Roy Bowe would have been 84 years old this year, but he died November 1, in 2012, nine days before we celebrated the anniversary of an independent Bahamas. It’s now been six years since he died and as I reflect on this anniversary I cannot help but express my appreciation for being able to know the man. Yes, I know Roy Bowe, something that very few people could say.
I was a young boy when I got to know Roy Bowe on Paradise Island. He was the first Bahamian golf pro and because of people like him I developed an attraction for the sport. Yes, I became one of the young lions, a group of talented young Bahamian golfers who represented The Bahamas internationally. We all grew up interacting with Bowe and because of him, many of us aspired to excel in this sport. The ultimate goal was to be a professional golf pro like him.
I came from humble beginnings and made tremendous sacrifice to play the sport of golf. But Bowe was one of those people who humbled himself to help those of us who did not have the means to play the sport. I went on and traveled the world through my ability in golf. To him I will be forever grateful. He was my hero.
Roy Bowe made history on many fronts, not only was he the first Bahamian golf pro, but he founded the Bahamas Professional Golfers Association which later became the BGF. He was a pioneer but he was a humble man who never hesitated to help the small man, and in our cases the young boys. He was a successful businessman, who owned Jiffy Cleaners and was the president and leading shareholder in Comfort Suites on Paradise Island. He excelled in golf and he excelled in business. But more importantly he excelled as a wonderful human being who never thought he was better than anyone that he met.
Yes Bowe played golf on Paradise Island with the likes of Bing Crosby and the world famous Arnold Palmer and many others, but he also played golf with us and many of the locals who came into the sport and excelled. Today, there are no more Bahamian golf pros, but it is my wish that we can honor the memory of Roy Bowe by pushing for more golf pros in our country.
During the time of Bowe, there were several others who developed into golf pros. But sadly today there are none who can carry on the legacy that he first started. The government of The Bahamas must take a bold step and realize the impact that a local golf pro can have. When Bowe was a golf pro over at the Paradise Island Golf Course, he attracted hundreds and hundreds of top golfers from around the world to The Bahamas. We have the potential. We just need the opportunity.
It is my wish that the memory of Roy Bowe will live on in The Bahamas through the uplifting of more Bahamians as golf pros on local courses. Bowe did so much for us and paved the way. It is only fitting that we strive to develop more to follow in his footsteps.
Roy Bowe is still missed greatly and we will continue to uplift his spirit. Sleep on my hero. Thank you so much for all that you did for me and many other Bahamians. We will never forget you and the contributions that you made to help us.
– Glenn Pratt