By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published on January 18, 2017
Godfrey Dyer reveals that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has contributed over 93 million Jamaican dollars to develop and sponsor golf in Jamaica over the past two years.
Godfrey Dyer, the chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), revealed at the 2017 Jamaica Open golf tournament at the Half Moon Golf Club that the TEF has contributed 93 million Jamaican dollars over the past two years to the development and sponsorship of golf in Jamaica.
In an exclusive interview with ZFLS, Dyer claimed that individuals have alluded in the past that the TEF has not paid enough attention to the sponsorship of golf. However, he mentioned that in the past 24 months, the TEF has assisted with the improvement of several golf courses across the island and the sponsorship of the 2017 Jamaica Open golf tournament.
He indicated that the TEF has provided specific assistance to upgrade the courses at the Caymanas Golf & Country Club, the Constant Spring Golf Club and the Manchester Club. In addition, he underlined TEF’s role as a platinum sponsor of the 2017 Jamaica Open golf tournament, which concluded with Englishman Paul Eales securing the title by one shot.
“We are serious about helping,” Dyer reiterated.
Dyer also revealed his burning desire to witness international golf return to Jamaica’s shores, similar to the Johnnie Walker World Golf Championship, which was last played in Jamaica in 1995.
“I certainly would love to see a Johnnie-Walker-type thing come back to Jamaica and if that does, we (the TEF) certainly would be a great participant with respect to sponsorship.”
Stressing the importance of the synergistic relationship between golf and the tourism industry, which was clearly on display at the 2017 Jamaica Open, Dyer stated, “I think it’s a great thing. It is a great thing. I would love to see more of these things happen.”
Quoting the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett in part of his interview, Dyer detailed, “My Minister always says ‘anything that brings more heads to bed,’ and when you bring (the) golfers’ heads to bed, the spend is higher. So, we like that and we will always support (golf).”
Dyer professed his newfound love for golf and the Jamaican Open tournament, “I only saw the last hour of it and I loved it! I was lucky to see the last shot that (won the tournament).”
He remarked that the Jamaican Open comes at the right time for the industry when occupancy is usually lower than other periods of the year. “It’s filling a great gap,” he declared.
When pressed if the TEF will be on board next year to sponsor the 2018 Jamaica Open, Dyer curtailed offering any guarantees. However, he simply stated that if the TEF was approached, “we would look at (it) very seriously.”
The Jamaica Golf Association held its 50th edition of the Jamaica Open golf tournament at the Half Moon Golf Club on January 12-14, 2017. The Tourism Enhancement Fund was one of the two platinum sponsors.
© Zaheer Clarke
This blog article was republished in the Western Mirror on January 25, 2017.