TUCKER'S TOWN, Bermuda -- Call the Bermuda development of Tucker's Town a success story five centuries in the making.
Daniel Tucker, a settler and eventual governor of Bermuda, had a vision for Tucker's Town in the early 17th century, but it didn't quite pan out. Today this town, anchored by a 200-acre resort and club (including 18 holes of golf at Tucker's Point Club), is one of Bermuda's poshest spots to stay and play.
Tucker arrived in 1616 with plans to develop the land overlooking Castle Harbour. His plans failed to attract any settlers from the main town of nearby St. George's and the town was soon abandoned. This area served as everything from whaling stations to cotton fields before it finally began to take off as a community that attracted wealthy Americans in the 1920s.
The Mid Ocean Club opened in the early 1920s, and Castle Harbour (which would later become Tucker's Point) opened next door in the 1930s. Today, its residents are such dignitaries as Michael Bloomberg, H. Ross Perot and Silvio Berlusconi.
The Tucker's Point Club golf course is largely a result of a 2002 redesign by Roger Rulewich. It expanded the original Charles Banks design into a top 18-hole play that would be a worthy club for both local members and guests of the future Rosewood Tucker's Point resort, which opened in 2009.
The result is a par-70 layout that plays 6,491 yards from the championship tees and 4,840 yards from the front. The maximum distance may be shorter than Port Royal Golf Course and the Mid Ocean Club, but it's still challenging enough to be one of the signature golf courses in Bermuda.
At the Tucker's Point Club there are a mix of finesse holes (like the par-4 ninth, which plays over water to an elevated green) and some places to bomb it (like the back-to-back long par-4 fifth and sixth, followed by the fun par-5 seventh that can be reached in two).
The ocean is in view often, but holes dangle right next to and above the water on the back nine. It starts at the par-4 10th, with an exciting approach shot to an exposed green that in all likelihood must be controlled by the breeze. The par-3 11th hole is particularly scenic, playing from a tee box overlooking the water.
But it's the 17th hole, a potentially drivable par 4 that plays from an elevated tee and overlooks the sparkling waters, that will send all golfers home happy.
Being located next to Bermuda's most venerable, historic golf course (the Mid Ocean Club) might make it easy to play the inferior card at Tucker's Point.
But Tucker's Point has a lot of advantages.
Its resort affiliation means that its staff is more groomed toward catering to the public. Also, golfers can find solace in the fact you can drive carts on the fairways on normal days here, something you can't do at the traditional Mid Ocean Club, which restricts visitors to cart path only.
The clubhouse at Tucker's Point has a wonderful vantage point of Castle Harbour and a nice bar to relax with a drink or eat after the round. Guests of the club have access to lockers during the day of their round, and the pro shop is fully stocked with Callaway rental clubs.
November 26, 2012