I don’t know how you spent your summer vacation, but I took one week of last August and went to Bermuda. Again. For the second time in 25 years. And just as I’d done a quarter-century ago, I played every golf course on the island, all eight of them.
Why? Two reasons: First, LINKS Magazine asked me to, and I hope you’ll read the article that appeared in their most recent issue. Second, the original trip was one of my first golf journeys, taken shortly after I’d begun writing about the game. I was curious if the courses had changed, but just as curious how I had changed, if 25 years’ more experience and knowledge would lead me to a different set of conclusions. I’m still mulling that second point.
What did not change is the quality of Bermuda as a golf hub. A trip there would be worth it if only to play C.B. Macdonald’s Mid-Ocean (left) and Robert Trent Jones’s Port Royal (top, which recently underwent an absolutely inspired renovation, detailed in the article). The third course to play would be Tucker’s Point, which is also one of the hotels to stay in: It’s the old Castle Harbour resort although almost nothing of the old building remains and the new facility is outstanding in every way. As for the golf course, it’s better than it was without having been leveled like the hotel.
The real problem is Bermuda itself. Once upon a time it was exotic, a little bit of Britain just off our eastern seaboard. Nowadays, with world travel so easy, Bermuda is easily overlooked. It’s still ideal for honeymoons—there’s not much more to do besides frolic on the beach all day, eat, and frolic between the sheets all night. The duty-free shopping in Hamilton can be found anywhere in the world (and more cheaply), and despite great effort to add attractions and such, well, I’m sorry, but Bermuda is a bit worn at the seams, stuck on the wrong side of the time warp. (And if you fondly remember renting and riding mopeds all over, the advent of motor cars has made scooting around much more dangerous—and rare.)
But for a group of golfers looking for four days or so of fun, challenge, and camaraderie, it offers great variety and, with a little homework, a good deal.
And a couple of truly outstanding golf courses.