Edward St. George Memorial Golf Tourney set for weekend

Edward St. George (left) 1928-2004; Ambrose Gouthro

A large group of national golfers are expected to converge on Freeport, Grand Bahama, this weekend for the third annual Edward St. George Memorial Invitational Golf Tournament. A product of the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) the tourney, a four-player-team event, attracts scores of golfers.

Tournament Director Ambrose Gouthro confirmed over the weekend, that he had registered over 16 teams and the expectation is that there would be several more teams included by close of registration.

Gouthro wears several golfing hats. Other than being the tournament director and Vice President of the GBSPA, he is also the Chairman of the Bahamas Golf Federation’s Northern Region. He expressed “great satisfaction” of being a part of an event “that does so much to help revive golf in the north and heighten the profile of the sport in the entire country.”

“The Northern Region of the Bahamas Golf Federation would like to congratulate the participants registered so far and the supporters of the Third Annual Edward St. George Memorial Invitational Tournament. I want all and sundry to know that in taking the time to be a part of this event, you are not only assisting our young golfers, but also keeping golf alive on Grand Bahama Island, despite our declining golf related facilities.

“Grand Bahama Island is challenged in many ways. However, with the continued efforts of all who help to make this event grow from success to success, we believe that the day will come when golf becomes a major initiative for investments, the increase of visitors and a rebirth of training facilities for our young golfers,” said Gouthro.

It is quite understandable that Gouthro laments the lack of facilities for golf in Grand Bahama. The island was once the mecca of quality golf courses, of the 18-holes variety. Presently there is just one 18-hole golf course in Grand Bahama that is suitable for an official tournament. This is a sad turn of events for Grand Bahama.

The island hosted two Professional Golfers Association (PGA)) tourneys during the 1970s; attracted the leading golfers from North America and Europe; was the venue of major regional tournaments and actually did the heavy lifting for golf development in the country. A phenomenal rivalry evolved between the golfing fraternities on Grand Bahama and the capital island of New Providence.

Out of Grand Bahama came talent such as the late Percy Major and the Maycock Brothers, Greg and Phil, to match shots with the best of New Providence. Reference is to Donald “Nine” Rolle, his son Michael Rolle, Roy Bowe, Vernon Lockhart and the like.

It was a grand period, a Camelot environment of superb golf, glamour and great delight on the courses in Grand Bahama, in particular.

The Edward St. George Memorial Invitational Tournament is one of the strong pillars of the sport, expected to help recapture the golfing magic in Grand Bahama. As per usual, the event will be staged over two days with the practice and pairings party to take place this Friday, November 9. Practice will be afforded early arrivals, between 8 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday. The pairings affair is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The venue is the Great Harbor Cay Room at the Grand Lucayan Hotel.

One of the highlights of this year’s event will be the presentation of the Sir Albert Miller Award to the net champion.

The competition will have a shotgun start, 8 a.m. on Saturday.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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