GOLF DIGEST | With the Bahamas reeling from Hurricane Dorian, local golf community looks to help lead relief effortsThursday, September 12, 2019
The devastation is absolute, like one of those end-of-the-world movies, except this is real. One neighborhood after another flattened to slabs where homes once stood, reduced to piles of broken and twisted and muddied pieces of wood, metal and pulverized cinder block. Personal belongings are strewn and piled up everywhere. In shantytowns, the putrid smell of death still lingers heavy more than a week later, a grim reminder of what is below the rubble. Refrigerated trailers stationed at the adjacent port are another gruesome reality.
The official death toll attributed to Hurricane Dorian, which hit the archipelago on Sept. 1 as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts of 220 mph, is 44. That number, though, is expected to climb into the hundreds, if not more, with at least 2,500 people registered as missing, according to the Bahamas government.
At times like this, golf and the handful of courses on Great Abaco and Grand Bahama to its west are down the list in terms of priorities, though they are not entirely unimportant or unaffected. Golf is part of the fabric of these islands, with the sport helping bring in millions of dollars in tourism each year and providing jobs to hundreds of Bahamians and Haitians who emigrated to the island.