Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda
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Mid Ocean Club
Mid Ocean Club. The elite Mid Ocean Club is a 1921 Charles Blair Macdonald design revamped in 1953 by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Golf Digest ranked it 56th in the top 100 courses outside the United States. Patrons include celebrities and politicians such as Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Michael Jordan. Presidents Eisenhower, Bush Sr., and Clinton have also played here. The club has a genteel air, and a great sense of history. Even though it's expensive, you must play it at least once, walking it with a caddy to savor the traditional golf experience and the scenery.
There are many holes near ocean cliffs, but you'll want to linger on the back tee of the last hole, where the view up the coast is spectacular. You'll come away with memories of the course's many elevation changes and tight doglegs. One in particular is the 5th hole, Cape, where Babe Ruth is said to have splashed a dozen balls in Mangrove Lake as he tried to land too far down the fairway on the other side. Because Mid Ocean is the second-longest course on the island, the average woman player may have trouble reaching greens in regulation—and some men, too, especially when the wind is up.
If you haven't been here since 2006, you'll find the layout is now irrigated and the TifEagle greens are truer and faster than ever. Many trees were pruned or removed to increase airflow and encourage grass growth. This all happened in 2007 in preparation for the televised PGA Grand Slam, which the club hosted that year and again in October 2008. The tournament was held for years in Hawaii, so this was a coup for Mid Ocean and Bermuda.
Highlight Hole: The 433-yard 5th is a par-4 dogleg around Mangrove Lake. The elevated tees sit atop a hillside of flowering shrubbery, with the lake below. It's tempting to take a big shortcut over the water, but remember the Babe's experience. To the left of the green, a steep embankment funnels balls down into a bunker, setting up a delicate sand shot to the putting surface.
Clubhouse: Overlooking the 18th hole and the south shore, the Mid Ocean's pink clubhouse is classically Bermudian down to the interior cedar trim. The pro shop offers a range of golfing goodies. Several of the club's rooms commemorate famous American and British 20th-century politicians who played the course—there's the Churchill Bar, the Eisenhower Dining Room, and the MacMillan Television Room. The latter two are for members only, but you can have a drink in the bar. 1 Mid Ocean Dr., off S. Shore Rd., Tucker's Town, HS 02. 441/293–1215. www.themidoceanclubbermuda.com. Greens fees $250 ($100 when playing with a member). Non-members must be sponsored by a club member (your hotelier can arrange this); non-member starting times available Mon., Wed., and Fri. except holidays. Caddies $55 for double or $65 for single per bag (tip not included). Cart rental $32 per person. Shoe rentals $12. Club rentals $50. Lessons available. 18 holes. 6,548 yards. Par 71. Rating: blue tees, 73.0; white tees, 71.3; red tees, 75.0.
Eden Room. Open to non-members for breakfast and lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the Eden Room menu includes a wide selection of salads, soups, and sandwiches. 441/293–0330.
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