"The World's Most Entertaining Pro-Am"
That's a brash tagline for an inaugural golf tournament just entering the consciousness of the affluent golfer. However, founders Joe Steranka and Ken Kennerly believe it is or at least will be when professionals and amateurs descend upon the world-class golf destination in late October.
When the former CEO of the PGA of America and current Executive Director of the Honda Classic came together on this joint venture, their vision was to create a highly competitive tournament bringing four regions of the world to Bermuda.
“We envisioned an international competition with pros and amateur golfers meeting people from around the world and playing for their country,” says Kennerly, 30 year golf industry executive, avid sailor, and frequent Bermuda Visitor.
While the competition will be stout, participants will also enjoy one of the world’s most spectacular islands during an ideal time of year.
Bermuda is a perfect meeting place for golfers from North America, Great Britain & Ireland and Europe. From U.S. cities like New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Miami it is a sub-three-hour direct flight. Golfers will enjoy a relaxing refuge before the holiday craze kicks-in after the competition concludes.
“Our goal was to create an event celebrating the influential role PGA Professionals have in bringing members to exotic golf locations,” says Steranka. “This will also be the first time for many to represent something more than themselves on the golf course. These amateurs and professionals may have played on a high school or college team, but never for their country. Bermuda 3s will build a comradery unmatched in their golf careers.”
Bermuda, on its own, is a premier golf destination. The island has hosted an array of tournaments through the years including the PGA Grand Slam of Golf featuring the four major winners (Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship). Bermuda 3s, for its part, will showcase the island’s best three offerings.
Mid Ocean Club, arguably Bermuda 3s highest profile venue, was recently ranked #54 for “Greatest Golf Courses in the World” by Golf Digest. The only C.B. Macdonald design outside of North America, it is renowned for its classic architectural features and 433-yard par-4 5th hole, dubbed “Cape.” The famed two-shotter, with its “bite off as much as you can chew” tee shot is widely considered one of golf’s greatest holes.
Port Royal, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., underwent a $14 million makeover in 2009 by Roger Rulewhich before hosting the Grand Slam of Golf. It features stunning ocean views capped by the 235-yard par-3 16th and its knee-knocking tee shot over a gapping chasm in the Atlantic Ocean.
Turtle Hill Golf Club, site of the Bermuda 3s final two championship rounds, has been ranked a top 5 par-3 course in the world by Golf Magazine and dubbed a “Hidden Gem” by GOLF Magazine. No pushover, Johnny Miller once shot a three-over par 57 on this stunningly scenic short course.
When the PGA Grand Slam of Golf ended in 2014, Steranka and Kennerly saw an opportunity. That same year, they attended a golf strategy meeting with Bermuda Tourism Authority. Increasing awareness of one of the world’s greatest “golf islands” while celebrating the game’s biggest advocacy group (the PGA of America) seemed like the perfect marriage.
“Having seen the experience from players, officials and fans, we knew the potential of team golf and Bermuda as a destination,” Steranka adds.
The focus then shifted from the number four to the number three. Makes sense considering the history of the Bermuda Triangle region, three island golf courses, three amateurs in each group and the championship at Turtle Hill Golf Club.
The Fairmont Southampton, the award winning, 100-acre resort perched on Bermuda’s stunning south shore, is the host hotel (and home of Turtle Hill). The premier property is the setting for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Bermuda 3s World Team Championship.
“Considering the location, purse, international flair and blend of PGA professionals and amateurs, Joe and I believe Bermuda 3s offers an experience golfers can relish for years to come,” says Kennerly. “We couldn’t ask for better partners than the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Fairmont Southampton and our three courses.”
For more information visit Bermuda3s.com.