Bermuda Golf Vacations

Tips On Trips: Bermuda Golf Vacations

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Let’s do a little word-association.

If I were to say the phrase: “island golf destination,” what would spring to your mind first?

Ireland?

The United Kingdom?

Hawaii?

The Caribbean?

Bermuda?

The approach to Bermuda emphasizes the island's small size, but there's much to uncover once you're on the ground.

The approach to Bermuda emphasizes the island’s small size, but there’s much to uncover once you’re on the ground.

Tiny Bermuda, just 21 square miles smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is not top-of-mind for most people looking to get away from it all and play golf in a tropical setting.

Which is kind of insane.

Having just returned a couple weeks ago from this intensely beautiful, over-the-top charming place, it’s clear that Bermuda should move up your wish-list of golf destinations, especially if you’re in the eastern half of the United States.

Why Bermuda?

I don’t want to overuse the word “charming” here, but that’s the prevailing notion I took away from a five-day visit during which I managed to play all five of the island’s 18-hole courses. Between the constantly beautiful scenery, the eclectic mix of golf courses, the lodgings at the historic Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa and the unfailing friendliness of the people, it was easy to be completely charmed by the place.

The concept of “island time” is well-known to tropical travelers. In most places, it refers to the distinctly relaxed pace of life relative to the more crowded places from which Bermuda visitors originate. Bermuda’s own unique brand of island time derives from the distinctly British sensibility and feel, right down to the opposite-side-of-the-road driving scheme. Abundant beaches, ridiculously blue water and the near-omnipresence of the Dark and Stormy, the local concoction, made of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Gosling’s Ginger Beet, make Bermuda a wonderfully chill place. The bottom line: if relaxation is a high priority on a future golf trip of yours, overlooking Bermuda would be a serious mistake.

Now, if you’re planning to take a Bermuda golf trip sometime soon, check out these tips to make the most of your visit.

Quick Insider Tips on Bermuda Golf Trips

Taxi! – Visitors are not allowed to drive in Bermuda, meaning renting a car is not an option. Taxis are commonplace and plentiful, and drivers are friendly and knowledgeable about the island. Count on fares working out to a little more than a dollar per minute anywhere you want to go. 

Timing Is Everything – Mid Ocean Club is far and away Bermuda’s best golf course, well worth playing multiple times on any trip. Just make sure you arrange your rounds there for weekdays, as those are the only days when the course accepts visitors. If you’re a member of a private club back home, however, you may be able to bend those rules via a call from your home pro.

In any case, a golf trip to Bermuda without at least one round (and preferably two, so you can experience two different sets of hole locations on the course’s large greens) at Mid Ocean is like a grilled cheese sandwich without the cheese. That’s how essential a golf course it is for the destination in which it is located. 

…So Is Location – Much is made of Bermuda’s diminutive size, but truth be told, it’s still important to consider where you’ll be staying in relation to where you’ll be playing and what non-golf activities you’ll be pursuing (and there are many – fishing, snorkeling and general sightseeing top our list). You’ll enter the island at almost its easternmost point: L.F. Wade International Airport, up by the historic town of St. George. Cambridge Beaches, however, is almost an hour away, clear across the island.

(Click the map to enlarge and view in more detail.)

(Click the map to enlarge and view in more detail.)

Don’t Forget The Basics – The fact that practically everything is imported to Bermuda means that practically everything is much more expensive than it is in the US, Canada and the U.K.  For example, a tube of toothpaste costs about $13 in Bermuda. We normally don’t recommend verging into “overpacking,” but if there’s one place where you might consider packing something you may not necessarily need, it’s Bermuda.

Breeze Through Customs – Travelers returning to the United States from Bermuda go through customs at LF Wade International Airport. Avoiding the rigamarole on the American side makes the travel experience incredibly easy, especially since a trip to Bermuda qualifies as international travel.

Have you visited and played golf in Bermuda? Please share your reminiscences and recommendations below!

6 Comments

  1. Mark Hundert'

    April 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I agree that mid ocean is really good and an iconic course, but I think that Port Royal is even better

    But mid ocean has a much better club house, driving range and caddies.

    Play both!

  2. Roger B

    April 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with your assessmaent of island and Mid Oc. I’ve been an overseas member for about 20 yrs and have hosted 4-12 guests there almost every Winter for long weekend. Weather rarely below 60 in AM, due to GulfStream effect, and back up to 70ish by midday.
    Cottages avail to stay on campus if referred by a member and guests are treated like members and pay reduced green fees and without the weekend restrictions.
    Approx 550 overseas members so may find one from one of your local clubs. Staffing and food first classs as well as course, but I also recommend playing Port Royal while on island. It’s also special and worth the taxi ride.

  3. Tim Gavrich

    April 4, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Roger–
    Thanks for the response. As a fan of classic courses, and particularly those of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, I was absolutely blown away by Mid Ocean. It was a course I felt I could play every day, and Kevin and his staff could not have been more welcoming to me and the group I was with. We played in carts, so next time I am on the island and playing MOC, I look forward to walking the course. It is a lovely club in a splendid setting.
    –Tim

  4. ArtSpring

    April 4, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Just got back from Bermuda. I had a chance to play Tucker’s Point. Short but challenging with a couple of memorable par-3 holes (Biarritz and the Redan, #11. It helps to be partly mountain goat and to know the course. It’s a little early for the courses to be in mid-season form but the greens were speedy enough. I’ve not played Mid-Ocean (the price is a bit high, even in the off season; Tucker’s Point was $180 on a Sunday afternoon), but I will second everyone’s opinion on Port Royal. A great course with great scenery on the back nine (along W/ #8). #16 is the iconic hole- hit it left and the drop area is on the North Carolina coast somewhere…

  5. Art

    April 5, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I have not been to Bermuda in quite a few years but the year that I played Mid-Ocean as a guest of an away member, Port Royal was in better shape and only golfers with a letter from their doctor could rent a cart and still had to hire a caddy. Using a caddy at a course the first time is recommended so that you can learn the layout and the “tricks” of the course. I had also played two other courses over the years and, to me, golf is great in Bermuda.

  6. Brian

    April 26, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Nice island, like Mid Ocean a lot – but – the entire island is incredibly expensive and the golf very limited. (other course on island are few and drop off in quality immense).

    For US East-coasters a nice 3-day getaway – but by no means a destination journey.

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