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Bermuda Golf Shore Excursion Tips

Golf putter
Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Bermuda packs eight 18-hole and one nine-hole golf courses into a 22-square mile area. Cruise and hotel visitors can take advantage of some of them, but not all.

Three of the courses are public and others are private, meaning they require membership. Frequent visitors to Bermuda may of course buy a membership, but usually at a steep cost. Others can take advantage of golf shore excursions that give them access to courses that allow visitors from the public.

One such example is Belmont Hills. A typical price is $175 for 18 holes, although sometimes excursions go on sale. One recent sale was priced at $144 or 17 percent off.

Belmont Hills

Belmont Hills is a 6,107-yard, 70-par course just south of the city of Hamilton. Designed in 2002 by Algie Pulley Jr, the course features narrow fairways and plenty of sand traps. Among the changes made in the 2002 renovation was a commitment to elevation changes and multi-tiered greens; for this reason, accurate play and club selection can prove more important than powerful drives.

Putting can also be challenging on the course’s large, fast greens. The course offers panoramic views of Hamilton Harbor and a million-gallon lake provides for water hazards on holes six through eight. Soft-spiked shoes and proper golf attire are required. The facility also offers a driving range, putting green and practice bunker.

Fairmont Southampton

Fairmont Southampton offers an 18-hole, 2,684-yard, par-3 course designed for challenging iron play. The course features two water hazards and a lot of steep elevation changes. Because of the steep nature of the course, cart play is mandatory until late afternoon rounds. As with many of the Bermuda courses, wind is a significant factor. Several holes offer views of Bermuda’s East Whale Bay. Sand traps are a common challenge around greens. Soft-spiked shoes and proper golf attire are required. The course offers professional lessons, club and shoe rental as well as a driving range and putting green.

Port Royal

Port Royal is one of three public courses on Bermuda and is the most popular course on the island. At 6,840 yards, it is also Bermuda’s longest course. The course is heavily bunkered, and three ponds offer water hazards. The course enjoys authentic oceanfront property; on several holes, a few yards of rough is all that separates the fairway from the ocean. In fact, one par 3 features a drive over a portion of Whitney Bay and onto the green on the opposing shore. Strong variable winds add to the challenge. Soft-spiked shoes and proper golf attire are required.

Tucker’s Point

Tucker’s Point is a 70-par course located on the east end of the island. Redesigned in 2002 by Roger Rulewich, the course features a number of elevated tees and undulating courses. Two holes feature water hazards, with a further two played along the coast. The course requires a mix of long balls and accurate play for a successful round. Surrounded by water on three sides, strong and variable winds offer additional challenges on Tucker’s Point. Soft-spiked shoes and proper golf attire are required. The facility also offers a driving range, putting and pitching greens and a practice bunker.

Mid Ocean

Bermuda golf courses
Credit: Pixabay license

Mid Ocean is a private, 71-par, 6,547-yard course. Member introductions are required for guests to play. The course plays long with six par-4s exceeding 400 yards. Accurate play is not neglected, however, as numerous deep bunkers guard the greens and water hazards feature prominently on three holes. Though the course requires member introductions, guests may play without member accompaniment on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Soft-spiked shoes and proper golf attire are required.

Riddell’s Bay

Opened in 1922, Riddell’s Bay is the oldest golf course on Bermuda. While private, the course is open to members and guests alike. At 70 par and 5,800 yards, it is also among the shortest courses on the island. Located between the Great Sound, Little Sound and Riddell’s Bay, the course offers views of the water on three sides. The course also lacks the dramatic elevation changes of many of Bermuda’s other courses, offering play that can be more forgiving than the typical Bermuda golf experience. Most holes feature an emphasis on accurate play rather than powerful drives. Soft-spiked shoes and golf attire are required.

St. George’s

Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and located on the northeastern tip of the island, St. George’s is one of three public courses on Bermuda. It is also one of the shortest 18-hole courses at just 62-par and 4,043 yards. Though its length may not prove a difficult test for many players, its location provides for strong, steady winds that create their own challenges. Water views are available from nearly every hole and numerous elevation changes keep play interesting. Players are also treated to a taste of Bermuda’s history with views of Forts St. George and Catherine. Soft-spiked shoes and golf attire are required.

Ocean View

Ocean View is the third of three public courses on Bermuda and the only 9-hole public course on the island. At 35 par and 2,819 yards, Ocean View is on the northern coast of the island, just east of the city of Hamilton. Secondary tee positions offer 18-hole playing options. Diminishing fairways and elevation changes make approaching the green a challenge, and a water hazard on the ninth hole provides for a challenging tee shot on the par 3. This course represents one of the more affordable options on Bermuda. Soft-spiked shoes and golf attire required.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
April 21, 2022

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