Nassau, Bahamas - As The Bahamas celebrated their 47th Independence, the Bahamas Professional Golfers Association (BPGA) also welcomed new beginnings. On July 11, 2020, the BPGA held a golf shootout at the Ocean Club Golf Course to recognize its founder, golfing pioneer, the late Leroy ‘Roy’ Bowe, OBE and to hold the general election of new officers.
In 1973, just at the country had moved into its first independence, Roy Bowe, who founded the BPGA in 1968 hosted a tournament on July 11th on the then-named Paradise Island Golf Course. More than four and a half decades later, three winners of the BPGA shootout played on that same location were:
Keno Turnquest, score 72, first prize $600
Lemon Gorospe, score 76, second prize $400
Raquel Riley (female) score 78, third prize $300.
As a result of the new elections, the new executive committee is Chris Lewis - president, Lemon Gorospe -vice-president, Keno Turnquest - treasurer and Glenn Pratt - secretary. One of the major amendments to the Constitution of the Bahamas Professional Golfers Association is the admittance of female pros. Raquel Riley who was present at the meeting was the first female pro admitted into the Association and was honoured to have the recognition.
Golf pros of the Bahamas Professional Golfers Association enjoyed a shootout and election of new officers on July 11, 2020, at the Ocean Club Golf Course. Shown from left to right are members and executives: Keathen Stuart, Raquel Riley, (back) Keno Turnquest, treasurer, (front) Greg Maycock, (back) Chris Lewis, president, Glenn Pratt, secretary, Matthew Cox, Lemon Gorospe, vice-president and Michael Simms. Photo by Azaleta Ishmael-Newry.
“Golf has been a very important part of my life and I grew up looking up to brothers Greg and Phil Maycock as well as Keno Turnquest in junior golf. The sport has given me the tools to get an education and I am happy to be a part of the history of golf in The Bahamas,” said Riley. She is the former pro at Bakers Bay Golf Club in Abaco which is currently under reconstruction due to Hurricane Dorian damage.
Glenn Pratt, a pro of 38 years is passionate about the BPGA and mentioned that the Association was formed to protect the employment interests of Bahamian golf professionals and further Junior Golf was developed under the leadership of the BPGA
President Chris Lewis stated, “It’s incumbent on us to pave the way for the next generation and we have an opportunity to do so. As golf professionals, we are the pacesetters and we look forward to all the positive things that we can do like using our skills, talents and professionalism to further the game of golf in The Bahamas.”
The new executive committee is combined with almost 85 years of local and international industry experience and they represent prestigious golf clubs in the country.
Chris Lewis – President, BPGA (2020-2022)
Chris Lewis obtained his BA in Business Administration from Texas Southern University in 1992 on a golf scholarship. In 2002, he obtained a specialized associate degree in golf complex operations and management from the San Diego Golf Academy where he graduated with a 4.0 average and was a Valedictorian. In Grand Bahama in 2003, Chris worked as an assistant golf professional at the Royal Oasis Resort. From 2003-2011, he was the director of golf at the Cable Beach Golf Club in New Providence then moved to Bakers Bay Golf and Ocean Club in Abaco as a golf pro. Upon returning to Freeport, Chris joined the Reef Golf Club in 2011 as a director of golf and maintenance and currently holds the position of golf superintendent. He is also a Class A golf professional. Chris has held many posts with the BPGA, including past-president (2010-2012) and been elected to serve another two-year term.
Lemon Gorospe – Vice-President, BPGA (2020-2022)
Lemon Gorospe started his golf career in 1998 as an assistant golf professional under Vernon Lockhart, who was the director of golf at the South Ocean Golf Club. In 2000, Lemon opened the One and only Ocean Club Golf Course as the head golf professional. From there Lemon landed the director of instruction at the Lyford Cay Golf Club from 2007-2009. Lemon is currently the director of golf at Albany Bahamas. He has a Certification in Country Club Management and is a Class A golf professional. Lemon has held the position of vice-president before and is taking on another tenure for the 2020-2022 term.
Keno Turnquest – Treasurer, BPGA (2020-2022)
Keno Turnquest started as an assistant golf professional at The Abaco Club under the tutelage of Tom Mackenzie. He has been playing professional golf since 2004 and in 2010 joined Albany Bahamas as the golf services manager. Keno obtained a degree in golf management from the University of Birmingham and has obtained his Class A Certification while working at Albany. Keno has held many posts in the BPGA and currently serves as treasurer for the 2020-2022 term.
Glenn Pratt - Secretary, BPGA (2020-2022)
Glenn Pratt, a master golf instructor, turned pro golfer in 1982 became the youngest Bahamian head golf Pro in the history of golf in The Bahamas in 1984 as head golf pro under Golf Director Freddie Higgs at the Paradise Island Golf Club. He is a past-president of the BPGA (2006-2008) and is the newly elected secretary.
For more information about the Bahamas Professional Golfers Association, you may contact Chris Lewis at 242-727-1690 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org