Oldest event now offering prize purse
Some of the world’s most prestigious golf clubs will be represented in the longest-running and oldest Pro Am held annually in Bermuda this year.
Among the 60 teams from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Canada competing in next week’s Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament are Prestwick Golf Club who hosted the inaugural Open Championship, and Merion Golf Club whose Hugh Wilson-designed East Course has hosted more USGA Championships than any course in North America.
The Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament will be co-hosted by Port Royal Golf Course, Mid Ocean Club and Tucker’s Point Club and will run from December 3 to 5.
This year marks the 66th consecutive staging of the event which is a 54-hole Best Ball Stroke Play competition among teams of four comprised of a club professional and three club amateurs.
“We will celebrate our 66th consecutive year which makes it the longest and oldest golf Pro Am in golf history anywhere in the world which is a major, major statement,” said Bob Corrao, chairman and chief executive of the Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament.
The team format features a gross and net division with professionals to be scored via the Stableford scoring system.
There is an added incentive this year for professionals who will compete for a share of the $25,000 purse.
“We have established a $25,000 purse for the pros, so within the tournament the pros also play for a purse,” added Corrao, who is competing in the event for the 38th consecutive year, and has spearheaded its revival after numbers dwindled significantly.
“In 2008, when we had a worldwide recession the teams dropped from the area of 75 to 80 teams all the way down to low 30s,” Corrao added.
“It wound up being good enough to keep the event going and then there was a decision do we keep it or not.
“I knew enough people so I thought maybe I could help out. I took it over last year and was able to get my contacts.
“I have been in sales all my life, so I know when a promise is real or not and this year I put in five to six hour days for eight months and got it from 36 teams [last year] to 60 and they are all arriving tomorrow [today].
“It’s been great taking this thing over and bringing it back to the glory days.
“It would have been a sin to see this not come back to some glory being the oldest tournament in history. It’s a Bermuda gem.”
More details on the tournament can be found at www.bermudagoodwillgolf.com