It is my solemn duty to pay homage to one of our longest serving members on behalf of the President and my colleagues within the Bermuda Professional Golfers Association (BPGA).
Keith Pearman’s passing comes at a time when we are profiling our current, retired and deceased members and sharing their talents with the public. This will form as our tribute to Keith Pearman.
Keith Pearman joined the Bermuda PGA as an Assistant Golf Professional under founding BPGA member Mike Busk who was the Head Golf Professional at Mid Ocean Club. Keith attended the PGA of America Business Schools and when Mike Busk left Mid Ocean Club to become Golf Director of Sugar Bush Resort in Vermont, Keith became the first Bermudian to become the Golf Professional of Mid Ocean Club.
It should be noted that, as reported in the Bermuda Recorder, “the 1967 Governors Cup was the first time coloured and white golfer played Mid Ocean”. Clearly, Keith’s role as Golf Professional marked a first on many levels but he had much preparation being a pioneer beforehand as an amateur.
Keith Pearman made history in 1969, following the long overdue racial integration of golf tournaments in Bermuda, Keith won the prestigious Belmont Invitational Matchplay Tournament. Keith’s triumph was the first victory by a Black golfer in Bermuda – as prior to the 1967 Bermuda Open – golf was rigidly segregated.
Later he would represent Bermuda on two occasions in the World Amateur Team Championship (Eisenhower Cup) at two classic golf courses at Puerto de Hierro (70’) in Madrid, Spain and Olivos Golf Club (72’) in Argentina. Keith’s crowning achievement as an amateur came in 1973 when he won the Bermuda Amateur (Matchplay) at Mid Ocean Club defeating Denton Outerbridge in the first final featuring two Black Ocean View members.
Keith’s tenure at Mid Ocean Club proved to be a good fit and after yeoman service was given the title Golf Professional Emeritus.
As a Club Professional Keith was a highly regarded golf club repairman who meticulous work earned him a multitude of valued clients. Because he played the the game at a high level Keith understood the importance of his work to the owner of the golf club. Especially, during wooden club era, Keith’s restoration work exceptional.
For Keith, Wednesday’s were reserved for his beloved hobby of Fishing. Our standard joke was about joining the Flatt’s expedition on arrival to Tuckers Town in 1980 – fishing is a passion we shared but never shared.
The past 10 years our paths reconnected through our mutual love for teaching golf. Keith loved teaching and did so with a special flair – his unique quotes are legendary and precious. I know
the ladies he regularly taught are especially saddened by his patient caring and encouraging coaching style.
Keith Pearman was extremely proud of his special golf games with the President of the United States George H. W. Bush, which was an absolute honour bestowed upon one of the most accomplished members of our association.
On behalf of the President and Members of the Bermuda P.G.A. we express our deepest sympathies to his wife Agatha, stepson Ian, stepdaughter Anne Marie & sister Ann Medley , family and friends.