BY KIM SWAN, J.P. Teaching Professional
Bermuda awareness as a destination is a critical component to marketing Bermuda internationally. Our forefathers successfully built our tourism around world renown sporting events , mainly Golf, Sailing and Tennis which are all great sports for Bermuda year round.
Through golf in the late1950s Bermuda played host to televised golf prior to the famed Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf later gracing our shores in the 1960s – we were pioneers and our most celebrated Golf Professional at that time Archie Compston walked with royalty and was an golf exhibitionist dating back decades prior.
Tennis fans from the eastern seaboard of the United States had Bermuda to thank for Tennis. Yes, our own Bermudian cousin, Mary Outerbridge, introduced Tennis to the United States. That would make for a great ATP Heritage Tournament that not only celebrates our place in history but reconnects us perpetually with each generation of tennis enthusiast from America.
The Newport Bermuda Yacht Race is a century old event and our maritime heritage is already etched in the history books. But the Gold Cup Series and the exploits of Peter Bromby and Lee White in recent years and others, have kept Bermuda on the radar of the sailing community.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf finale in Bermuda was eventful – sandwiched between two hurricanes – Bermuda and the PGA of America demonstrated how to make the best of a bad situation. Hurricane Fay surprised everyone with as it crept up on us early Sunday a ravaged Port Royal Golf Course, television equipment, concession stands, the tented village and made many doubt that the event would take place.
The Show Must Go On
The decision that the event will continue, set in motion a restoration of the port royal golf course and tournament services that must go down in our history book as an undertaking that demonstrated to the world the resilience of our people but also the quality of our infrastructure.
When TNT went live to show the world Port Royal Golf Course, it was extremely difficult to discern any evidence of any major damage caused by a hurricane. An incredible feat that showed Bermuda at its best.
Today we have the America’s Cup 2017 destined for our shores which will catapult our name to the front of the minds of people around the globe. Awareness in marketing is key and now in two of our key sports, golf and sailing, Bermuda can be identified by hosting the best in the world competing in their craft.
My experience in the golf industry reveals that it is common for spill over benefits between sports. The followers of sailing are likely to be avid golfers or tennis players, enjoy fine wine, dine in good restaurants, engage taxis regularly, travel to the beach, arrange parties/events for clients &/or friends – generally they have a reasonable amount of disposable income.
We at Port Royal Golf Course are considered one of the best public golf courses in the world. It is my understanding that Port Royal is on the bucket list of many planning to come to Bermuda to enjoy the festivities of the Americas Cup.
As one of my dear sailing friends of mine put it recently, “there is only so much time we spend on the water racing……”
Indeed, many man hours of the America’s Cup will revolve around activities on land in Bermuda.
We at Port Royal who overlook the Great Sound – not only welcome the America’s Cup to Bermuda – but we invite everyone planning visit Bermuda for the America’s Cup to pay us a visit.
Port Royal and the Bella Vista Grill are your local championship golf course.