Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda
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Port Royal Golf Course
Port Royal Golf Course. One of two government-owned courses (Ocean View is the other), Port Royal is a perennial local and visitor favorite. The course reopened in July 2009 after a year-long renovation that added irrigation, rebuilt tees and returfed them with Bermuda 419 grass, rebuilt and returfed greens with Tifeagle grass, and redesigned bunkers. Two holes, 12 and 13, have been rerouted and now play as a par 4 and par 3. The revamped course is 280 yards longer than before. It has hosted the PGA Grand Slam October 2009–2014.
One hole affected by the lengthening is the 16th, arguably Bermuda's best-known golf hole, which now plays 235 yards from the back tee. The green of this stunning par 3 occupies a treeless promontory with a backdrop of the blue waters and pink sands of Whale Bay. When the wind is blowing hard onshore, as it frequently does, this can be a tough green to reach. The holes leading up to the 16th are the icing on the cake, with ocean views on 7, 8, 9, and 15. The 1970 Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout has many elevated tees and greens and some clever doglegs. There are plenty of hills, on the back nine in particular.
Highlight Hole: Like the much-photographed 16th hole, the 412 yard, par-4 15th skirts the windswept cliffs along Whale Bay. The well-preserved remains of the Whale Bay Battery, a 19th-century fortification, stand next to the fairway.
Clubhouse: The Port Royal clubhouse also underwent renovation and reopened at the end of 2009. It is open daily at 7:30am until 11pm for lunch and dinner. Fresh Bermuda fish, burgers, salads, and pasta are always on the menu. The bar has six flat-screen TVs, usually tuned to sports events. Off Middle Rd., Southampton Parish, SN BX. 441/234–0974; 441/234–4653 for automated tee-time reservations. www.portroyalgolf.bm. Greens fees: $180 including cart and practice balls. Sunset rates are $110 with cart. Shoe rentals $15. Club rentals $50. Lessons $60 for half hour. 18 holes. 6,842 yards. Par 71. Rating: blue tees, 72.4; white tees, 70.2; red tees, 71.9; black tee 74.6.
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