Playing golf in Bermuda, even the ham-fisted way I play it, is an experience beyond comparison. I’ve thought that for over 30 years and my visit there with a happy bunch of journalists and celebrities last week merely confirmed my opinion — the rest of our party were in total agreement.
Apart from the beauty that surrounds you, there can’t be a place in the world where the game has such a presence. There are nine courses in an island 21 miles long and never more than a mile wide.
I once calculated that if you laid all their golf holes end to end you would play your first shot at the western tip and your last into the Atlantic at the eastern end just beyond the quaint little town of St George’s. On the way, you would pass so many coves, inlets, and coral coloured beaches lapped by a turquoise sea.
And if you think that description is a touch florid that old cynic Mark Twain who once described golf as ’a good walk spoiled’ also said: ’When I die, I don’t want to go to heaven I want to go to Bermuda’.
It is not a holiday venue you would chose if you wanted discos and nightclubs but for rest, recuperation and easy access to many sporting facilities as well as golf, it is ideal.
The hotel we stayed in, the Fairmont Southampton, is vast but very comfortable and is surrounded by the Turtle Hill par-three 18-hole golf course which is claimed to be the world‘s most scenic and challenging. Depending on the wind, the 2,684 yard layout calls for every club in the bag.
The Fairmont has its own beach, with tennis courts and water sports, and several restaurants and has a frequent ferry service across the sound to its sister hotel in the capital, Hamilton.
The second course we played was Tucker’s Point which is a superb layout over rolling hills in excellent condition and is not far from the Mid Ocean club another luxury course that is a privilege to play.
Our third game was at Port Royal which is owned by the Bermuda government who a few years ago spent $14 million on a complete re-vamp on a course which for the past three years has staged the prestigious PGA Grand Slam event which features the year’s four major championship winners.
British Airways are the only airline that flies to Bermuda from Europe and the flight time is a comfortable six hours. Keying Golf in Bermuda into Google will tell you all you want to know about accommodation and prices. It is well worth a visit.
Sir Steve therefore retained the winning captain’s green jacket which they presented to him last time. It wouldn’t have fitted me anyhow.