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legends tour

Legend! Ian Woosnam welcomes return of top class golf to Barbados

The Legends Tour season kicks off in fine style with the inaugural Barbados Legends at Apes Hill. Host Ian Woosnam can’t wait

 

Ian Woosnam says he can’t wait to welcome top class golf back to Barbados. The former Masters champion is hosting the opening Legends Tour event of the 2024 season as Apes Hill stages the Barbados Legends.

Woosnam, who lives on the island and is an ambassador for the resort, heads a field that includes former US Open champion Michael Campbell and fellow Augusta National winner Angel Cabrera.

Staged from May 3 to 5, it’s the first top class event on the Caribbean island in 15 years and kicks off a record Legends Tour year with 20-events, across four continents, and a total prize fund of 18 million euros.

“It’s fantastic to have the pros come back to Barbados, to have the amateurs play, and to just have a wonderful week showing off Apes Hill, which has got some fantastic views is a fantastic golf course,” said Woosnam.

Legends Tour events are staged over three days and provide opportunities for amateurs to play alongside the professionals and celebrities in a live competition.

With Apes Hill, redesigned by the late Ron Kirby and found 1,000 feet above sea level, Woosnam says all the players are in for a stern – but enjoyable – test at the Saint James venue.

“The first nine is more looking over the Caribbean Sea. Once you get to the 13th hole, you come over the other side and you’re looking over the east coast with views on all sides,” he said.

“It’s a perfect length for the seniors. They can play off the backs and the amateurs can play off the blues and it’s going to be a great mix.”

He added: “The 12th, 13th, 14th, and then the 16th and 18th, are going to be crucial holes. 12 is a very difficult, long, par 3. It’s straight into the wind and plays 220.

“The next, the 13th, is stroke one and there are going to be a lot of big scores on that hole. I am not looking forward to it – I had a bad one the other day and it’s got stuck in my head!”

Barbados Legends: ‘I just want to make sure everyone enjoys it’

Woosnam has been putting his administrative skills to the test – playing a key role in the logistics for the event, from setting up the golf course to giving menu options the once-over.

“It’s been quite interesting, particularly on what goes on behind the scenes,” he said. “Like any player, I was not aware of what happens.

“I’d be going up to the club – trying to set up the golf course. They haven’t hosted something like this before.

“The first time is going to be very important to get it correct. It’s a learning curve for me. I’ve not been that hands on with it before.

“As I’ve got a bit older and a bit more wiser, hopefully, it’s nice to be involved and using my experience and putting that into different functions,” Woosnam added. “It’s about people enjoying themselves and making the right atmosphere for everybody.

“I’d love to play well but I just want to make sure everyone enjoys it and if I play well I play well.

“Everyone says you should play well on your own golf course but it is a long week. I want to make sure my amateur partner is going to really enjoy it. That’s what it’s all about being a senior golfer.”

Now have your say

Are you looking forward to the Legends Tour in 2024? What do you make of Apes Hills and the Barbados Legends? Let me know with a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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