Kim Swan Reflects On Port Royal Golf Course

October 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

As the PGA Tour Butterfield Bermuda Championship approaches, Kim Swan, Chairman of Government Golf Courses, has reflected on the impact of golf in Bermuda and the history of Port Royal Golf Course.

A spokesperson said, “On the eve of the PGA Tour Butterfield Bermuda Championship, Kim Swan, Chairman of Government Golf Courses reflects on the huge impact of public golf in Bermuda, the 50 years of Port Royal Golf Course and the influence of Ocean View Golf Club in Port Royal’s establishment.

“Kim Swan has re-emerged as a golf practitioner in this the 50th anniversary year of his learning to play the game of golf and put himself to the test against players a third of his age and against players who were not born when he won his third Bermuda Open in 1984 at age 27.”

Mr. Swan said, “Dwayne Pearman, Cornell Bean, Glen ‘Dingbat’ Simmons, Darren Woods and others are among the youngsters from Port Royal who were born into golf because of the opening of Port Royal Golf Course in 1970.

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“The origins of Port Royal’s connection to St. George’s are through Port Royal’s first Chairman Reginald Tucker, a prominent local golfer and bank executive are profound. Ironically, the connection between Louis Rafael ‘Kid’ Corbin and Reggie Tucker [as he was affectionately called] was also very significant and we owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Jeffrey Sammons for uncovering this historic connection between Reginald ‘Reggie’ Tucker and Louis Rafael ‘Kid’ Corbin.”

The spokesperson said, “Prophetically, Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome, the Ocean View Golf Club’s first golf professional, hails from Whale Bay, Southampton and had his personal training golf holes near where holes 13, 14 and 15 on Port Royal are situated today. It was revealed to Kim Swan by his mentor Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome that he had envisioned Port Royal as a golf course long before was developed.

“This year also marks the 70th anniversary of Corbin’s untimely death in 1951 and the 70th anniversary Year of Ocean View Golf Club [the same golf course Louis ‘Rafael kid’ Corbin was the Pro in 1933]. It is also the 50th anniversary of then Ocean View Pro Frankie Rabain becoming the first Bermudian to qualify for the British Open and the 50th anniversary year of the meteoric rise in golf of Ralph Fray followed by his tragic death in 1971.

“Most important, it commemorates the 50th anniversary year of Walter King becoming the first Bermudian to win the newly integrated Bermuda Open Championship and later that year making history by becoming the first golf pro at the Port Royal Golf Course.

“Every local player in the field has a direct link to Port Royal, Ocean View Golf Club or St. George’s through golf and family with some have multiple connections.

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Brian Morris, Sponsors Exemption

“Brian Morris, the current Ocean View golf pro, did his first apprenticeship at the St. George’s Golf Course – a pilot trainee superintendent program initiated by Kim Swan – a program in the 1980s which saw him rotate between the three government golf courses St. George’s, Ocean View and Port Royal.

Michael Sims, Low Qualifier

“Michael Sims of Southampton has enjoyed an outstanding career as an amateur, collegiate and professional golfer who credits early lessons with Port Royal golf professional Frankie Rabain as helping lay a strong foundation.

“Camiko Smith from Spring Benny on hole #4 is a classic example of a local child gravitating to golf from a golf course is in their neighborhood. Camiko’s father is also a legendary St. George’s Cup Match Captain

Damian Palyanda of St. George’s

“Damian and his father are a Bermudian example of how a positive encouraging father can help shape a son. Many days practicing on the St. George’s Golf Course, this father/son duo is making Queen Street, St. George’s proud.

“Chaka Desilva of St. George’s is the grandson of George DeSilva. Chaka was destined to become an accomplished golfer and we know his late father Red DeSilva is smiling over his success.

“This year we take time to celebrate the 50th anniversary year of Port Royal Golf Course and all those persons and experiences that made its development possible.

“Long live public access to golf.”

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