125+ web files in a constantly updated Gazetteer on Bermuda's accommodation, activities, airlines, apartments, areas, art, artists, attractions, airport, aviation pioneers, banks, banking, beaches, Bermuda Status and citizenship, books and publications, British Army, businesses, calypso, Canadian military, causeway, churches, city of Hamilton, commerce, community, cruise ships, culture, cuisine, customs, Devonshire Parish, disability accessibility, districts, Dockyard, economy, education and universities abroad, employers, employment, entertainment, environment, executorships and estates, fauna, ferries, flora, food, forts, gardens, geography, getting around, golf, government, guest houses, history, Hamilton Parish, homes and housing, hotels, internet access, islands, laws and legal system, local groups and organizations, location, media, motor vehicle options, music, municipalities, Paget Parish, parishes, parks, Pembroke Parish, politics, postage stamps, public holidays, public transport, railway trail, religions, Royal Navy, Sandy's Parish, St. David's, St. George's Parish, shopping, Smith's Parish, Somerset, Southampton Parish, Spanish Point, Spittal Pond, sports, stores, telecommunications, traditions, time zone, town of St. George, United States armed forces, tourism, vacation planning, villages, vital statistics, water sports, weather, Warwick Parish, wildlife, work permits, etc. For tourists, business visitors, employers, employees, newcomers, researchers, retirees, scholars.
By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online
To refer to this webfile, please use "bermuda-online.org/golf" as your Subject
Bermuda Golf at Mid Ocean Club. Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Golf was introduced to Bermuda when British Army officers brought their golf clubs in the late 1800s. Unlike in Scotland, where anyone can play and visitors are welcomed, private clubs in Bermuda do not welcome non-members without an introduction from a member. Most clubs are private but three - Ocean View, Port Royal and St. George's - all shown below separately - are owned by the Bermuda Government and with a management committee, Board of Trustees and golf pros approved by the present government. Individuals from the UK hoping to play in Bermuda and with golf handicap certificates, should ask individual golf clubs in Bermuda whether they recognize them and offer any benefits in Bermuda such as discounted green fees. This introduction to Bermuda's courses gives you basic facts about each but excludes costs of using them. A summary is shown here:
Belmont Hills, private, 18 holes, 6017 yards, par 70
Fairmont Southampton Golf Club, private, 18 holes, 2737 yards, par 54.
Horizons, 9 holes, private, about 800 yards, par 27
Mid Ocean Club, 18 holes, 6512 yards, par 71. Private. PGA Grand Slam site 2007, 2008
Ocean View Golf Course, 2940 yards, par 35. Public. See below re Bermuda Government's involvement.
Port Royal, 18 holes, 6842 yards, par 71. Public. See below re Bermuda Government's involvement. Reopened in January 2009 after renovations. PGA Grand Slam site, 2009, 1010
Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club, 18 holes, 5800 yards, par 70. Private.
St. George's Golf Course, 18 holes, 4043 yards, par 62. Public. See below re Bermuda Government's involvement. Closed for demolition of nearby hotel and redesign.
Tucker's Point Golf Club, 18 holes, 6361 yards, par 70. Private.
They are shown alphabetically below, in more detail. Although most are private, any visitor can play them when this has been prior-arranged.
It invests hugely annually in public golf course expenditure. The Board of Trustees of the Government-owned golf course pays over $3 million a year in salaries at Port Royal alone, including consultants for the course, Steve Johnson and Andrew Brooks, who earned $199,200 and $182,500 between January 1 2009 and February 28, 2010. Mr. Jackson is the Director of Agronomy while Mr. Brooks is the Director of Golf. Before joining the team at Port Royal Mr. Johnson was held the same position at the Taghazout South Course near Agadir, Morocco and was the Superintendent of the Green Monkey Course at Sandy Lane Resort. Mr. Brooks, a PGA professional, golf writer and television commentator, worked at Marriott Tudor Park in Kent before moving to the Island in 2009.Mechanics at the government golf courses earn over $63,000 a year while the General Manager earns over $115,500 and Assistant Superintendents earn between $80,000 and $93,000.
