The golf course at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort (MGBGR) in Lowlands Tobago provided the perfect setting for the staging of the 66th annual Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships, hosted from July 24th to 29th, 2023.
With renovations at the golf course starting just over two years ago and kicking into high gear in the lead up to the tournament, all hands were on deck to ensure that the event was executed successfully.
“There was some concern about the Air Conditioning system in the hotel but that was rectified and all the guests at the hotel were pleased,” said Jason Martin, General Manager at the Magdalena Grand.
“We decorated the lobby of the hotel and turned the area into a little golfing area to make the experience immersive for guests. We hoisted the flags of the participating countries. We had 11 countries here,” he explained.
“The opening ceremony took place at the hotel and the closing at the golf course. The environment was really village-like, and a representative from each country had demonstrations with the children.”
Seizing the opportunity to not only promote the talent of Trinidad and Tobago’s golfers, but also of Tobago as a tourism destination and sport tourism on a whole, the players from visiting countries also toured the island to get a taste of the Caribbean.
Additionally staff of the MGBGR temporarily changed their uniforms to fit into the spirit of the golf championships which was historic in itself being the first to be played in the twin island, and only coming our way once every ten years.
e TecK is the parent company of Vanguard Hotel Limited (VHL) which was transferred to e TecK in 2008. The hotel property was renovated in 2011 and opened in 2012 and traded as the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort. e TecK leased the golf course, pro-shop and golf course restaurant in 2013 and the word “Golf” was added to the hotel’s name. The current golf course project was led by Rudra Bachan, Senior Project Officer at e TecK with support and guidance of consultants St. Andrews Golf Club (SAGC). Overall preparations were also provided by the MGBGR team as the hotel would have hosted the participants of the tournament as hotel guests.
“e TecK was instrumental in preparing the golf course and ensuring its readiness for the championships” said Mr. David Cockburn, Assistant Vice President, Special Projects & Hotel Assets at e TecK.
“We were chosen as hosts of this tournament. It is a very prestigious event and is the largest such golf tournament in the region with the winner receiving the Hoerman Cup. e TecK worked behind the scenes with consultants the St. Andrew’s Golf Course, who supported with the technical side of things. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, Rudra spent much more time in Tobago and additional support was provided by the SAGC’s Vedath Singh for Golf Superintendent Services.”
“The golf staff in Tobago, under the guidance of Vedath, worked hard in preparing the course. In the week of the tournament two of SAGC’s most experienced golf course equipment operators worked alongside the MGBGR golf course staff to ensure the course’s readiness. There was also the purchasing of maintenance equipment, purchasing flags and practice golf balls, importing sand from Guyana, repairs to bunkers, and other things needed to ensure that a high level of play was met. There was an overall team effort in order to have a successful tournament. Having pulled off a successful tournament, we have demonstrated that we will have the ability to host similar tournaments in the future and thus adding to sports tourism and the value that the hotel can bring on the island Tobago” he added.
Having successfully staged the 66th annual Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships it is the hope that the hotel and the country at large will be called on to host more prestigious golf tournaments which will add to the economic diversification thrust of T&T.
See photos below: