotel. John T. Oxley purchased the club, which was not doing well financially, 13 years later and rebuilt in 1977. Oxley died in 1996, leaving the management of his legacy to his sons Tom and Jack. Polo season starts in January and ends in May.
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (www.sbpolo.com)
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the third oldest continuously operating polo club in the United States. IT was established in Southern California’s wine country in 1911. Since then, it has gained a great following among the international polo set. Matches take place every Sunday in the spring, summer, and fall. Spread across 12 ocean front hectares, the club has three polo fields and stabling for more than 300 horses. There is an indoor arena for instruction and intercollegiate games. You can also try your hand at Golf Cart Polo, a twist on the sport of kings in which guests can swing mallets from the comfort of golf carts, all expertly driven by club employees. For those less keen on actually playing polo, the club has tennis courts, swimming pool, and a spa.