The PGA Grand Slam will remain at Port Royal through 2014. Terms and conditions for hosting the event in 2014 and 2013 are the same as past years. In February 2012 it was reported that the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was up for sale, with the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) having planned to sell the title sponsor for the annual event. And, if successful in their endeavor, it would be unlikely the sponsor would like to stay in Bermuda. However, the PGA have agreed to keep the Grand Slam of Golf on Bermuda’s shores at least until 2013 should they fail to find a new title sponsor by the time this year’s event rolls around. At that time, the sponsorship fee for Bermuda to host the event stood at $1.5 million. It is understood that Hawaii and Barbados had shown interest in taking over sponsorship of the three-day event. However, Bermuda was the successful bidder through 2014. Bermuda wants to explore other golfing opportunities such as a proposed partnership with the Executive Women’s Golf Association (WEGA) which would see Bermuda host either a Women’s Grand Slam of Golf or a World Championship of Women’s Golf in place of or in addition to the Grand Slam of Golf; and a possible five-day long Champions Tour event which brings 85 pros who would play a two-day pro-am prior to a 54-hole 3 day event for a prize purse of $1.8 million. The Bermuda Tourism Minister recently attended the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, to help raise awareness of Bermuda’s “wonderful golf product and offerings” and drive business to the Island’s shores. During his visit he had the opportunity to meet with executives of GolfNow.com and their group NBC and the Golf Channel. GolfNow.com leverages and pushes tee times via the Golf Channel as inventory and other digital assets. The company booked as many as six million rounds of golf last year and the Minister of Tourism is keen to have them expand their services to Bermuda. He, via the Department of Tourism, had invited visitors to Bermuda to enjoy two free rounds of golf plus a $100 spa credit when booking a minimum of four nights at participating properties with the ‘Tee for Free’ package. 15 hotels, eight spas and five golf courses had combined to participate in this promotion. The Department of Tourism’s ‘Fly, Stay and Play for Free’ promotion, which targets all golf professionals, also attracted interest. Any golf professional who influences and brings seven players to Bermuda with him or her between now and May 6, 2012 had their round trip air far (fare) paid plus accommodations.
The 31st edition of the Grand Slam will be held on October 15 and 16 in 2013, while the dates for the 2014 event have yet to be finalized. The event, broadcast annually on TNT, reaches an audience of more than 400 million households in more than 85 countries. The PGA and TNT together spend just over $1 million on the Island at 60 service providers, and the combined value of media impressions for Bermuda, Port Royal and the Fairmont Princess Hotel is just under $40 million.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is the season-ending showcase of golf's elite. The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) organization was formed in the United States in 1916 at the instigation of Rodman Wanamaker, a Philadelphia businessman, with the stated purpose of promoting interest in professional golf, elevating the standards of the game, and advancing the welfare of its members. By the early 21st century, the PGA had a membership of more than 25,000 playing and teaching professionals. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is for the winners of golf's four majors — the Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. The Department of Tourism struck a deal with the PGA of America to play the prestigious 36-hole, $1.25 million event at the Mid Ocean Club (see below) from October 16-17, 2007, and again in 2008-2010, then for 2011 and 2012, instead of in Hawaii. Bermuda taxpayers pay the entire bill, $ millions. Should a player win more than one major Championship this season, the foursome will be completed through the Major Champions Points List composed of past major Champions who compete in this year's majors.
Bermuda hosting extended through 2012. PGA photo
Past PGA Grand Slam champions include defending champion Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Tom Lehman, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Ian Woosnam.
