By: Lydia Barit ’16
Golfing in Bermuda is an exceptional experience, and I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up playing golf there. Bermuda, though only 22 miles in length, is abundant with five 18-hole beautiful seaside golf courses, three of which I have played. Although each course is special in its own right, each one presents you with a set of challenges that you rarely find elsewhere, especially in the United States. Being next to the ocean, golfers experience a multitude of wind speed and direction changes in just one round. Moreover, since Bermuda is a dead volcano, the contour of the island is not flat, a characteristic shown through its courses. Hills, dips, drops, and curves are components of each course on the island, presenting golfers with yet another set of challenges. Another element I find hard to deal with is the grass. Since I received most of my instruction in Whitefish, Montana, where the bent grass is in perfect condition and there is plenty of soil to make a smooth divot in, I had difficulty employing the same technique in Bermuda after a month away, where there is little soil on top of the hard coral surface. From what my Dad tells me, it’s a lot more like playing golf in Scotland or Ireland than playing in the U.S., and learning how to hit the “bump and run” shot is essential!
There are few places more beautiful than Bermuda to tee it up. Looking out over the ocean while playing is breathtaking. Feeling the salt on your skin after a gratifying round of getting over the hills and avoiding sudden wind shifts is one of the best feelings. Furthermore, golfing in Bermuda really sharpens your game and toughens you mentally. If you can score well in these challenging conditions, it bodes well for your golf back in the U.S. And for someone who is a traditionalist and appreciates golf history, having the opportunity to play on a course like Mid Ocean that was designed in 1923 by legendary golfer and designer Charles Blair MacDonald is very special. Instead of focusing on the amenities of golf (a snack stop every four holes, a cart service bringing out towels, going back to the clubhouse easily after nine holes), Mid Ocean presents you with a solid 18-hole course that just plain screams golf.
Although the conditions can be challenging and frustrating, and the terrain somewhat rugged and raw, I would never give up playing at home for anything. When I fly home for breaks, I drive straight to the course to play with my Dad. Being exposed to these challenges, I believe, has made me a more complete golfer, in that I am comfortable and confident with these specific challenges that come my way (and facing these challenges while looking over the ocean isn’t the worst thing ever!). Teeing it up in Bermuda should be on any golfer’s Bucket List!