Cayman stalwart inducted into Caribbean Golf Hall of Fame

David Bird delivers his induction speech.

David Bird, one of the co-founders of the Cayman Islands Golf Association (CIGA), has been inducted into the Caribbean Golf Association Hall of Fame.

He received the honour on Monday, 30 July, at the official opening for the 62nd Annual Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships being played at North Sound Golf Club this week.

Bird’s impact on the growth and development of the sport in the Cayman Islands dates back to 1992, when he and fellow Hall of Fame member, Blob Slatter, founded the CIGA. He served as the association’s first president from 1992-1994 and then as secretary until he returned to Scotland in 2014.

Slatter was on hand to present the award. “The best thing that I did for the Caribbean Golf Association was to introduce David Bird to them,” he said. “For 20 years, you could not go to a tournament without David’s involvement.”

Bird graciously accepted the honour at the ceremony held at Camana Bay’s Crescent. “I’m very, very grateful and touched by the honour you have given me,” he said. “I join the illustrious ranks of many stalwarts of Caribbean golf…it’s a great pleasure to be included in their company.”

Bird gets inducted by CGA President Asraph Ali.

He said it was particularly pleasing to receive the award in Grand Cayman, where his involvement in Caribbean Golf got started.

“When I first came to Cayman in 1973, I was a little concerned when I heard there was no golf course but I was assured that one was in the offing and would be opening very soon,” Bird said of the genesis of his involvement with the sport in the Cayman Islands.

“So, I arrived here with my golf clubs, much to the disbelief of the Customs officer, and eventually – after 11 years – a golf course came along in the shape of the nine-hole facility at Britannia, [which is] sadly now closed, but followed some 10 years later by the magnificent links at the North Sound Golf Club,” he recalled, adding that he became somewhat of a travel agent organising golf trips to Florida and Jamaica for the frustrated golfers on island before the courses were built.

Bird went on to serve as a council member of the Caribbean Golf Association from 1994 to 2014 and secretary of that body from 1997 to 2014. He was also a lead tournament administrator and rules official for the Caribbean Classic, Junior Golf Championship and the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship. In fact, he’s been called out of retirement to serve as the Chief Rules Official for the tournament that ends Friday.

“Golf has been wonderful to me. It’s been a wonderful part of my life. It’s taken me all over the world as a player, and as a referee and as a representative of golf organisations such as the Caribbean Golf Association…I have met some wonderful people in my travels, many of whom I’m delighted to count as my friends. It’s been a most rewarding experience,” he said.

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