THIRTEEN-year-old Ashley Michel won the top prize at the 18th Annual Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Associations Golf Tournament, beating over 100 avid, experienced golfers in doing so.
Ashley played alongside Philip Pinder, who has taken young Ashley under his wing and, with the help of his wife Karen Pinder, otherwise known as “Golf Mom,” has become her patron and guide in the game of golf.
Collectively the two-“man” team took home the distinction of being the 2016 First Place Winners of the esteemed golf tournament, held at the prestigious Ocean Club Golf Course.
Competition was fierce, however this did not phase the young golfer who has acquired an impressive golf handicap of 10 after only 2 years of casual playing at the golf range by the sports centre, where she would go to meet her father after school hours.
Ashley caught the attention of golf pro Jim Duncombe, who helped her expand upon her natural propensity for the game. Philip and Karen Pinder have also played a role in the development of Ashley’s talent, guiding her and financing her to play in national and regional tournaments which further heightened her intrinsic skill. Ashley is a student at CH Reeves High School in Nassau and a member of the Junior Golf Sponsorship Programme sponsored by Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino. Ashley plays with Mr Pinder often and beats him soundly just about every game.
“It is such a pity that this sport is out of financial reach for many Bahamian children who have God given talent for the game,” says Philip Pinder. “Ashley is one of those children blessed with a natural ability to play golf, she loves it. The life lessons learned from playing golf, tenacity, dedication, discipline are so important for young children. We are so happy we can support and encourage her, and wish there was more we could do for her and the other naturally talented children in this country”.
The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association’s golf tournament supports BHTA’s workforce development efforts, including a sponsorship programme that has helped fund students studying in the hospitality and tourism field of learning.
These efforts are aimed at ensuring Bahamian youth are equipped to enter the workforce with skills, knowledge and the proper mindset for the ultimate benefit of both employer and employee.
“Given the mandate of the BHTA’s golf tournament, it is befitting that a talent like Ashley won first place,” said Stuart Bowe, president of BHTA. “I congratulate Ashley and her parents and all other persons who supported and made Ashley successful.”
Caption: Pictured (l-r) are Ashley Michel, winner of the BHTA Annual Golf Tournament, Stuart Bowe, president of the BHTA, and Philip Pinder, winner of the BHTA’s Annual Golf Tournament.
Published: November 22, 2016