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Sands Golf Tournament Returns to Grand Bahama for 10th Year

Freeport, Grand Bahama – After four years, the highly anticipated and competitive Sands Golf Tournament returned to Grand Bahama for its tenth instalment, bringing together a community of avid golf lovers eager to get back on the green.

Fifty-two male and female participants registered for the blind pairing scramble at the Reef Golf Course on Sunday, March 24th.  Players vied for the title of ‘the lowest gross score’, ‘lowest net score’, ‘longest drive’, ‘closet to the pin’ and the signature ‘man in the boat;’ hole in one.’  

Founder and CEO Bahamian Brewery & Company Owner Jimmy Sands called it heartwarming to see the familiar faces he’s known for years back on the golf course and called it a “fantastic day.”

“This is our tenth tournament,” said Sands. “We missed four years after Dorian came and wiped us out. Then came Covid-19. So, it’s nice to be back with the old players and see all the local people back in the swing of things here at the Reef Golf Course in Freeport. It was a great crowd man, the old crew. I see them every year. Everyone was concerned about the weather, but I wasn’t. I had a lot of faith. I had a lot of faith over the last four years putting this brewery back together. So, weather was the least of my problems.”

The Brewery resumed operations in Grand Bahama in September of 2020; since then, the company has steadily managed to grow by launching new locations in Nassau, Abaco, and Eleuthera and by reactivating fun, community-building activities like its annual golf tournament in Grand Bahama.

“It was a full house today,” Sands explained. “We had 52 participants and it’s just nice to have this event back and next year we hope to have more golf carts. This tournament is all around fun and despite the fact that I’m not a serious golfer I got to connect with long time friends and colleagues.  Grand Bahama was known for golf for many years. It’s sad to see Grand Bahama in the state its in with the golf courses. I remember one time ago there used to be five courses here. Today, there’s only one operational course. Hopefully, one day we can get back to that.”

Dave Storoschuk and Paul Bowe won the competition with a 56.9 net final score.  Storoschuk won prior to the four-year break, and said it’s the camaraderie of golf that draws him in.

“If you played by yourself, you wouldn’t have any fun,” Storoschuk said. “We have a lot of fun playing here at the Reef with lots of good people. And Sands Brewery means a lot to the island. It was good to see it going again. This event gets the community together and that’s the beautiful thing about golf.”

Storoschuk’s partner Phil Bowe said the event is one that is anticipated throughout the community, for not only those playing, but those watching as well.

“I had a lot of fun out there today,” Bowe said. “I played the game with a great partner, which made the game a lot easier. It felt really good playing in this tournament because the comradery was good, the game was great and we had an overall good time. I’m always competitive. Golf, competitively, brings out the best in you. Most of the sport is played uphill first. So, once you feel like you’re accomplishing the mental side of it, it causes you to fall in love with it and come back again. You may hit a couple of bad shots. But you’ll hit that one good one and want to do it all over again.”

Speaking about what the event does for the island, Bowe said, “…events like this brings everyone together. There are a lot of groups that play golf here at the Reef. But when you have an event like this one, everyone comes together and we mix and it’s a blind draw so you don’t get to play with your buddies that you always play with. The fact that you get to meet people and interact makes it that much more interesting.”

Other notable wins of the day went to Anthony Sam, who was closet to the pin, with the lowest net score going to Glen Volkes and Sue Urban and the lowest gross score  to Hop Sing and Lorna Taylor.

Golf Coordinator at the Reef Golf Course Tangernika Williams called the event said it’s always a pleasure to host the Sands beer tournament and called it one of the more exciting tournaments they host. “I don’t know if the beer is the influence or just the game, but Sands usually hosts one of the more popular tournaments here,” Williams said.

“Community events like this are important for Grand Bahama because I believe it’s a sport that keeps the locals together. We don’t want the sport to just die off in Grand Bahama. I think this is one of the sports that we get to see all of the natives come together as comrades, play and free their mind. This is one of the ways to just come out and relax yourself.”