2012 Grand Slam. October 24. Padraig Harrington won the 2012 Grand Slam of Golf crown at Port Royal. He had two fabulous rounds, a five-under 66 on Tuesday followed by a four-under 67 yesterday. While the final cards showed a one-shot win over US Open champion Webb Simpson, it was far more comfortable than the scores suggest. Harrington led for the last 27 holes of the tournament and even a bogey on the final hole his only one of the day and just his third over the 36 holes couldn’t take the gloss off a polished all-round performance. The Irishman had lost in play-offs when he last played in the Grand Slam at Mid-Ocean Club, first to Angel Cabrera in 2007 and then to Jim Furyk in 2008. This time it was a different story as he experienced the perfectly manicured fairways of Port Royal for the first time. Simpson made a charge yesterday, carding 65 and finishing just one shot behind Harrington on 134. His six-under score tied the best round since the Slam moved to the Southampton course in 2009. First round early leader Bubba Watson collapsed on the inward nine yesterday as he recorded an even par 71 for a final total of 139 three under par. Keegan Bradley recovered from a first-day 72 to shoot 67 and match Watson at three under. Harrington picked up $600,000 for his efforts. Simpson pocketed $300,000 and Watson and Bradley won $225,000 each. A last-minute replacement for the injured Ernie Els, Harrington only got the news as he was practising his putting outside his home in Dublin, preparing for a trip to China. But he said he had no hesitation accepting the invitation, despite he had been third choice behind Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods who had other commitments in the Far East. One of the highlights of the day was an eagle by Bradley on the par-four 14th where his 129-yard approach spun back on the green into the hole. But he was never a threat to the eventual winner, despite his round yesterday being five shots better than his opening 72. There were more dramatics on the next hole where Watson’s drive crashed into a tree to the right of the fairway and stayed there, stuck between two branches. He had to take a penalty drop, salvaged bogey but it dented any slim hopes he had of putting pressure on Harrington. Those hopes disappeared entirely on the 16th where he sliced his tee shot out to sea and took double bogey. For the second day, perfect weather greeted the four players with only a slight breeze on the last few holes. That was demonstrated by the fact that by the 13th hole only three bogeys had been recorded against 17 birdies. A few more bogeys followed but down the stretch it was a two-horse race between Harrington and Simpson who moved within two shots after a birdie at the 14th. And it could have got closer had Simpson sunk a 12-foot eagle putt on the 17th. But he grazed the cup and left Harrington with a two-shot advantage heading up the final hole. The Irishman drove to the right, near to the 14th tee, but arrowed his approach near to the green and knowing he had two putts to win he did exactly that. Harrington made his intentions known at the par-three eighth hole where he held a one-shot lead over Simpson. As the three Americans and their caddies gazed down at the turquoise water below, Harrington drained a 35-foot putt. A succession of birdies followed on the 11th, 12th and 13th, taking his score to 10-under and from then on it was crystal clear the trophy would soon be making its way across the Irish Sea.
October 22, 2012. Padraig Harrington was recruited to play after organizers invited him as a last-minute replacement for Ernie Els who was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury. The PGA of America were left scrambling to fill the four-man field when Els was advised by doctors not to play after spraining his ankle. And when first alternate Graeme McDonnell and second alternate Tiger Woods declined invitations because of other commitments, the Irishman snapped up the chance to claim a title that eluded him in 2007 and 2008. On those occasions, first at Mid Ocean Club and then at Port Royal he was beaten by Angel Cabrera and then by Jim Furyk. Harrington said he was delighted he had been chosen despite he wasn’t the PGA’s first choice. “I am thrilled to return to Bermuda . . . while my entry into the field is under unique circumstances, I am excited to compete in the event again. I came close the last two times, losing in play-offs. So maybe the third time will be a charm.” He will join Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Webb Simpson and defending Slam champion Keegan Bradley who was also invited as a replacement when PGA Champion Rory McIlroy declared he wouldn’t be able to play after committing to a European Tour event in China. McDowell will compete in that same event. Woods is in the field at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Harrington will be a popular replacement after his previous visits when he mingled with the gallery, chatting with spectators and signing autographs. Els, this year’s British Open champion, said he was upset not being able to return and get the opportunity to win a third title. He won in 1997 when the event was played at the Poipu Bay course in Kauai, in Hawaii, and again at Port Royal in 2010. “I am bitterly disappointed,” he said on Saturday. “It’s is a great reward for winning a major and something I have enjoyed in the past and was looking forward to again. Unfortunately I sprained my left ankle a few days ago and while it isn’t too serious and should recover relatively quickly, I have been advised not to try and play on it. I wish my fellow competitors the best and hope that I will manage to qualify again next year.” He’ll also miss the chance to meet up with old friend, cricketing legend Brian Lara, who he had invited as his guest. Lara will play in today’s Pro-Am along with several other celebrities, among them TV personality Robin Meade and former British Open Ian Baker-Finch who will be part of the TNT commentary team. While the Pro-Am is a fun event featuring all four of the Grand Slam competitors, the serious business begins tomorrow when a $1.35 million purse will be up for grabs. The winner will receive $600,000, second place $300,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.
