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A journey through game’s local history

Did you know that there have been 15 golf courses in Bermuda at one time or another?

Alongside the usual suspects there have also been the Hamilton Links course in Spanish Point, a Military course in Prospect, and Elbow Beach Hotel even had one before the economic need for more beds saw them build on top of it.

The rest have gone through various incarnations over the years and the Bermuda Golf Association have put together an exhibition detailing them all at Port Royal Golf Course.

As part of the BGA's 60th anniversary celebrations, the exhibition, which charts 100 years of golf on the Island, also looks at the social and economic impact of the game on Bermuda.

“The BGA used to have an office full of stuff that had been left there for years,” said BGA secretary Alan Gamble, the man largely responsible for the exhibition. “When I cleared it out I came across all these scrap books, and boxes of photographs and things and I thought it would be good eventually to do something with it, I didn't know what at that time.

“When the 60th anniversary came along, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and display a lot of what we have.”

As Gamble sifted through the scrap books, and the pictures, and researched some of their stories he began to realise the significance and interest of what he had found.

“Everybody knows we have golf, but I don't think we appreicate how important it has been and how important it can be in the future,” he said.

After getting in contact with professional exhibition designer Linda Weinraub, and deciding on a theme that charts the history of golf in Bermuda by moving through the social and economic changes it has gone through, Gamble eventually came up with a display that gives a fascinating insight into Bermuda's relationship with the game.

The items on display represent only a fraction of what the BGA has amassed over the years, and eventually Gamble hopes to be able to find a permanent home for the collection.

“We have books of pictures from every year of the Goodwill Tournament, starting in 1953. What we have covers the whole spectrum of golf. Only a small representation of the scrap books that we have are here, but we have 85 books which go back 50 years and have every article on golf, every day from every paper.

“I don't know what we are going to do with it at the end, but it's a fantastic archive. I'd like to find a permanent place for the exhibition and the scrap books. It maybe that the national museum can find space, they may not be interested in it, but to me it's an accurate, museum quality, presentation of golf on the Island.

“When it leaves here we're trying to work on taking it in to Hamilton for a while, because there aren't that many people who will see it here (Port Royal), but over time I'd like everybody to see it. It's relevant to golfers and people who don't play golf.”

Photo by Mark Tatem Bermuda Golf Association secretary Alan Gamble with the exhibition at Port Royal of 100 years of golf in Bermuda.

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Published December 08, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 10:15 am)

A journey through game’s local history

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