Bahamas Golf Federation President Glen Archer spoke the words “Northern Region Golf” and followed with a question.
“What does that really mean? We, for a long time now have been speaking about regional golf development, but we haven’t been able to put in place substantive programs comparable to what for instance “Northern Region” development suggests.”
He and I were chatting a short while back about national golf, the potential for the sport and a particular rising influence in Grand Bahama. I had informed Archer of plans for a tournament that would be the catalyst for the revitalization of golf in the Northern Region.
Because of the steady decline of golf in Grand Bahama over the last two decades or so, Archer was understandably skeptical.
The truth is that golf has fallen far from the prominent role it played during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when some of the finest 18-hole courses were afforded domestic and foreign tourists, and residents as well. Golf in Grand Bahama represented one of the great revenue generating avenues in the country.
Today, just the course at the Lucayan Reef Country Club is able to accommodate top-flight tournaments. This is a sad departure from the time when there were at least five courses that attracted the world’s greatest entertainers, sports persons and celebrities to Grand Bahama.
There is of course, the Ruby Golf Course, which caters to recreational golf. It is a fact though, that the Ruby is now a long way from the standard that cultivated a brand in keeping with the magical atmosphere of Grand Bahama.
So indeed, BGF President Archer has just cause to lament the golf situation in Grand Bahama, in particular.
The tournament I spoke to Archer of, regarding a revival of sorts, of golf in Grand Bahama, was the first Edward St. George Memorial Invitational. The event was launched last year successfully at the Reef Course and the second annual affair will be announced at a press conference at the end of this month.
Archer with his skepticism might have inspired a resurgence of the sport in Grand Bahama and the wider Northern Region. The Edward St. George Memorial captured a meaningful audience and appreciable participation. Some 16 four-man teams took part, representing more than 60 golfers.
It is anticipated that the 2017 Edward St. George Memorial will cater to more than 100 golfers, domestic and foreign.
The Ruby Golf Course, hopefully, in the not too distant future would be elevated to the point whereby it could be an option for the organizers of the Edward St. George Memorial and other such tournaments that might pop up. It would be good also if other courses follow, creating a trend.
I share with the national golf president, the high expectations for golf for Grand Bahama, and the rest of the Northern Region.
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Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017