2011 Grand Slam. Began Monday, October 17 with the Pro-Am, and the Grand Slam itself October 18-19. 2011 Major Champions qualified to play for the title 'Champions of Champions' and a $1.35 million dollar purse. This year's field featured Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, U.S. Open Champion Rory McIlroy, UK Open Champion Darren Clarke and PGA Champion Keegan Bradley. Results: Keegan Bradley held off a final-round charge from Charl Schwartzel to win the 2011 PGA Grand Slam. Bradley's par-71 left him 4 under for the tournament and a shot ahead of Schwartzel, who finished with a course-record tying 65 to improve from 3 over to 3 under. Overnight leader Rory McIlroy struggled with tee shots at Nos. 7 and 15, which led to bogeys. He finished with a 75 for the round. Darren Clarke shot a 74 to finish 9 over in the two-day event in Bermuda. Bradley won $600,000, Schwartzel $300,000, McIlroy $250,000 and Clarke $200,000.
2010 Grand Clam. Winners were
1.Ernie Els, South Africa. 137.
2. David Toms, USA. 138.
3. Martin Kaymer, Germany. 145.
3. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland. 145.
2009 Grand Slam. Port Royal Bermuda. October 21-21 2009 following a multi-million dollar reconstruction, Won by Lucas Glover. Participants included 2009 US Masters winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina and the winners of the US Open (June 18-21) at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, New York (Lucas Glover); the British Open (July 16-19) at Turnberry, Ayrshire in Scotland (won by Stuart Clink of the USA); and the 91st PGA Championship (August 13-16) at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota (won by South Korea's Y. E. Yang).
2008 Grand Slam, starring Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman and Retief Goosen was held at the 6,666 yards Par 70 Mid Ocean Golf Course. Jim Furyk won Bermuda's second PGA Grand Slam on October 15, 2008 following a dramatic finish. Furyk beat Padraig Harrington in a playoff with an eight-foot eagle putt to claim $600,000 in prize money and a "Feel The Love" pink jacket. Thousands of spectators created a tense Mid Ocean atmosphere — with millions more watching on television across the world — as the contest went down to the wire for the second year in a row. Participants did not include
Tiger Woods who won the US Open played on the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California in June 2008 and qualified for the 2008 Grand Slam but because of reconstructive surgery to his knee has ruled himself out of it. He did not participate in October 2007 for family reasons either.
Phil Mickelson. The World number two turned down an invitation to take part in the event at Mid Ocean Club because it clashes with other commitments.
2007 Grand Slam. At the same course, involved a purse of $1.35 million, won on the third-play-off hole by Angel Cabrera, $600,000,136. Second was Padraig Harrington, $300,000 136. Third was Jim Furyk, $250,000, 138. Fourth was Zach Johnson, $200,000, 139. It was only the second time in the 25-year history of the Grand Slam that it had gone to a sudden death play-off.
Designers of the ten local courses include Charles Banks, Deveraux Emmett, Robert Trent Jones, and Charles Blair Macdonald. There will eventually be a new one on the 250 acre former US Naval Annex in Southampton Parish - in an area now re-named Morgan's Point - but it is several years away. Many international events occur in Bermuda. Check directly with the golf clubs shown below for rates for playing, tee-off times, temporary or regular memberships, carts or pull carts, clubs, lessons and any specials.
Golfers in these islands since the 1940s have included Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George Bush and Jimmy Carter; Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath; Britain's Royal Family; and Babe Ruth. They, Bob Hope and countless others have enjoyed local conditions.
Some local golf clubs give lower rates to local senior citizens who are members but not to non-locals. Golfers can now book up to 60 days before tee off.
25 Belmont Hills Drive, Warwick Parish, WK 09. Telephone (441) 236-6400. Fax (441) 236-0694. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment. features include Sunset Rate. Carts are mandatory for most of the day. It was designed originally by Deveraux Emmett and first opened for play in 1924. Formerly the Belmont Golf Club, then connected with the now-defunct and destroyed Belmont Hotel, mostly recently the Belmont Hills Golf and Country Club. From September 2001, it became under the management of Belmont Golf Course Management Ltd, 97 Middle Road, P. O. Box WK 251, Warwick WK BX. It is owned by Richard Halsey. For visitors who arrive at the airport on one of the commercial airlines or cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is City of Hamilton, about 4 miles away to the east. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Or if without clubs, consider taking the # 8 bus - the only way by public transportation - most of the way to the course.
It has an 18 hole. 6,017 yards long course, par 70. Facilities include a pro shop, snack bar and restaurant. A periodic Golf Special including green fees and cart is from Monday to Friday for tee times from 2:00 pm. It closed in January 2002 for up to 15 months, for very extensive renovations (shown below). The course was reopened on June 1, 2003. It is more challenging, less hazardous and more attractive, designed by Californian Algie Pulley and his son Jeff, both of whom had had earlier carried out improvements at the former Castle Harbour course. This one has greens made faster by Tiff-Eagle sprigs, fairways made more lush by an irrigation system and a million-gallon lake located between holes two, seven and eight. Golfers are steered away from residential areas.
