Golf and Sir Viv

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Golf has become one of the most popular sports amongst locals and visitors alike. Antigua is one of the few countries in the world with an athlete who has represented it at an international level in three totally different sports – football, cricket and golf – Sir Vivian Richards. After playing football for Antigua in his youth, Sir Viv (known as ‘The Master Blaster’ for his batting prowess) went on to play a major role in the West Indies cricket team winning two World Cups in the 70s. This accomplishment put the region firmly in the international limelight. He feels that his team played a major role in uniting the tiny islands and countries that make up the West Indies and in shaping Caribbean policy and culture in general at the time. The cricket ground and stadium built in Antigua in 2007 for the Cricket World Cup, hosted by the Caribbean, is named after him. Now that Sir Viv has retired from international cricket, he devotes much of his time to golf (often referred to as a Weekend Warrior). He, and other well known past cricket legends, such as Richie Richardson, play nearly every day and thanks to his low handicap, his passion for the sport and enduring competitive spirit, Sir Viv currently represents Antigua in the seniors’ fight in the Eastern Caribbean Golf Association’s Championships. As Antigua’s ‘Sporting Ambassador’, he maintains that any upmarket tourist destination these days must have a challenging golf course and friendly clubhouse at its heart and soul. Antigua has two full 18-hole courses. The most recent, at Jolly Harbour, is a 71-par, Florida-based design. With 5587 yards, the various ponds and breeze off the hills offer interesting challenges. Cedar Valley Golf Club, where Sir Viv powers his way round the course with the same accuracy as his famous cricket boundaries, was designed and built in 1970
by Ralph Aldridge. Par 70 and 6257 yards, the elevation changes, with ponds and bunkers to test all skill levels. With its rolling hills and meandering fairways, mature vegetation and magnificent views, it is extremely picturesque, as well as being deceptively tricky and a constant challenge. Antiguans are very laid back and friendly in general, which is why the Antiguan Open always attracts many competitors from other islands and countries.

Categories: Antigua

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