Kim Swan Reflects On Golf, History & More

June 17, 2023 | 0 Comments

Kim Swan is reflecting on a major milestone not only for him, but for Bermuda’s golfing history.

A spokesperson said, “Kim Swan has taken some time to reflect on a major milestone in Bermuda’s golfing history. While the Bermuda Open Golf Championship has fallen off of the Bermuda golf calendar, its significance for Bermuda as a missing National Championship is a matter he feels requires repeated reminding.”

Mr. Swan said, “The June holiday weekend has always held a special place in my heart. As a boy growing up, it was following the Long-Distance Comet Sailboat Race, supporting my cousin Gladwin Lambert. But after becoming a golfer in the early 1970s, the Bermuda Open Golf Championship became my main interest.

“For me it’s a milestone week that has caused me to not only consider the victory, but also the people and experiences throughout the years that led to me becoming the youngest and most unlikely champion in Bermuda’s history.

“Sadly, we no longer have a Bermuda Open Championship; the absence of our National Championship in Golf is a major travesty – I’m optimistic it will return.”

Kim Swan Golf June 2023_1

Reflecting on Bermuda Open as a National Championship

Kim Swan also shared how many doors opened all around the world once becoming the Bermuda Open Champion. At that time, the Bermuda Open via the Bermuda Golf Association was recognized and granted exemptions because of our association with the World Golf Council.

Mr. Swan said, “This championship was huge as I was invited to and participated in the most prestigious golf tournaments in the United States – Porter Cup, Western Amateur, Eastern Amateur, Dixie Amateur, Mid Atlantic Amateur, International Fourball, Azalea Amateur – as well as making strides on the collegiate scene in America.

“When I won the Bermuda Open Golf Championship in 1978, it fulfilled a promise to my uncle Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome that I would win the tournament he was denied playing during the prime of his golfing career because of overt and rigid racial discrimination.”

The True History of Bermuda Open Golf Championship

The spokesperson said, “Bermuda owes a huge debt of gratitude to the research of retired Professor Dr. Jeffrey Sammons, whose book in the making about the life of Louis Rafael ‘Kid’ Corbin has unearthed how the Bermuda Open can trace its origins back to the late 1920s at Belmont with a current US Open Champion in the field.

“In fact, records show Louis Corbin participating in the Bermuda Open in the 1940s when it was a segregated tournament; how he was able to do so is amazing, but the tournament was a prestigious one.

Kim Swan Golf June 2023_2

“In 1967 the Bermuda Open Championship was rebranded and became a true national championship named Bermuda Open [closed], open to all Bermuda residents. The first three in 1967, 1968, and 1969 were won by young Scottish pro Doug Dalziel, working at Riddell’s Bay Golf & Country Club. In January of 1970, a young golf professional Walter King, then working at Castle Harbour in Tucker’s Town, made history by becoming the first Bermudian to win the in Bermuda Open Golf Championship as a truly racially integrated golf tournament.

“In the 1970s, numerous Bermudians would win the Bermuda Open Golf Championship: Walter King [1], Louis Moniz [2], Brendan Bees Ingham [2], Frank Rabain [2], and Keith Smith [1].

First International Bermuda Open – 1978

“Another major change occurred in 1978 with the introduction of the Bermuda Open becoming the International Bermuda Open. Many at the time thought it was for the first time, but because of the recent research conducted by then New York University Professor Dr. Jeffrey Sammons on Louis Rafael ‘Kid’ Corbin we are now aware of a rich international history in golf, closely aligned with the best of golf a century ago.

“The International Bermuda Open saw Bermudians Kim Swan [3] Hav Trott [2], Eardley Jones, Dwayne Pearman [2], Michael Sims, Eric West, and Daniel Augustus – who was last champion nearly 10 years ago – lift the trophy.

“20-year-old Kim Swan, a collegiate golfer in the midst of transferring from Palm Beach Junior College to Troy [State] University, made history by becoming the youngest Bermuda Open Champion of record.”

Kim Swan Golf June 2023_3

Mr. Swan said, “1978 was a huge year for me as I had already performed well in Florida and South Carolina against many of the best amateurs in America.

“My college roommate Ken Green and I finished sixth in the International Fourball in Miami and both took top honours in the prestigious Azalea Amateur in Charleston, South Carolina.

“I owe my life to this tournament and it pains me beyond measure that it no longer exists to uplift Bermudians like it did for me.

45 Year Anniversary an Emotional Reflection

“The reflection of this milestone victory is an emotional journey with mixed emotions, but the most important emotion is that of Love and Gratitude.

“Love for the great game of golf, especially public golf that was provided by the introduction of Port Royal Golf Course and previously by Ocean View Golf Course. And gratitude for the many people who willingly shared their knowledge and wisdom with me over the years.”

click here banner golf

Read More About

Category: All, Sports

Leave a Reply