Holes 1 and 2 remain much the same s before but the third dog-legs up towards a new green just below the 4th green. The original 5th hole became the 4th and the original 6th the 5th, with a new green further to the left than before. The original 7th became a new par-five 6th winding its way through the lakes, with the 7th a new par-3. Rather than a dog-leg, the 8th is short, tight and straight and 9th almost the same but with the green moved slightly to the left with a new clubhouse to the left. The old 10th is the present 15th and 11th is where the 14th was. Each has new greens. The present par-5 10th became an even longer 12th, with a new green on the original 11th fairway. The 11th became the 13th, a straight par four over the existing "Ian Crowe" lake.
With safety in mind, the old 12th became the 14th, directed away from houses to the right. The 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th remain much as they were, except the 16th has a new green 30 feet to the left to take play away from homes on Belmont Road. Rubble taken from the demolition of the old Belmont hotel was used to fill in the large hollow on the 18th, long considered the most unfair of the golf course. With protected caves underneath the fairway, decisions were taken on how best to level out the land.
Overall, accurate iron play, rather than big hitting, is the key to success on this course. Take care to try to avoid hitting the ball into the lake.
Off Middle Road, on Industrial Park Road, Southampton Parish SB 04. This not a golf course but something different for Bermuda. It's a pleasant alternative. On a 12 acre site, its hours are 8 am to 10:30 pm., seven days a week. Special lighting offers residents and visitors the chance to get into the swing of things after dark. Facilities include a 40 bay (25 covered), 320 yard driving range, with eight target greens placed from 75 yards to 230 yards out. An automated system tees up golf balls - 90 at a time - as well as cleaning them and removing any of below par quality. The driving range facilities here are appreciably more extensive than the other driving ranges located at three of Bermuda's golf courses.
For visitors who arrive at the airport on one of the commercial airlines or cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is Dockyard, about 6 miles away to the west. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. If without clubs, take the # 8 bus to the entrance to Industrial Park Road and walk. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Public. Open late. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
The greens, slightly elevated by stilts, appear bunkered. There is also a trap to practice sand shots and a 3,000 square foot putting surface. Other amenities include video equipment to record and analyze individual golf swings; a restaurant and bar. Television in the restaurant carries the Golf Channel.
Bermuda Government appointed under the Golf Courses (Consolidation) Act 1998. See Bermuda Government Boards.
See "Tucker's Point."
Closed July 1, 2010 for an indefinite period. Horizons & Cottages. Off South Road, at the junction with Southcote Road, Paget Parish. A 9 hole par 27 mashie course. For reservations, telephone (441) 236-0048. Tee off times are by reservation only. Guests at Horizons & Cottages have priority but the general public is welcome. There are no carts. Other facilities include tennis courts and a restaurant. For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 10 miles away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. If without clubs, take the # 7 bus to property and walk. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
1 Mid Ocean Drive, Hamilton Parish (East End). Phone (441) 293-0330. Fax (441) 293-8837. Designed originally by Charles Blair MacDonald to fit into the natural terrain. It was a par-71 layout, over 600 acres of rolling countryside, 6,519 yards from the back tees. MacDonald won the first US Amateur Golf Championship in 1895 and later designed the National Golf Course in the USA. The course first opened in 1922. Ralph A. Kennedy of Mamaroneck, NY, regarded at the time as the "Dr. Livingstone of Golf," rated it one of the five best courses in the world in the 1920s. In recent years it was once ranked 45th by Golf Digest for courses outside the USA. Bermuda's number one private course.
It was revised in 1953 by international golf course architect Robert Trent Jones. US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have played here, as well as the Duke of Windsor in 1940, British Prime Ministers Sir Winston Churchill, Harold MacMillan and Edward Heath. Golf professionals Robert Jones, Sam Sneed and many other celebrities also have golfed here. When Babe Ruth, normally as good with a club as he was with a bat, played the 433-yard fifth, known as the "Cape," he knocked eleven straight balls into Mangrove Lake before finally driving one over the hazard. In the 1990s this course hosted the Merrill Lynch Classic and later the Gillette Classic. The first three holes run parallel to the ocean. All the greens were re-built in 2002. A private club, an introduction is needed from a member, or try an hotel's Social Desk or cruise ship's Shore Excursion office.
