Morris humbled to be recognised among island’s inspirational greats
Brian Morris says he is both honoured and humbled to join a group of exceptionally talented golfers who inspired him on the Bermuda Professional Golf Association’s honour roll.
The 53-year-old was elected as an honorary member of the Bermuda PGA along with fellow pro Cornell Bean for their various contributions to the local game at the association’s annual meeting held at Ocean View Golf Club earlier this month.
“It was an honour and is humbling to be mentioned around guys like Eardley Jones, Frankie Rabain, Keith Pearman and Kim Swan,” Morris said. “I looked up to all those guys when I was younger coming up.”
Morris is grateful to be recognised for the work he has put in over the years.
“It’s been a long road for me,” the Ocean View Golf Course head professional and former Bermuda PGA president said. “I have put in a lot of time in golf coaching the junior national team. I have brought up a lot of youngsters and taken them on tours.
“I have also done charity work where I’ve raised over $100,000 for families that are stricken with cancer to pay their bills. It’s kind of ironic I did that for cancer patients and now here I am fighting for my life with stage four cancer.
“It’s [honorary membership] humbling to say the least. But I’ve put in my time and done the right thing for so long. You always wonder if anybody is going to recognise what you’re doing or what you’ve done, and it happened, so I am honoured.”
Morris added: “I’m still playing up there [Ocean View] with the bullies. I’m getting in so life is good and being up at Ocean View is kind of dream job for me because that’s where golf started, the Bermuda PGA started.
“That was the course for us, for just the regular people, and to be the head pro up here is a dream job because I am an historian and really appreciate what people before me have done.
“I’ve worked in golf for 25 years and put on golf shoes every day to come to work and you never work a day in your life when you do that.
“I’ve met some wonderful people and been offered some awesome opportunities and experiences.
“Not just for me, but for youngsters coming up. Like now I’ve got OJ [OJ Pitcher] and Delyone [Delyone Borden] coming up, so I’m passing the baton teaching them and they are going to be the next generation of golf pros.”
In December of 2019 Morris’s brain cancer was diagnosed and he continues to undergo chemotherapy.
He says the “positive support” that he receives from his family, co-workers and friends and playing golf helps him to cope emotionally with his illness.
“I act like I haven’t got this stuff [cancer] sometimes,” Morris said.
“I go on the golf course for four hours and think of nothing else because I don’t have time to. I’m hitting this shot and picking this yardage and doing this stuff, so I don’t have time to think about being sick.
“I’m not one to lay down on the couch, so I stay active and keep on moving. But I do also have a lot of down time by myself that you have to manage; you can’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself.
“It’s bad luck really, that’s what it boils down to. But the doctors told me from the beginning that half the battle is attitude, so I stay positive and I’m really, really enjoying life now.
“I don’t sweat the small stuff. I never really did before. But it’s even less now, nothing irritates me.”