During 2018’s RGV Tour across the United States, tour operations were temporarily halted for a visit to Great Exuma in The Bahamas. If you are going to halt operations for a destination, Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in The Bahamas is a good place to do it.
The Sandals resort is an all inclusive type of place. You pay just once and then keep your money in your wallet. Just stroll up and start ordering… then order again. They have options for Italian, Indian, American, Japanese, etc. You get the idea, you are not going to starve at this place. Below are my top 5 favorite spots at the resort.
Croquet fields - Challenge your spouse to death match .
Cafe De Paris - Pig out on different desserts and coffee all day long.
The beach - Just beyond the pool lies the beautiful Flamingo Bay.
Soy - As much sushi as you can you eat.
The Drunken Duck - Shoot pool, throw darts, dance like an idiot.
The resort has a lot more to offer than just my top 5. However, the main reason for the visit was to focus on some world class golf. Just next door, the resort has a Greg Norman designed golf course and it was hosting The Web.com Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.
Before the official tournament began, it was time to kick off the Pro-Am. Little did the Bahamas know that it was about to encounter the world’s greatest Pro-Am team and witness the most unbelievable Pro-Am performance in the history of the world. The format was a shamble and the team was led by Harry Higgs himself. We started off eagle, eagle and never looked back. Putts dropped from all over the place, shots were holed out. We even recorded a net ace. When the smoke cleared, we were -22 and 6 shots ahead of the field. As I type this, jaws are still being picked up off of the floor at the Sandals Resort.
It must also be noted that Brodie Smith hammers it about 350 off the tee and put us in position to score all day long. Brodie is relatively new to the game, but you can instantly tell that the ceiling for his golf game is very high. I am excited to see what the future holds for Brodie as he explores the world of golf.
After the performance in the Pro-Am our team needed to cool off with a quick swim. Naturally, we decided it would be best to swim with the pigs 🐷. Joining me for the adventure was Brodie Smith and his fiancé Kelsey Lowrance.
When I learned that Kelsey Lowrance had been previously affiliated with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders and had some modeling experience, I immediately challenged her to a model-off.
MODEL POSE #1: Rock pile lounging
MODEL POSE #2: Beach bathing
Like many other people, when the results of the model-off came in, I was shocked. That lizard made a surprise run at 2nd place, but I held him off like a seasoned veteran. Enjoy 3rd place, silly Bahamian rock iguana.
Perhaps the best part about the Sandals resort is that you can just walk right over to the golf course. Brodie and I took full advantage of this and happily enjoyed a lot of live golf. The quality of play and depth on the Web.com tour is significant and most of these players can compete at the PGA Tour level. The biggest difference is that the players are not playing for millions of dollars in front of huge crowds. They are grinding for a paycheck and fighting for the ability to play golf for a living. Some of them will succeed and live out their dreams and others will become real estate agents. The stakes are as high as it gets.
Our group was also treated to a tour of the Golf Channel production facilities. Most viewers have limited knowledge about the effort that it takes to put on a golf tournament and it was eye opening to walk behind the scenes. These guys are working hard to make sure that every second of live golf is as good as it can be.
That evening we were treated to a dinner with golf royalty. Greg Norman would be joining us for dinner at the resort’s Il Cielo restaurant. I had previously had the chance to photograph Greg at a launch event and I was excited to talk with the golfing legend. Greg had stories for days and it was a joy to ask questions about his projects and achievements around the globe. For the most part, I was just trying not to spill drinks or dump food in my lap.
Every time that you visit the Bahamas, your time will certainly be up too soon. As we scurried off to the airport, I snapped a couple of parting shots as the sun rose over paradise for another day. If you are interested in catching your own Exuma sunrise, click here.