The executive par-3 18-hole course at the Fairmont Southampton Resort (101 South Shore Rd., reservations tel. 441/238-8000, direct tel. 441/239-6952, fax 441/238-8479, www.fairmont.com/southampton , $79 for 18 holes, $59 for 9 holes, 20 percent discount on five rounds) was designed by Ted Robinson, with a lofty, palm-studded layout rambling over the South Shore property. Its 2,684 yards (the longest hole is 215 yards) include manicured hills, 60 bunkers, and three water hazards, making a course that takes an average 2.5–3 hours to play—appropriate for beginners or for couples who want to play together, or as a warm-up for longer courses. Unpredictable winds make it a highly challenging short course. Lessons, clinics, rentals, practice putting green, and pro shop are on-site. Summer hours are 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m., winter hours are 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the challenging, world-championship, 18-hole Port Royal Golf Course (5 Middle Rd., tel. 441/234-0974, fax 441/234-3562, www.portroyalgolf.bm ) was closed the whole of 2008 for a major, much-needed revamp to improve playability. Reverse osmosis plants and course irrigation were installed; the course was lengthened to 6,757 yards with several new tees; and greens were returfed with Tifeagle grass. At this writing, the course is due to reopen in 2009, and the PGA has chosen the site to stage its 2009 and 2010 Grand Slam of Golf events. Port Royal, with fairways that wind along dizzying clifftops and greens set against the ocean’s dazzling turquoise, has been widely regarded as one of the best government-owned courses in the world. Greg Norman played here. Jack Nicklaus sang its praises. And Hollywood’s Samuel L. Jackson chose Port Royal to host his celebrity tournament for several years in the 1990s.
The Bermuda Golf Academy (Industrial Park Rd., off Middle Rd., tel. 441/238-8800, fax 441/232-0034, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.) is a good place for tuning up your tee-off or simply having fun. The facility is home to Bermuda’s only all-weather, 320-yard driving range. The range features 40 practice bays, 25 of which are covered, and night lighting is offered until 10:30 p.m. An 18-hole practice green, eight target greens, and a chipping/bunker play area also attract golfers, especially given the difficulty of landing tee times at favored clubs around the island. Tokens for a bucket of 40 balls cost $4.50, or $5.50 after 5 p.m. Private lessons ($70 per hour, $40 per half hour) can be booked with three PGA pros. Children and adults also love the facility’s mini golf course, which has waterfalls, bridges, and Bermuda-style butteries. Mini golf costs $9 for adults, $7 for children under 13.