Bermuda to host Black Golf Summit and Championship
The Bermuda Tourism Authority has introduced an initiative aimed at breaking down barriers and promoting diversity in the sport of golf.
At a press conference held at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday, Glenn Jones, the BTA’s interim chief executive, announced that the government-owned facility will host the inaugural Black Golf Summit and Championship from November 2 to 7.
The multifaceted event will commence with the Summit, followed by the Black Golf Championship at Port Royal’s par-71 Southampton layout.
Jones said the event is as much about the business of golf as it is about playing the game itself.
“The objective is simple; this event aims, on a global scale, to topple barriers and create pathways to diversity in the sport of golf,” he said.
“We’re looking to attract golf industry thought leaders, senior executives from top sporting brands and everyday people who love golf.
“The goal is to win more golf business for Bermuda, and we’re totally excited about it. We can’t wait.”
Jones said the event was scheduled to be held immediately after the Bermuda Championship.
“This creates a scenario where golf thought leaders can arrive early for the PGA Tour event,” he added. “and golf fans and players here for the championship will be encouraged to stay late to help us topple racial barriers in the sport of golf.”
The Black Golf Summit will be held from November 2 to 4 and the Black Golf Championship from November 4 to 7.
The BTA will announce the venue for the summit and the format for the tournament at a later date.
Also attending the press conference was Hazel Clarke, the BTA director of sports business development, who said the event satisfied more than one important National Tourism Plan goal.
“The first is golf,” she added. “The other is Black travel.
“It’s a reminder that Black consumers have diverse travel desires and Bermuda has many ways to engage with them.”
In its entirety, Clark said the event will underscore Bermuda’s position as an influential global leader on the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and help to establish a critical framework that can create unprecedented worldwide access and opportunities in golf.
“Now more than ever, racial disparity and inequality are at the forefront of global consciousness and Bermuda has proven it is prepared to unite, to topple barriers and lead the fight against racism,” she added.
“On this point, this is so much more than a summit and a round of golf. This new venture will establish and support community programmes and initiatives here in Bermuda.”
Clark said the event will create pathways for local children to gain accessibility to the sport of golf and also to find careers.
She added that organisers will use the opportunity during the event to celebrate Bermuda’s Black golf legacy by sharing the inspirational journeys of pioneers that paved the way such as Louis “Kid” Corbin, who played an integral role in the desegregation of golf on the island.
Kim Swan, the chairman of Bermuda Government golf courses and former European Tour player, said: “To celebrate the diversity that is necessary today, we can look to our forefathers for a blueprint.
“I’m proud to say that with the help of the PGA of Bermuda historical consultant, Dr Jeffrey Sammons, we will do our part to help make the history a correct one and tell the story of the unforgotten heroes of golf in Bermuda that helped pave the way and make it possible for us to be enjoying the legacy of public golf.
“We are going to show the world that there’s no need for golf to be exclusionary; that you can host PGA events and invite people to your countries and get to know people through diversity, through public golf.
“I stand here today humbled and moved on the shoulders of great people, honouring the legacy of those great ones that came before me.”