Saturday, Aug 24, 2019
HomeSports ScopeLucayan Reef Course charges hinder Bahamian golf growth

Lucayan Reef Course charges hinder Bahamian golf growth

Although many in the country, a lot of financial and hospitality experts as well, frowned upon the government of The Bahamas’ decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan Complex, those of the island’s golfing fraternity became very interested and some, indeed, were delighted over the news.

Now, (they thought at the time) with government ownership, finally a major golf facility would operate in a manner quite sensitive to the needs of Bahamian golfers, in particular Grand Bahama’s residents linked closely to the sport.

The Lucayan Reef Golf Course was part of the purchase agreement the government engaged in with Hutchison Whampoa, and Grand Bahamian residents who are affiliated with the sport expected a general outlook much more favorable than in the past.

The truth is that, like other 18-hole golf facilities around the country, the fees charged at the Lucayan Reef make it virtually impossible for a lot of interested persons, especially the youth aspirants, to get involved meaningfully with the game.

The fees to play, even for juniors are exorbitant. The prices are unreasonably high. The juniors don’t have the funds, personally, and parents/guardians are hard-pressed to provide such. Presently, at the government-owned Lucayan Reef Golf Course, juniors are charged almost $40 ($39.96) to play a round, without a cart.

Lucayan Reef members who pay quarterly fees of $300, still have to come up with almost $30 extra ($27.64) to play a round. Native organizers of tournaments geared to heighten the profile of the sport and to boost sports tourism, are charged around $40 for every player entered.

That means, for instance, a field of 64 would cost organizers $2,560 on top of practice rounds. The fees applied by the Lucayan Reef management have actually been a deterrent to golf advancement in Grand Bahama. Those organizations that persevere and bite the bullet, are functioning to grow the sport at great financial costs.

If the fees were more moderate, organizers of tournament could charge less to players, and accordingly, more would participate. It figures then, that the numbers playing golf, on a regular basis, would increase; more star performers would emerge out of Grand Bahama; and the sport nationally would be greatly enhanced.

The same is true for other golfing communities in the rest of the country. As for the Lucayan Reef Course, hopes remain high in Grand Bahama that the situation of fees would be addressed. It would be appropriate indeed to set the stage for the new buyer, and the Grand Bahama golfing community to be more on the same page.

• 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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