Mon | Jul 13, 2020

Jamaica golf great Seymour Rose dies aged 80

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2020 | 12:33 AMLennox Aldred - Sunday Gleaner Writer

One of Jamaica’s finest ever golfers, Seymour Rose, has died.

Rose, who won the Jamaica Open three times, passed away peacefully at his home in Cardiff Hall, Runaway Bay, St Ann, on Thursday after ailing for some years. He was 80 years old.

The golf professional dominated the sport from the 1960s through to the 1990s. He was described as one of the individuals who single-handedly developed golf in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Golf Association, via a Facebook post to its members, paid tribute to the golfing icon who dedicated his life to the sport.

“Seymour impacted many golfers with his skilful instruction, charm, and quiet humour during more than 55 years as a golf professional at the Runaway Bay Golf Club. He has been instrumental in the development of Jamaica’s golf in his roles as a professional golfer, golf instructor, golf course superintendent, and golf club manager.

“He won the Jamaica Open on three occasions and flew Jamaica’s flag high in his travels abroad. He will be remembered as a pioneer and one of the best golfers produced by the island.”

Former Jamaica Golf Association president Wayne Chai Chong remembered Rose, who began his career as a caddie at the Upton Golf Course in St Ann.

“Seymour was one of the most accomplished golfers of his time. He was well known in the golfing circles, both locally and overseas, for the length with which he hit the ball. In those days, they would use the softer balata balls and he would still hit shots well over 350 yards,” said Chai Chong.

GOLF WORLD CUP

Rose, who represented Jamaica at the Golf World Cup in 1967, played alongside another Jamaican great, Delroy Cambridge, in the 1996 World Cup in South Africa, where Jamaica finished tied for 25th with Sri Lanka.

The Ann native also played on the PGA tour in the BC Open in New York back in 1983, as well as qualified for the senior PGA tour. After hanging up his clubs, Rose took on many different administrative and coaching roles at the Runaway Bay Golf Club, where he worked up until 2015 before he fell ill.

Another former JGA president, Gordon Hutchinson, remembers Rose as a consummate professional and very good ambassador who always tried his best to help anyone in need.

“He nurtured a lot of young golfers and caddies and he was always accessible and very willing to help. He was well known in the tourist industry as well. Overseas golfers would visit Jamaica and seek out Seymour to play alongside him. He was a wonderful person to be around,” said Hutchinson.