Growing the game of Golf in Bermuda
By Kim Swan, J.P. Teaching Professional
Those of us in the golf industry cannot underestimate the impact that public golf courses can play on the growth of the game of golf – Port Royal’s role in growing in Bermuda has been significant.
Port Royal Golf Course since 1970 has played a huge part in the growth of golf in Bermuda, improved diversity in golf and has contributed greatly toward Bermuda having a quality tourism product. With Bermuda offering public accessibility to a world class golf facility, the experience has enhanced vacations of visitors in hotels and on cruise ships, who have benefited from our greatly enhanced tourism product for more than five decades.
Impact of Tiger Woods in Golf
Although Tiger Woods never played golf at Port Royal – the global awareness Tiger Woods’ brought to the game, played an important role in the growth of golf in many communities around the world. Tiger’s appeal was global, with social outreach that helped to appeal to a wider cross-section of society – his brand was universal, diverse and inclusive.
The outreach that golf was able to make with Tiger’s winning presence was made easier as his brand penetrated the barrier that is ever present within the world of golf.
Tiger Woods premature departure from winning and dominating golf tournaments on the world stage has left a huge void – especially within communities not traditionally considered for golf. Today, just imagine that it has been 7 years since Tiger won his last major – that means a 12 year old today outside of mainstream golf is less likely to even know the name Tiger Woods.
Grow the game via Public access to Golf
Port Royal Golf Course which was opened in 1970 was then established as one of the finest championship golf
It is no accident that Port Royal Golf course in the world. As a public entity Port Royal catered to a diverse client base reaching locals, visitors, catering to corporate entities (ie. IBM & GE), any and all golfers who appreciated an accessible and affordable world class golf course.
Public Golf Finds Unlikely Champions
Personally, I don’t consider my winning three Bermuda Opens at Port Royal before age 27 as coincidental – not at all – especially as my mother was born and raised on the property later developed into Port Royal Golf Cours and she even learned to golf in the 1950’s long before Port Royal was conceived – as she helped her uncle/my mentor cut the grass on an area which is now Port Royal’s back nine. Ironically, my mentor had a 9 hole practice course in the 1940’s & 1950’s – before I was born and 20 years before Port Royal Golf Course was built.
Red Laser Junior Golf Outreach
Today at Port Royal Golf Course we are committed to growing the game of golf using well established principles/fundamentals learned locally and internationally from some of the greats in golf.
We work closely with the Bermuda Junior Golf Association and encourage interested junior golfers to join their organization. In addition, we organize regular group coaching sessions for patrons and stage bi-weekly golf tournaments aimed at mainstreaming entry level golfers. This summer we were blessed that the parent of one of our students offered to sponsor an outreach initiative to encourage more juniors to try golf.
Come visit us at Port Royal Golf Course – enjoy the ambiance of Bella Vista Grill /or play a round of golf on our recently upgraded world class public golf course and learn golf which we deliver with great passion.