For visitors who arrive at the airport on one of the commercial airlines or cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is Town of St. George, about 5 miles away to the south west. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. If without clubs, take the # 1 bus to property and walk. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept some off-the-street golfers by prior appointment if referred by a member. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
2 Barker's Hill Road, Devonshire Parish DV 05. P. O. Box DV 358, Devonshire DV BX. Phone (441) 295-9092. Fax (441) 295-9097. A Bermuda Government-owned public golf course, the regulatory agency of which is the Ministry of Tourism, charging membership fees to locals and admission fees to tourists and visitors.
A 9 hole par 35 course over 2,819 yards.
On February 23, 2010 it was reported by Bermuda's daily newspaper The Royal Gazette that Government officials are looking for someone who is Bermudian to take over the running of Ocean View Golf Club. But anyone interested will be faced with the fact that the club has consistently lost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Over the past four years (up until January 31, 2011) the club has lost over $2 million. Chairman of the Trustees, Wendell Brown, said over a year ago that Ocean View was no longer financially viable. The trustees and Department of Tourism have been in talks with three separate groups about taking over the running of the course which was originally formed to give black players a course of their own when they were denied admission to other clubs.
In the past, the trustees and Government had relied on the Port Royal course to subsidize Ocean View.The problem with Ocean View is the traffic. It's only nine holes so unlike an 18-hole course you can only have so many on the course at any one time. That means fewer green fees. Ocean View historically has been a working man's club and was taken over by Government in the 1990s but before that it was run by the members.
It is not generally known by most Bermudians or golfing visitors that the site of one of the units of the clubhouse here was once a grand old manor house known as Watlington House, now used as a storage facility. It was used for British Army purposes during World War 2. The former Fort Langton and part of its structure were used as the foundations for the clubhouse after the war and more of the former fort became the bus garage in the 1970s. On the field below the bus garage, now the golf course, were two US Army posts during World War 11. One was a unit of the US Army Signal Corps and the other was the US Army's Artillery, at APO 856. It was a unit (including 1st Platoon Battery A) of the 423rd Field Artillery Group, under the command of Captain F. W. Clipper, US Army.
For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 12 miles away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Buses only go a part of the way. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Public. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
5 Middle Road, Southampton Parish, SB 02. Mailing address P. O. Box SN 189, Southampton, Bermuda SN BX. Phone (441) 234-0974. Fax (441) 234-3562. It opened in 1970 as a Robert Trent Jones-designed 18 hole, 6,561 yards par 71 public course. Re-opened in January 2009 after a final-cost $15.9 million (originally $7 million budgeted) renovation of the 37 years old course including increase of the course yardage by 281 yards to 6,842 yards. In June 2006, the Bermuda Government's House of Assembly passed an Act that switched responsibility for the Government golf courses from the Ministry of Works & Engineering to Tourism. It hosts many tournaments and has been the home of the Bermuda Open. Sunset golf is from 4:00 pm with a reservation.
Since it re-opened, a $3,000 initiation fee became applicable, plus a yearly subscription of $3,500, but some elderly Bermudians are exempted from the former. Also, Bermudians pay 30% less than visitors.
For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is Dockyard, about 8 miles away.
Buses go to nearest stop about 600 yards away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Check rates with course depending on time of day and time of year. This is the highest-rated by far of Bermuda's two government-owned and run courses, considered one of the best - and most expensive - of world public courses. More rounds are played here than on any other Bermuda course. The signature hole has been the 176-yard, par 3 16th, the small green of which, perched on the edge of the coastal cliffs, has become notorious. Drive too far left and the ball ends up in the ocean. Site of the October 19-21, 2009 and 2010 PGA Grand Slam venues. With these in mind, in a $14 million Bermuda taxpayers investment, the greens were rebuilt, a huge amount of earth was moved by bulldozers, new sand put into trickier bunkers, cart paths repaved, a landscaping project completed, a new restaurant - 64 Degrees - and bar, pro shop and locker rooms, re-routing two holes, creating new bunkers, a computerized irrigation system from tees to greens, and the planting of TifEagle on redesigned greens. Bermuda Cedar trees also replaced Casuarinas and the course was lengthened to 6,842 yards, to make it the longest on the Island. The reverse osmosis plant produces 250,000 gallons of water per day on 1,200 new sprinkler heads. Here, as grounds workers, until September 2010 the Bermuda Government employed four men, Uighurs, who were once prisoners of the USA at its notorious Guantanamo Bay detention camp as suspected terrorists.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
26 Riddell's Bay Road, Warwick Parish WK 04. P. O. Box WK 236, Warwick, WK BX. Phone (441) 238-1060. Fax (441) 238-1203. The club opened in 1922. It was the first 18-hole course in Bermuda, originally over 5549 yards and was designed by Deveraux Emmett (who also designed the Congressional Golf Club near Washington, DC).
