One of the top tournaments on professional golf’s Korn Ferry tour is coming to the Baha Mar.
The 2020 Bahamas Great Abaco Classic will be moved to Royal Blue Golf Club at Baha Mar due to Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Great Abaco.
The Korn Ferry Tour tournament, which features 132 professionals vying in the year-long series to earn their PGA TOUR card, will be played Jan. 16-22 in its traditional role as the second event of the new season, following The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, which is played the week before at Sandals Emerald Bay.
“We look forward to welcoming The Great Abaco Classic to The Royal Blue Golf Club in January,” said Graeme Davis, President of the Baha Mar. “Everyone at Baha Mar is committed to the recovery and rebuild of the Abacos and we knew how important it was to keep this tournament in the beautiful nation of The Bahamas until its return to Great Abaco.”
Hurricane Dorian created catastrophic damage as a Category 5 hurricane – the strongest storm to ever hit The Bahamas —when it slammed into the Abacos on Sept. 1.
The Abaco Club, where the event has been played the past three years, officially re-opened this month, but the hurricane took aim on Marsh Harbour, the island’s largest town, and left nearly every home and business damaged.
Progress on rebuilding Abaco is underway, as evidenced by the reopening of Maxwells last week, one of the island’s only grocery stores.
Still, the island needs time to recover before housing nearly 500 visitors for a week, which includes golfers, caddies, tournament officials, broadcast production staff, and fans.
“In ensuring that the Great Abaco Classic takes place, in spite of the devastation to its original venue, Abaco, our partners, the PGA TOUR and bdG Sports, have shown genuine commitment to The Bahamas and our people, a gesture which we deeply appreciate,” said Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Avication, Dionisio D’Aguilar. “The relocated Great Abaco Classic will find a welcome home at Baha Mar’s Royal Blue Golf Club and will certainly live up to the reputation it has established as Abaco’s premier golf tournament.”
The resort destination of Baha Mar is situated across 1,000 acres along the north shore of New Providence Island, in Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas.
Baha Mar is home to three hotel brands, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar, as well as a collection of offerings and experiences including the largest casino in the Caribbean; over 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges; luxury shopping, and more.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus and spanning nearly 7,200 yards, Royal Blue Golf Course’s front nine features water-lined fairways and glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean, while the back nine navigates dense jungle until the island green at the par-3 16 th hole on Lake Cunningham.
“Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin and her team at the PGA TOUR were adamant about making the necessary investments to ensure this tournament happened,” said Brooks Downing, Chief Executive Officer at bdG Sports. “And thanks to the tremendous support of both Mr. Davis and Minister D’Aguilar, we are going to utilize this platform to make sure that the Abaco rebuilding effort remains front and center.”
The Bahamas has been at the forefront of the sport tourism industry in the Caribbean, with a particularly strong focus on professional golf, including the LPGA tour as well.