The fourth annual golf camp, sponsored by the Abaco Club at Winding Bay, took place the week of July 23-28. Fourteen young people from Abaco eagerly participated in the five day program. Apart from three or four new recruits most in attendance were returning participants who had enjoyed the teaching of previous years. The cookies distributed at the end of each session added to the excitement as well.
The group was welcomed by golf pro Marley Hield who said he wanted them to have fun while learning and developing qualities such as integrity and honesty. He explained these qualities were crucial to the game of golf.
The Community Footprints Program Chairman, Mr. Frederick Munnings, expressed his joy at getting to work with Mr. Hield and his team during the golf camp. He reminded the young audience that the camp was also sponsored by Community Footprints, a very active and strong program created by the Ritz Carlton Corporation to give back to the community. He wished them a wonderful week.
They were also greeted by the company General Manager, Mr. Craig Sacco, who also wished well and encouraged the youth to have lots of fun.
Mr. Ishmael “Stretch” Morley expressed his gratitude to the Directors of the Abaco Club at Winding Bay for offering the children such a valuable opportunity. He reminded them that golf, like other sports, can provide the possibility of scholarships to colleges in the United States.
Fourteen spaces set with tees and irons awaited the participants and a small table displayed the trophies that would be awarded to the winners of the last day’s competition.
The first couple of days were spent with reviewing and learning techniques. On Thursday, July 26, Mr. Hield had them shoot one-hole balls on the course and take part in a team competition.
On the last day of the camp the youngsters participated individually in a competition of chipping and putting. The children’s excitement and nerves reflected in their performance. Some who did well during the week’s events did not perform as well under stress, but as said Mr. Hield, “competition is part of the game and whoever wants to become a pro has to perform well under stress.”
The points of the two events were tallied at the end of the day each player had collected at least a couple of points; some many more.
While waiting for Mr. Munnings to hand out the trophies, the results were announced.
Girls and boys had been separated into two different categories. For the second year in a row, Brennae Bain took the first place with 16 points in the girls category, in front of Ebany Hanna who gathered 11 points. Deondra Williamson placed third with 10 points.
Twenty one points brought Ivan Curry to the top of the list in the boys category. He was followed by Bijuan Bain, Brennae’s brother, who placed second with the same amount of points as his sister (16). Andrew Hanna placed third with 14 points.
In his farewell address Mr. Munnings told them that they had been taught by someone who had just been voted the best golf pro in the Caribbean. He also praised Mr. Frank Austin, a pro for more than twenty years. “You should feel honored and privileged to be taught by them. I hope to see you next year or perhaps later on TV making millions,” he joked.