GB sports stalwart Gouthro inducted into Afro-American Golfers Hall of Fame
The atmosphere was excellent. Scores of golfing associates, youthful aspirants of the game, Palm Beach County officials, enshrined members and administrative personnel gathered together at the Eastpointe Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida two Sundays ago to welcome and celebrate the new inductees into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.
Inclusive of the 2019 group was noted sports figure and Bahamian golfing icon Ambrose Gouthro. Accompanied by his son, Chris, the long-time contributor to golfing development in The Bahamas generally, and Grand Bahama (GB) in particular, acknowledged being afforded quite a pleasant experience in that he was “deemed worthy to be inducted” in the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.
“I extend sincere appreciation to those who deemed me worthy to be inducted into this truly excellent organization that has such a grand history of expanding the golfing fraternity in a meaningful way. We all share the common bond of striving to continually uplift the game we love so very much, especially focused on working with the young golfers.
“I know that our esteemed founder Malachi Knowles has great plans to further propel this program, inclusive of a wide development outreach for the youthful swingers. I intend to work closely with our president and associates in the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA), and also the Bahamas Golf Federation (BGF) to expand ongoing projects to seek to connect with the African American Golfers Hall of Fame program, in Grand Bahama, in a progressive manner,” said Gouthro.
His remarks were well received. Talks have been ongoing for two years now regarding an exchange program for young golfers, between Grand Bahama and West Palm Beach, Florida. The general idea is for the two areas to host selected young boys and girls to annual affairs that include clinics and tournaments.
Gouthro loves to hit the links in competition and recreational play, but he has a stout passion for the development of the sport. He has long been entrenched in the role of Director of the Northern Region for the BGF. He has spoken often of his strong desire to get a productive junior program going. He spoke fervently to the same subject after his induction.
“The youth development aspect will always be the foundation of the sport. There are a few who are prepared to organize a program and keep it going, but we face many obstacles. The largest deterrent is the lack of playing/training venues. As strange as it might seem, presently in Grand Bahama, there is just one 18-hole golf course that can accommodate tournaments. That course, Lucayan Reef Club, is badly in need of a lot of work. We are a far cry from the glory days of golf in Grand Bahama when there were at least eight quality courses,” said Gouthro.
It is from such a backdrop that he continues to persevere and give of his time and energy, at the very least, to help keep a level of vibrancy ongoing with golf in Grand Bahama. Gouthro was part of a committee entertained by Minister of State in the Grand Bahama Office of the Prime Minister Senator Kwasi Thompson, recently.
The group lobbied for Minister Thompson to reach out to the government-owned Grand Lucayan hotel for a much more “accommodating relationship with the golfing community” in Grand Bahama.
“We want help in fostering the growth of golf and providing opportunities of exposure and education for young boys and girls. At the same time, there are those of us who can, on a larger scale, drive the sports/tourism initiative golf presents,” said Gouthro.
He is a valiant one, well-deserving of the gesture by the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.
The government of The Bahamas is thus challenged to assist Gouthro and those of his ilk in nation building through sports development.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.
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