When the Duke of Windsor played there in August 1940 during his stopover in Bermuda on his way to the Bahamas as Governor with his American wife, he pulled off a spectacular shot on the home hole. The course is now par 69 over 5,588 yards. Privately owned, an introduction from a member is required for non-members. With a bar and restaurant. On a peninsula, the first hole is the most difficult in Bermuda. It is the only golf club in Bermuda where all the golf carts are electric. They switched in May 2001 but the decision was made in 1997 when the club imported its first electric cart. The new carts are quieter than gas carts, more cost effective and easier to maintain. They are guaranteed to run on a single charge for a minimum of 36 holes for the first three years and have the ability to run for a maximum of 72 holes per charge.
For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 8 miles away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Buses go only to nearest stop about a mile away. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
Closed at this time. 1 Park Road, St. George's GE 03. North of and near Town of St. George. Not on bus route. Phones: Office 297-8067 (fax 297-2273); Pro Shop 297-8353; Golf Pro 297-3660; Tee Times 234-4653; Maintenance 297-8370; Restaurant/Bar 297-1836. An 80 acres scenic 18 hole par 62 course over 4,043 yards, first opened in 1985. Cruise ships pass by. Extensively renovated in most of 2006. For visitors who arrive at the airport on one of the commercial airlines or cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is the Town of St. George, about 2 miles away to the south. When it was open many cruise ship visitors played this course. Buses (# 1 or 3 or 10 or 11) go part of the way. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. This was one of the last designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior prior to his retirement. The 18th hole is named after Bermuda's first Governor, Richard Moore. One of the greens overlooks historic Fort St. Catherine.
Was re-opened in part in May 2011 after being closed since July 2008 because (a) it was losing money for the Bermuda Government which owns the course and (b) to allow for building of the planned adjacent new Park Hyatt hotel. But the latter has not commenced yet, which is why the golf course has closed yet again. When briefly reopened it was a joint venture with the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, the St George’s Club and the government's Economic Empowerment Zone (EEZ). The course was then maintained at a similar level to municipal courses in the UK. Some changes were then made to the course layout. The front desk area of the St George’s Club on Rose Hill then served as the club house.
If/when the Park Hyatt is ever built, probably not until at least 2013, Government has confirmed the new course will be taken out of state hands and run (although will still be owned by the government) by Addax Holdings Ltd. for Bazarian International, the same developers as the Park Hyatt hotel. The long-term re-development plans for the course included an extensive enlargement to 6,000 yards and redesign by top British golf professional and winner of six Major tournaments Nick Faldo, by his corporation Faldo Design. The Park Hyatt (St. George's) Resort Act 2008 will remove the course from the Golf Courses (Consolidation) Act 1998 under which a single Board of Trustees manages the publicly-owned courses at St. George's, Port Royal and Ocean View. But it is stipulated that the developer must ensure that the golf course remains accessible to the public during such times and on such reasonable terms and conditions as shall be approved by the government. The legislation also includes an islet off Tobacco Bay Park classed as National Park under the re-designed course. It is believed such an addition will not only enhance the golf course's attractiveness, but it will provide increased yardage required to achieve championship status. Neither Coot Pond or Tobacco Bay however will be included in the development.
Tucker's Point Golf. Photo: Bermuda Tourism
60 Tucker's Point Drive, Hamilton Parish (East End). Phone (441) 292-6970. Fax:(441) 298-4001. Originally designed by Charles Banks and Robert Trent Jones for what was then the Castle Harbour Hotel, with later amendments by Californian Algie Pulley, it began as an 18-hole course, but was cut back to 9 holes during World War 2. It became a challenging 18 hole, par 71 course over 6,440 yards with sea views, when it was opened by the Governor of Bermuda in December, 1959. It has a scenic opening hole and incredible views. But with closure of the Castle Harbor hotel, it became 9 holes from January 10, 2000. It was completely re-vamped and reopened in April 2002 as 18 holes again. Of a very high standard, it is a private club for members only, similar to the Mid Ocean Golf Club. A par 70 course. The re-vamped Tucker's Point Golf, Beach and Tennis Club was formally opened in December 2004.
