Popular Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club closes on Bermuda

One of the top golf courses on Bermuda has closed.

Thanks to the tip from reader Brad, who sent The Royal Gazette's article about the sudden closure of Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club, the oldest course on the tiny fish-hook-shaped British territory, which sits isolated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean more than 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

Riddell's Bay opened in 1922 along a narrow peninsula, which at its widest measures only some 600 yards. Its beautiful views offset its awkward shape and short routing. The 5,857-yard, par-70 course features only one par 5 and three par 3s. From that article:

One longstanding member at the club, which had been in operation since 1922, said: "It's like a lot of golf courses -- they're suffering, and it's just a question of cash flow from operations. The balance sheet is all right because they have valuable property there." The source added that members "won't be delighted" at the closure. But he said: "Hopefully it's not a permanent thing and someone will see the value of the club and open it again."

The source added that members "won't be delighted" at the closure. But he said: "Hopefully it's not a permanent thing and someone will see the value of the club and open it again."

Riddell's Bay, a private club that allowed some hotels to book guest tee times, got mostly three- and four-star reviews on Golf Advisor. In the most recent review from 2015, user uFDGU2666FD gave it four stars, writing:

"This course is well worth a game ... thoroughly enjoyed it and the scenery is beautiful."

Bermuda's golf scene took a hit that same year when the PGA Grand Slam of Golf opted to leave the island after a solid run from 2007-2014. Mid Ocean Club, a private club that allows some public access, played host to the Grand Slam the first two years before the redesigned Port Royal Golf Club took over from 2009-14.

The PGA Grand Slam of Golf was a made-for-TV exhibition match run by the PGA of America, showcasing golf's four major champions, although in recent years the game's best players frequently opted out, requiring replacements. The PGA of America cancelled the event permanently earlier this year.

Visiting golfers shouldn't fret too much. Bermuda, with its pink-sand beaches and year-round temperate climate, remains a premier island getaway.

There are two other outstanding courses to play besides Mid Ocean, a World Top 100 classic by C.B. Macdonald, and Port Royal, an ultra-scenic, government-owned course renovated by Roger Rulewich for $14.5 million in 2009. Turtle Hill Golf Club at the Fairmont Southampton might be the world's most gorgeous 18-hole, par-3 course, and Tucker's Point Club sits adjacent to the posh Rosewood Tucker's Point.

I, for one, can't wait to get back for more fish chowder -- a Bermudian specialty topped off by spicy sherry pepper sauce and dark rum -- washed down by the Dark & Stormy, the island's signature drink loaded with Goslings Rum and ginger beer.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Commented on

Very sorry that Riddles Bay Golf Club is closed I throughly enjoyed my rounds there I hope someone will keep it a golf course and give it a little sprucing up.

More from the author
4 Min Read
November 20, 2023
The former Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa has been completely transformed into the Caribbean's newest golf resort.
2 Min Read
November 20, 2023
Golf is a game of control and composure. Don't lose yours by tossing a club.
5 Min Read
November 15, 2023
The opening of Black Desert, a PGA Tour host in 2024, signals a new era of golf in one of America's most beautiful natural landscapes.
8 Min Read
November 12, 2023
The rise of artists launching their own companies has changed the way golfers use wall art that impresses their co-workers on Zoom.
2 Min Read
November 8, 2023
Military golf can be fun if you follow the proper protocols to get on the base securely.
1 Min Read
November 6, 2023
Walking the golf course is not especially popular in the United States, but there are hubs where it thrives.
4 Min Read
November 26, 2023
Whether on arrival day, getaway day or a layover, you'll be glad you squeezed in a round at these courses.
4 Min Read
November 15, 2023
The streaming giant picked golf as the medium for its foray into live sports. How did it go?
1 Min Read
October 30, 2023
Most golfers visit Royal Dornoch to play the championship links, but they should also wander down to the 18th tee of the Struie Course to pay their respects to the grave of Janet Horne.
3 Min Read
November 12, 2023
Rounds at tough-to-access private clubs, luxury travel experiences and more are on offer, all for a good cause.
Now Reading
Popular Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club closes on Bermuda