With golf icon and Apes Hill ambassador Woosnam at the forefront, the tournament will see an array of golfing greats tackle one of the sport’s most acclaimed new courses – a picturesque par-72 layout that reopened in 2022 following a major redesign by legendary course architect Ron Kirby. It would be Kirby’s final design before his passing in August 2023.
While the Barbados leg tees up a glorious first for the Legends Tour following its rebrand and name change in 2020, the tournament marks a welcome return to the island for the over-50s circuit, after the DGM Barbados Open – an early season event on the formerly named European Senior Tour – was last played in 2009 at Royal Westmoreland, won by Sam Torrance.
“It is an honour to welcome the Legends Tour to Barbados and an even greater honour to host an event at Apes Hill Barbados as an ambassador for the resort,” Woosnam said. “It will be great to welcome the guys back to Barbados after 15 years.
“The course is simply breathtaking, serving up a series of stunning holes with views over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Knowing many of the players on the Tour, I can say firsthand how much they will love the course and it promises to be one of the most anticipated tournaments on the Legends Tour schedule for 2024.”
The event is one of the first stops in a record-breaking season for the Legends Tour in 2024 – much of which is still to be fully unveiled. Alongside all the competitive action – with the main tournament running from May 3-5 – will be the unique ‘Legends Experience’, which gives passionate golf fans the opportunity to tee off alongside their heroes in tournament play in front of the TV cameras and crowds, as well as two pro-am tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday (May 1-2).
Woosnam, whose career highlights include victory at the 1991 Masters and captaining Team Europe to victory at the 2006 Ryder Cup, is a long-term Barbados resident and was unveiled as an official ambassador of Apes Hill in January.
The 18-hole championship layout is complemented by a state-of-the-art Performance Centre, an in-development par-3 course and a ‘19th Hole’ that golf fans will recognise as homage to the famous ‘island green’ at TPC Sawgrass – home of the PGA Tour’s flagship event, The Players Championship.
Phil Harrison, CEO of the Legends Tour, said: “The Caribbean has been high on our list since rebranding as the Legends Tour in 2020, and we are delighted to have agreed to host a tournament on this stunning new golf course.
“As well as being a destination worthy of hosting prestigious events, Apes Hill ticks every box when it comes to its facilities, and we feel the venue’s ambition and quality make it a perfect fit for the Legends Tour.”
Sunil Chatrani, executive chairman of Apes Hill Barbados, said: “Together with the great Ron Kirby, we set out to create a course that both world-class players and amateurs would want to experience again and again.
“That is why hosting an event on the Legends Tour is a hugely exciting step for us, and we look forward to welcoming iconic players of Ian’s calibre to play our golf course this spring.”
Situated 1,000ft above sea level, Apes Hill has been transformed by substantial investment since 2019 and has earned a reputation as one of the Caribbean’s must-visit golf destinations. Away from the fairways, the venue has a luxurious real-estate portfolio and recently opened the Noisy Cricket bar and restaurant in its modern clubhouse.
Acting CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Craig Hinds, said: “We at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. are proud to be a sponsor of this tournament. It is fitting that the Legends Tour will unfold against the stunning backdrop of Apes Hill, one of Barbados’ top golf courses.
“This venue is a testament to our dedication to creating an immersive golf and luxury experience for our visitors. As we welcome international players and spectators, we also welcome the attention and recognition that comes with hosting such prestigious events.”