The Nike Golf – PGA Team Championship of Canada will return to Bermuda for a second year of competition October 24th to 27th, the PGA of Canada announced, forming part of what is expected to be a growth year for golf tourism on the Island.
The Mid Ocean Golf Club is again the host venue for this unique tournament of 104 visiting golfers, paired on the scorecard to compete as playing teams of two. Players qualify in events across Canada this summer.
“Last year’s Nike Golf – PGA Team Championship was spectacular and we can’t wait to welcome them back,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) CEO Bill Hanbury. “Our sales and marketing team is advancing Bermuda as a golf tourism destination. Golf visitors are important because they have a positive impact across the Island’s tourism economy, far beyond just golf courses.”
During the first quarter of this year, the BTA influenced several visitor golf events that improved travel numbers during the shoulder season. Those events include an Executive Women’s Golf Association event, Chris Langford Pairs and the Grey Goose World Par 3 at Turtle Hill Golf Club, which hosted 125 overseas players in 2016 – a record for the tournament. The BTA was instrumental in attracting former Ryder Cup star Chip Beck to the Grey Goose where he recreated his famous Ryder Cup rivalry with European Tour legend Barry Lane.
The Bermuda Golf Classic featuring NFL greats including Jerry Rice returned to Bermuda this past April and the same organizers have partnered with the BTA to bring the World Pro Sports Championship this September featuring more former professional athletes.
The Hackers Cup, Gosling’s Invitational, Bermuda Open and Goodwill tournaments are also on the golf tourism calendar in the months ahead. In addition to the increased visitor golf tournaments, there is growth in new areas.
“More and more cruise vacationers are disembarking and heading to the golf course,” said Andrew Brooks, the BTA’s director of golf sales and marketing. “And last week I spoke with another college golf coach about the possibility of bringing teams to Bermuda next year for a spring tournament. Cruise golfers and college springtime golfers are two areas where strong growth is happening and we think it is sustainable growth.”
Brooks is working with PGA teaching professionals across the United States and Canada to educate them about Bermuda’s golf product and the BTA is incentivizing them to bring golf groups to the Island. Additionally, the PGA of Canada is working with the BTA to reach a greater number of Canadian golfers through its ten-event qualifying series this summer which determines the players in Bermuda for the Team Championship. Players’ families and fans will be exposed to Bermuda as a result of the expanded partnership in Canada.