Originally designed by Charles Blair Macdonald, regarded by many as the father of American Golf, Mid Ocean Club was laid out in 1921 and, following subtle changes and tweaks to the course made by Robert Trent Jones in the 1950s, is still regarded as one of the finest island golf courses in the world. Considered by many to be the best you can expect to play on a Bermuda Golf Holiday and, playing to a par of 71, the course in its current guise measures between 5,045 to 6,512 yards (subject to your tee of choice) which makes it eminently playable for golfers of all abilities.
The opening hole sets the tone for what’s to come at Mid Ocean Club and it regarded as one of golf’s great opening holes. Further classic holes coming in the form of the par 4 5th, where legendary baseball player Babe Ruth once hit no less than 11 balls into the mangrove lake which lines the left hand side of the hole, as well as a superb collection of par 3s based on classic hole designs including Redan, Punchbowl and Biarritz.
Set on the north eastern tip of Bermuda just 15 minutes from L.F. Wade International Airport and with the Atlantic Ocean serving as a dramatic backdrop rather than playing a major part in the design of the course, Mid Ocean Club traverses some dramatically undulating terrain which defines much of the character of the course. With such undulations, uneven lies are fairly common and keep the golfer on their toes from start to finish and the native Bermuda grass restricts how far a golf ball will roll, the course takes pride of place on wonderfully firm, sandy soil which aids the superb year-round conditioning of the course.
Fairways are generous but at the same time the course is fairly heavily bunkered; calling for accuracy and a good understanding of course management from the tee. Further forms of defence come in the shape of cleverly designed run-off areas around the greens which gather approach shots that don’t find their target, leaving the golfer requiring a deft touch in order to save par. Even if you find the putting surface in regulation, you’ll still need your wits about you as Mid Ocean Club’s greens are notoriously tricky to read; featuring some devilish slopes and borrows.
Robert Trent Jones revamped the course in the 1950s, ensuring it remained relevant for more modern golfers and, more recently in 2007 & 2008, Mid Ocean Club played host to the PGA Grand Slam of golf, won by Angel Cabrera and Jim Furyk respectively, underlining the continued and undoubted quality of the course. Further evidence of which is the fact that Mid Ocean Club is routinely included in lists ranking the world’s best courses, including Golf Digest’s Top 100 Golf Courses outside of the USA. It was also a World Golf Awards nominee for Bermuda’s Best Golf Course.
Mid Ocean is ranked as one of the best courses in the Caribbean