FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2023 (Paradise Island, Bahamas) – The 15-year-old girl could hardly wait for the clinic to begin, and when it did, she was quick to show Troy University head women’s golf coach Randy Keck what she could do. Seannae Norville-Smith sent her 8-iron high into the afternoon sky.
“How long have you been playing golf?” asked Keck, whose eight team members offered a coaching clinic of iron play, chipping and putting before the start of the White Sands Bahamas NCAA Women’s Golf Invitational on Friday at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Paradise Island, Bahamas. The 54-hole event will run through Sunday.
One year, Keck was told. “She is so talented. In a year or two she is going to be such a good player!”
Norville-Smith was one of more than 50 youth (boys and girls) who came out to the practice facility operated by the Bahamas Golf Federation in Nassau. The youth are enrolled at the Fourteen Club Golf Academy, directed by Georgette Rolle, a former professional golfer who realized her dream of bringing golf to the youth of the Bahamas eight years ago.
Norville-Smith is also an elite swimmer, having earned a place on the Junior National Team in both sports for her age bracket. “I’m very competitive. I hope I can get a college scholarship for golf and someday be a pro on the LPGA,” said Norville-Smith. “I know it’s lots of work, but the women on Troy’s team are an inspiration to me.”
Rolle’s program already has had a handful of its youth be offered college scholarships in the United States, following in the footsteps of Rolle, who earned a scholarship and played at Texas Southern University.
“Girls’ golf is growing, and we are trying to keep up,” said Rolle. “This is exactly what they needed. They are able to see and touch their dreams here today. I’m so glad Troy wanted to do this.”
But Norville-Smith wasn’t the only youngster who turned heads. Twelve-year-old Anissa Robinson has been playing golf for three years already. And her coaches say she loves the game so much, she’ll play in the rain and stay on the course until it gets dark. The petite Robinson displayed perfect form, and when she was fitted with a lighter, more flexible driver, that better suited her, she sent the ball soaring down the fairway.
“This kid’s going to be amazing,” gasped Keck, now in his seventh year at Troy. “It won’t be long until I’ll have to come back here recruiting. We all were so impressed. They have received some very good coaching. And when we can help and see their faces light up; you can’t put a price on that.”
Troy is one of 11 teams competing in the upcoming college event, along with UNC-Charlotte, Delaware, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Grand Canyon, Kansas State, North Florida, Santa Clara, Tampa and Tulane.
This is the fourth year for the annual golf tournament, which also was played at the Ocean Club Golf Course in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Texas, Campbell and Lipscomb are the past women’s winners over the 6,415-yard layout designed by past major champion Tom Weiskopf.
For more coverage of the 2023 White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational, follow @WhiteSandsBah on social media and use the following hashtags: #WhiteSandsBahamas and #WhiteSandsNCAA or visit WhiteSandsBahamas.com
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
With over 700 islands and cays and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly-away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to see why “It’s Better in The Bahamas.”
ABOUT OCEAN CLUB GOLF COURSE
Atlantis Paradise Island’s Ocean Club Golf Course offers a challenging and beautiful course for golfers desiring championship play. Masterfully conceived, the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole, par 72 championship course stretches over 7,100 yards on Atlantis’ peninsula. The course has hosted iconic sporting events such as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), the Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. For more information about Atlantis Paradise Island resort and the Ocean Club please visit www.atlantisbahamas.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational
Contact: Mike Harmon
BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM, INVESTMENTS & AVIATION CONTACT:
Atlantis Paradise Island