Test your game during the Bacardi National Par-3 Championship at the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda in March
I haven’t played in the Bacardi National Par-3 Championship, but I can vouch that the third-annual event this March will be a great time. The site, the very cool 18-hole par-3 course at the Fairmont Southampton resort in Bermuda, and the man behind it, Anthony Mocklow, virtually guarantee a good weekend of golf. The two-day, 36-hole tournament is set for March 23-25.
Don’t let the word “championship” scare you. There will be good players – defending champion Nick Taylor (a former Canadian Amateur Champion and Ben Hogan Award winner) and PGA TOUR player Ian Leggat are scheduled to play – but there will also be weekend warriors and handicaps of all levels. Not everybody can hit a 300-yard drive, but most of us can stuff a wedge or hit a great putt for a birdie on a par-3 course. The unique Ted Robinson design at the Fairmont (see photo above) plays short, yet it’s long on personality and charm.
The 2,762-yard course rides a hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the South Shore of the island. The location can be breezy, making club selection a guessing game. I played in a three-club wind this afternoon and even that was a real thrill. I had to hit 120-yard 8 irons under the wind and 175-yard 8 irons downwind. It was a true shot-maker’s test.
It’s a great training ground for juniors and beginners, a fun way to play 18 holes in under three hours and it can still humble better players. “This course has the ability to flex its muscle,” Mocklow said.
Mocklow is passionate about the tournament and the course, where he learned the game as a child. Mocklow, who has played competitive golf around the world on various tours, has big long-term plans for this event.
He wants to eventually grow it into a “world championship” where golfers play at their local par-3 courses for a shot to advance to regional stages, eventually thinning out the field into an elite group of short-game wizards.
The entry fees ($250 for pros and $175 for amateurs) for the Bacardi Championship include a practice round of golf, tournament fees, continental breakfast on tournament days, cocktail reception and prize presentation. Three-night Fairmont packages, which includes the entry fee, start from $444 per amateur and $519 per professionals (based on double occupancy). The Fairmont is a great home base with nice rooms, multiple restaurants and the Willow Stream Spa. The private resort beach and the gorgeous Horseshoe Bay Beach are right across the street.
I’m wrapping up my first visit to Bermuda. I’ve been impressed with its beauty and friendly people. It’s a place worth teeing it up, with or without a driver in your hands.
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