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Turtle Hill Golf Club & BAMZ Turtle Project
The Fairmont Southampton’s Championship Par 3 golf course, The Turtle Hill Golf Club, is living up to its name. The golf club was rebranded to the current name in October 2012 to portray an authentically local name, and to bring awareness to the sea turtle preservation efforts in Bermuda.
Turtle Hill Golf Club Director, Anthony Mocklow explains, “The Fairmont Southampton remains committed to reenergizing golf in Bermuda. Since 2009 we have been focused on giving the course a total facelift, by planting trees, restructuring the roughs and beautifying the non-playing areas. In 2010 we completely redeveloped our Club House and Resort Golf Shop with the widest array of golf products and apparel on the island. In 2011-2012 we embarked on returning to the specifications of golf course architect Ted Robinson, restoring the greens and tee complexes to the original design. The Turtle Hill name fit the location and also the message of sustainability that is so important to Fairmont.”
Shortly after the rebrand, Mocklow reached out to Dr. Ian Walker of the Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo to discuss the Bermuda Turtle Project, and discovered they had rescued a juvenile Green Sea Turtle near Robinson’s Marina in November 2012. Through X-rays and a CT Scan, the turtle was diagnosed with hyper-inflated lung syndrome, rendering the turtle unable to dive down, leaving it vulnerable, exhausted, and floating on the surface of the water. The Fairmont Southampton quickly adopted the injured turtle as their Golf Club’s mascot, and after a colleague-wide contest, he was dubbed, “Monty” – short for Fairmont. After the careful nurturing of the BAMZ staff, Monty has made a full recovery, and was released back into the ocean in May 2013.
Monty’s treatments led to an unusual artistic collaboration with well-known British artist, Angela Palmer, whose work is in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, the Wellcome Trust, the Kenneth Clark Art Collection and the Institute of Medical Sciences, and has been exhibited in London, Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi, Oxford and Edinburgh. Her most recent work is being displayed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Palmer uses a unique mapping technique to create sculptures on many sheets of glass, using CT scans for the illustrations.
Palmer created a piece of artwork based on Monty’s scans, and donated it to the Bermuda Sea Turtle Project to raise awareness and funds. The unique piece of art is ink on 24 slices of glass representing a CT scan of the sea turtle. Each piece of glass represents a 6mm slice from the CT scan. This piece of art is now on display at The Fairmont Southampton in the Lobby, and is being used to raise awareness of these endangered animals and the important conservation work that is ongoing in this field.
The Turtle Hill Golf Club has implemented a donation system in the Golf Shop, encouraging shoppers to donate to the Bermuda Zoological Society’s Bermuda Turtle Project with every purchase, and explaining the importance of Sea Turtle Conservation.
Dr Ian Walker explains, “The Bermuda Turtle Project is now in its 45th year, and remains committed to the goal of promoting the conservation of marine turtles through research and education. The important piece of information to understand about Bermuda’s sea turtles is that they are all visitors to our island. There are no breeding populations in Bermuda. Our conservation work, therefore, must involve working with the countries to the south of us where the turtles hatch and ultimately return to.
The project’s in-water conservation course costs about $60,000 to run and brings approximately 12 conservation officers to Bermuda annually to learn about methods used in Bermuda and to share techniques used elsewhere. This year’s participants come from Columbia, Mexico, El Salvador, Grenada, UK and USA. Every donation helps and I am extremely grateful to both Angela Palmer for donating this amazing sculpture and Fairmont Southampton for this unique opportunity.”
The Turtle Hill Golf Club has been recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the top 5 Par 3 Courses in the world and is a recipient of Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play Golf Award and is the host course of The Bacardi World Par 3 Championships.