When a country has more golf courses than fast food outlets there is something very, very extraordinary about it. The 9 Bermuda golf courses, the highest concentration per square mile in the world, offer those on vacation a multitude of opportunities. The pedigree of the courses is high; many of them have been designed by the famous course architects such as Robert Trent Jones.
Bermuda golf courses have distinct characteristics. The unpredictable wind, blowing in from the Atlantic is a factor which many golfers ignore at their peril. Elevated greens, typically guarded by sand traps, provide spectacular views of the ocean. Limited irrigation means that the greens and fairways tend to be firmer and slower than those found in the US. Aquatic hazards are the highlight of many Bermuda golf courses.
Strict dress codes are enforced at all clubs. Shirts must have collars and sleeveless varieties are prohibited. Shorts must be Bermuda length (to the knee) and jeans and cut-offs are a definite no.
Reservations at the 3 government-run courses (Ocean View, Port Royal and St George’s) can be made by calling the centralised reservation system on 234 4653. Tee times at the other courses can be made through hotels or by contacting the course directly.
3 of the courses are private clubs (Mid Ocean, Riddell’s Bay and Tucker’s Point) and introduction by a member is required to play. However, many hotels have corporate memberships and can introduce a limited number of their guests. Many of the cruise ships visiting Bermuda offer a round of golf as part of their shore excursion program.
Many consider that November to March is the best time for a golf vacation in Bermuda. Not only are hotel rates considerably cheaper, but tee times are easier to obtain and the weather is cooler.
The courses are:
18 hole course - part of the Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort and Spa.
Driving range and miniature golf course.
Private club - course designed by Charles Blair Macdonald.
9-hole government-run course close to Hamilton.
Government-run course and venue for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
The oldest golf course in Bermuda.
Part of the Rosewood Tucker's Point hotel.
Par-3 course in the grounds of one of the island's most luxurious hotels.