The Great Exuma Classic is back, grander than ever! Despite the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, the island of Exuma safely kicked off this week, its signature golf tournament, the Great Exuma Classic, at the world-renowned Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course, bringing a much-needed economic boost to the island. The event, in its 5th year of circulation, brings together 132 players and 132 caddies from the U.S. in what promises to be intense but friendly competition.
According to BD Global President, Brooks Downing, these athletes will comprise the next wave of professional golfers. “These guys have an opportunity to earn their PGA Tour card to go play with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and that bunch next season,” stated Downing. BD Global in partnership with Korn Ferry, the event organizers, has made multiple donations to charities in Exuma and will continue to support and promote the sport of golf throughout the islands of The Bahamas, through clinics and tournaments.
The Great Exuma Classic has become grander in its gap year, attracting a larger field of competitors and accompanying contingent. Major resorts like Sandals Emerald Bay, Grand Isle Resort, Peace & Plenty Resort, as well as smaller boutique hotels, Airbnb’s and car rental
companies have experienced increased bookings, bringing their operations to full capacity.
There has also been an increase in the number of PGA volunteers which has resulted in the organization experiencing a surplus in registration. The offer of various positions such as caddies, scorekeepers, shuttle bus drivers and administration associates has created temporary jobs for residents.
A reception was held on the evening of 13 January at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort to commence the proceedings of the event. In attendance were tournament participants, central and local government department heads and stakeholders. Bringing remarks to the reception were Sandals General Manager Jeremy Mutton, President of BD Global Brooks Downing and the Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Aviation & Investments.
The tournament is once again being televised by ESPN and will run 14 – 19 January 2022. Residents of the local Exuma community are encouraged to attend and show support to the participants.
More photo highlights below: