Bermuda Hits a Grand Slam for Golfers

By Katharine DysonOctober 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
Tucker's Point Golf Club

Where else but in Bermuda is pink a macho color and men show tanned knees below their coats, ties and pressed Bermuda shorts ' and get away with it.
What is it about Bermuda?
Perhaps its the endless pink sand coves and the lush tropical foliage punctuated by the blossoms of red and yellow hibiscus, pink oleanders and sweet-scented frangipani. Or riding your scooter along winding roads lined by limestone walls, softened by drifts of bougainvillea and mosses.
Or maybe its the fact that Bermuda is home to a whopping eight golf courses per square mile, more than anywhere in the world. The likes of Charles Banks, Deveraux Emmett, Robert Trent Jones, and Charles Blair Macdonald have stamped their architectural brilliance on these links.
Certainly youre in the right place if you covet British tradition. Here, proper teas with scones are laid out each afternoon, cricket and soccer are national passions and in tonier places like The Reefs and Cambridge Beaches, jacket and tie for evening dinner is desirable.
One thing for sure, when players and spectators arrive in Bermuda for the PGA Grand Slam, October 14-15, they will be impressed with the views from the candy-colored houses and cottages to the endless pink-sand coves and stunning turquoise water where whales can be seen spouting beyond the reef.
Located 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda is the northern-most coral island in the world. Yet thanks to the trade winds, the fishhook-shaped island enjoys a semitropical climate where golf can be enjoyed year-round. October is idyllic for golf.
The Mid-Ocean Club, venue for the Grand Slam has always been considered the best, though it now has a rival for that crown right next door, Tuckers Point, which runs up and down the same hilly terrain. The former Castle Harbour course has morphed into a world class track under the direction of the Roger Rulewich group.
Any course known by locals as the goat hill course has to have some ups and downs and indeed it does along with nonstop views of the incredibly aquamarine sea of Harrington Sound and the hills. Reopening in 2002, the par-70, 6,361 yard course is a beauty as is the new 29,000 square foot clubhouse. Gone are many of the blind shots of the old 1930s layout although a few remain, like Nos. 3, 10 and 15. Fairways and bunkers have been shaved and sculptured and greens have been planted with TifEagle grass. Its a very playable resort layout.
Where to stay
Bermuda has large hotels like the 593-room Fairmont Southampton Hotel with its own executive par 3 golf course and beach club, a good choice for those who want nightly entertainment, a spa and all the services of a major resort. And there are small cottage resorts like the Reefs, Pink Beach Club, Pompano Beach Club and Cambridge Beaches where the mantra is class, not glitz. Most offer golf packages.
The new Tuckers Town residences and condos offer another, albeit pricey option for visitors while a good deal for golfers who dont need a big beach, is Pompano located a nine iron shot from the RTJ Port Royal Golf Course. Golf Packages typically include golf, accommodations and participation in a dine-around program airport transfers, greens fees, and service charges and taxes.
Greens fees and access
As many courses are private clubs and equipment like clubs, balls and carts have to be imported to the island, greens fees tend to be on the high side of $100 or more. For access to private clubs, you will probably need a letter of introduction from your home club unless you know a member or stay at a hotel which has an agreement with the club.
And bring golf balls. A dozen can cost upwards of $70 on the island for there is nothing about Bermuda that is cheap. Visitors have to take cabs (or go with locals in the bus that runs up and down the 22-mile long island). You cannot rent cars and dining out can easily run you $100 or more for a simple meal.

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson is an award-winning freelance travel, lifestyle, golf and guidebook author based in the northeast.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.