Numbers 13 and 17 are new signature holes, back to back in east and west directions. # 17 has sweeping views of Tucker's Town and Castle Island. #13 has a panorama of the entire north coast and west end of the island with spectacular vistas and sunsets. The old number 10 is now number 12, reconfigured. Number 9 has been re-laid. Rye grass, Bermuda grass and a hybrid Bermuda grass have been used. The facilities also have clay tennis courts.
For visitors who arrive at the airport on one of the commercial airlines or cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is the Town of St. George, about 6 miles away to the east. Take a taxi as buses (#1) go only to nearest stop about half a mile away below the hill. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
For golfers interested in local history, the golf driving range was a neglected, not dug-up, cemetery. Ancestors of present-day black Bermudians (the great majority) are buried there. The tiny gravesite is surrounded by a wall of fairly recent vintage. While it contains the remains of only 12 or so known graves of the last century it is believed many more black men, women and children were much earlier planted without graves or coffins in the golf greens outside the wall.
Situated between the harbors of St. George's and Castle Harbor, Tucker's Town was so-called because it was intended by a Bermuda Governor by the name of Tucker to be a port to rival St. George's. But it was far more exposed to the weather and failed to attract many early settlers. So it was never built. In 1781, 40 acres of cotton were found growing here, which led directly to the British government encouraging the planting of cotton as a commercial crop in 1788.
The original Tuckers Town - see http://www.bermuda-online.org/seestgeo.htm then under "Tucker's Town - of which this golf course is a part - represented a Black community initially of free Blacks, and later of emancipated Blacks who struggled and successfully created a safe and isolated environment for their families by building their own school and church, and creating a community made up of land owning farmers, pilots and fishermen. Their lands were acquired by Bermuda Government (then white) compulsory purchase order in the 1920s for commercial tourism development. There has been some bitterness ever since, ignited again with development and redevelopment of this club and hotel (mostly in Hamilton Parish) approved in March 2011 by the present (non-white) Bermuda Government.
Turtle Hill Golf Club. Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Fairmont Southampton Hotel, 18 South Road, Southampton Parish SN 02. For reservations call (441) 238-8000. Fax (441) 238-8968. The golf course is part of and adjacent to the Southampton Princess Hotel complex. An 18 hole par 54, manageable yet quite challenging course over 2,684 yards. With superb marine and landscape views. Carts are mandatory and included in the green fees. There's a pro shop, tennis courts, bar and restaurant. Single Annual Membership; Double Annual Membership and an Initiation Fee. Members get special benefits. For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 8 miles away.
If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Buses (# 7 or 8) go only to nearest stop about half a mile away below the hill. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year.
Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment.
Victoria Place, 31 Victoria Street, Hamilton HM 10. P. O. Box HM 433, Hamilton. Phone 295-9972 or fax 295-0304.
Bermuda Golf Events
Annual Bermuda golf tournaments include:
P.O. Box HM 224, Hamilton, HM AX. A very successful local sports development program, begun in 1975 when the Bermuda Golf Association (BGA) formed the Golf Development Committee which forged the basic development for junior golf in Bermuda.
A new golf
association formed in 2012 that looks to cater to female professionals looking
to up their game both on and off the golf course. The Bermuda Chapter of
Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) has held informational
sessions. You don’t have to be an executive or even a golfer to join.
Spearheaded by Gina Bassett, a banking executive, this initiative has been
initially funded by the Department of Tourism and supported by golf directors
from the Bermuda’s golf courses. The international organization consists of
more than 14,000 members in over 125 countries and have corporate partners
including the PGA, Golf Digest, Golf World and the Golf Channel. The newly
formed Bermuda chapter is working with local golf courses, restaurants, beauty
shops and sports stores to offer their members benefits and discounts. To learn
more about the sessions or the association, contact Gina Bassett on 441-599-4419.
Last Updated: May
Multi-national © 2013 by Bermuda Online. All Rights Reserved. Contact Editor/writer and webmaster.
Last Updated: May