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Government plans to renovate Lucayan Reef Golf Course in Grand Bahama

The Lucayan Reef Golf Course will soon be renovated and upgraded accordingly, to become attractive to the best golfers in the world.

Recently, the notice was sent out by the chairman of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd., Michael Scott, that $3.5 million has been allocated for renovations of the roof at the Lighthouse Pointe hotel, Breakers Cay’s roof, the Convention Center and the Lucayan Reef Golf Course. Lucayan Renewal Holding Ltd. is a subsidiary entity of the government of The Bahamas.

The full breakdown of the specific works was not released by Scott, but some who observe the course closely are of the view that at least one third of the funds declared for renovations would be necessary to result in a proper upscale Reef Golf Course. Included in the upgrade of the reef course will be 12 more golf carts, bringing the total available for players to 60.

So, it seems that organizers of such as the annual Edward St. George Memorial Invitational Golf Tournament will soon be able to go all out in an effort to add a regional flavor, with a much more attractive course to entice players out of the United States and the rest of the Latin American/Caribbean area.

Once, Grand Bahama was a prime location in the Caribbean region for golf. Pristine 18-hole courses inundated the island.

Two Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tournaments took place in Grand Bahama about 40 years ago. The great players of the time; the finest entertainers; and noted celebrities played golf at courses that compared favorably with their social status in life. Then there was a steep decline.

Presently, there is just one 18-hole golf course that is ideal for tournament play, the Lucayan Reef. The Ruby Golf Course is in poor shape and golf carts are very limited. Harcourt Development Company, the investment entity responsible for properties in Grand Bahama, such as the old Princess complex, has done very little in recent years to enhance the Ruby Golf Course. It sits in the once elite South Bahama sector, far too derelict for the likes of the top tournament organizers.

It is good indeed that a decision has been made to upgrade the Lucayan Reef Golf Course. The suggestion to the government, through Lucayan Renewal Holdings, though, is that prior to spending a dime toward the renovations of the sports facility, a quality golf course designer should be brought in, if only as a consultant, to ensure that the money is spent sensibly.

A golf course is to be treated far differently than a home garden, of course, because of unique playing dimensions, designed accordingly. Also, once this is done, a maintenance schedule should be crafted in order to ensure the healthiness of the grass and appropriate upkeep through all seasons, rainy and dry, etc.

By normal standards of successive recent governments, the taxpayers’ money would be spent on the course, and in a short space of time, it would be in need of renovations once again, just as with the schools.

Quite frankly, Lucayan Holdings Renewal should seek to meet with the prime stakeholders of golf in Grand Bahama and a few top players and noted organizers of tournaments before detailing the renovations at the Reef course.

Good advice, Chairman Michael Scott, is helpful.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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