Bermuda as Golfer’s Paradise

The 16th hole at Port Royal Golf Course.
The 16th hole at Port Royal Golf Course.

There is nothing quite as alluring for a golfer as an island green. Hit the target and reap the reward; miss your mark and pay the price. But what if there were an island full of greens? That place is called Bermuda. If you’re a player who has landed on this 21-square-mile former British colony, you’ve already made birdie — it is home to seven courses. With so many clubs in such close proximity, your wayward tee shot is just as likely to find the fairway on another course.

Hyperbole aside, if you are going to tee it up in Bermuda, we love Port Royal Golf Course. Home to 2014 PGA Grand Slam, the 6,842-yard course is as scenic as it is testing. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. circa 1970, the Bermuda-Government-owned club underwent a $14.5 million facelift in 2009, including new greens. The first six and a half holes wind up and down hills around palm trees and ponds, but the real treat for players from the mainland begins as you climb to the seventh green. With every step, a majestic view of the ocean begins to reveal itself. 

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The bewitching beauty of the par three 16th is the course’s signature. Perched spectacularly along the side a cliff; we don’t recommend playing the hole from the tips. At 235-yards, it’s a bit of a beast even if the wind isn’t blowing, and you don’t want to spoil the thrill of the view by dropping your ball in the drink.

And while nothing on the island is cheap — dinner for drinkers will easily hit $100 per person and hotels under $250 a night are a steal — to golf is fairly reasonable; $180 for the day, at Port Royal. So after your round, you can play another 18 for only the $32 cart fee – a deal at twice the price.

(The view from the first tee at Turtle Hill Golf Club.)

Three Other Courses to Play While In Bermuda

Turtle Hill Golf Club
Want to sharpen your short game? The Turtle Hill Golf Club at the Fairmont South Hampton, offers a cool all par-three layout. Dramatic views and radical elevation changes test players’ concentration as well as their distance control. The bonus is that the par-three round takes about two-hours, so if you tee-off at 8 AM you easily make it to a family breakfast before hitting the beach at Horseshoe Bay.

Riddells’ Bay
Opened in 1922, the short but sweet Riddell’s Bay boasts the title of oldest course on the island. At only 5854 yards, the track is a position golf course. If you play this Devereux Emmet design, don’t be a sucker, favor the fairway over distance.

Mid Ocean Club
One of the island’s finest, Mid Ocean Club, is an exclusive private course that counts former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a member. But even if el Bloombito isn’t one of your nearest and dearest, you can still get on for a round. The club allows unaccompanied guests on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Any hotel concierge worth their salt should be able to arrange a tee time.

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