Greg Norman does the right thing by keeping slave ruins at new Blue Skark Golf Club in the Bahamas
Spend any time in the Bahamas and you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that the only thing holy here is the U.S. dollar. Though, if you think about it, it’s refreshing that at least one country still worships our falling currency.
Still, this is a land where everything often seems like it’s for sale. Even the islands’ history.
So when Greg Norman undertook a massive renovation, retooling of an old Joe Lee design in the south ocean section of Nassau, Bahamas, there was actually thought that The Shark might elect to just have the slave ruins on the site bulldozed over.
In most supposedly democratic countries in the world - and many non-democratic ones too - this would be unthinkable of course. You don’t just level history.
Only in the Bahamas, you could.
Thankfully, Norman saw the value in the crumbling old stone buildings and went the other way, incorporating them even more into this new design - Blue Shark Golf Club. The ruins are now right up against and all around the 12th tee, so much so that an older writer on the Blue Shark’s grand preview day wondered about golfers who have health issues being able to walk through some of the rocky ground to get to the very back tee. (It’s still cool to walk through the stones to reach the tee).
Norman gets rewarded for his forward-thinking with the best stretch on the Blue Shark by far. The tenth through twelfth holes are going to be why a lot of golfers decide to play this course and the ruins are a big part of it.
Now keeping the ruins isn’t a stroke of genius or anything. Any fool should have been able to recognize their value. But Norman went even a few steps further. And the Bahamas is spared from what would have been an unconscionable bulldozing.
For more on what the Blue Shark’s Bahamian caddies think of the ruins, what it’s like to try to play golf as a local here and how everyone might want to step back from America and Kelly Tilghman’s offensive remark and look at some other areas when they’re talking golf inequality, look out for the next On The Spot column. For the first full review of Blue Shark you’ll read anywhere, stay tuned to TravelGolf.com.
And just be thankful Norman’s smart enough to know history when he’s staring at it.
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cell phone number I would love to catch up...
What's your problem with the Bahamas. You are so negative on the place. The Bahamas Government just opened a National Park on the site of the slave ruins after purchasing the property for $20 million from a private developer that wanted to put in a hotel. Your basis is really starting to show! Did someone in the Bahamas hurt your feelings?
What's wrong Chris Baldwin? What did the Bahamas do to you that you want to discredit and entire people?
This is one of many attacks on the Bahamas you have launched, shame on you.
1. Greg Norman is not being as big hearted as you are giving him credit for. Those ruins are protected by the monuments and antiquities laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Greg Norman couldn't demolish them if he tried.
2. Those ruins are attached to another set of ruins around which the Clifton Heritage Park is being created. When completed, this will be earmarked as a UN World Heritage site because it is one of the few places in the hemisphere where all of the civilizations that occupied this side of the world can be traced back to - pre Columbus right up to present day.
3. Your assertion that one can level history in The Bahamas is so way off and so stupid that it begs the question of whether you were high on your Nassau street coke when you wrote this. Please cite for me another example of history being bulldozed in this country and I'll cite for you a hundred in every US State in the Union and every territory including Puerto Rico.
If you really were short on what to write about your trip down here, maybe you should have dug deeper into the point you saved for the end of your post. Maybe you should have asked your buddy Greg if he's going to use his big heart and clout to make sure Bahamian golfers have somewhere to golf because of the shut out of courses and the escalating prices that is killing the sport in The Bahamas.
That would have been better than trying to give Greg credit for something he has no hand nor say in doing.
Take the advice, do the coke AFTER you write, not before.
2). If you know about the Clifton Heritage Park, you must know how often it's been delayed and used as a political football. It may not be the best example of the Bahamas putting their people first. Let's see it actually happen.
3). As to your excellent point about how I should have went into Bahamian golfers being shut out ... I wrote an entire column on it, that's been featured on the front page of TravelGolf.com for days:
4). An expert on the Bahamas (and I do appreciate your obvious knowledge) such as yourself might want to point out how long it took for the government to even give its people decent beach access. How long were the best beaches on the island completely shut off from the public? And many still are. It's only recently, that the government stepped up and started buying back beaches so that more locals could actually enjoy the benefits of their country's greatest asset.
I'm sure you know more about this than myself and could expound upon it.
1) You Acknowledge that the source of your story was "some talk";
2) You Acknowledge that the Government is protecting historical sites; and
2) You Acknowlege that the Goverment is addressing concerns about Beach Access.
You directly contradict yourself and your rants on your blog. But that's the internet for you. "Anyone" can now be a "Journalist abd express their views to the entire world.
You even got me to respond! Keep up the good work!
But you might want to read a little on the subjects you address. For example, The Nassau Guardian - the Island's main newspaper - recently wrote a story in which ex-Parliament member Henry Bostwick noted that he was pleased that Blue Shark's developers elected to keep the slave ruins.
The exact Guardian text: "Bostwick added that he was impressed that the owners had decided to leave the old slave houses - located near 'Sharks Teeth', the 10 - 11 tees - untouched."
I also talked to Bostwick myself at the Blue Shark's preview day. I guess this longtime member of the Bahamas government is clueless about this mysterious unknown except by you government protection of those ruins as well.
Bostwick knows they could have leveled those ruins. The developers involved in the project admitted that there was talk of taking out the ruins before Norman decide to incoporate them into the design. That's the talk you tried to deride.
Apparently, everyone involved in the project and a former government official is wrong and you're right.
Sorry, truth is those ruins were staring at bulldozers.
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