Tee Off At the 10 Best Golf Courses In The Bahamas

The Bahamas is loved for many things including its incredible beaches, great diving and dining, amazing natural attractions, and - for golf aficionados - its exotic golf courses. The islands offer something for everyone, from novice to professional golfers.

Why settle for stagnant duck ponds and standard bunkers when you could be swinging your nine iron on a bluff overlooking the ocean while basking in the warmth of Caribbean sunshine? Prove your mettle as you play championship courses that wind through seaside dunes, scenic mangroves, and rocky penninsulas. Trade winds and gentle sea breeze can be your friend or your foe as you take on this mentally stimulating sport!

Without further ado, here are the best golf courses in The Bahamas for travellers who can’t wait to schedule tee times with friends!

Islands that offer golf in The Bahamas

With the spectacular beauty of these islands you sure will want to golf and so much more. Here’s where to stay in The Bahamas for an amazing golf vacation:

• New Providence Island (Nassau)

• Paradise Island

• The Exumas

• Abaco Islands

• Grand Bahama

• Great Guana Cay

1. Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

Island: Great Exuma

Playing golf on a Championship course is one of the many surprising things to do in The Exumas. This course is none other than the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course, a Par 72 course designed by Greg Norman.

Great Exuma is known for its incredible natural beauty and calm turquoise waters, which gives a hint of the type of ambiance and scenery golfers can expect at the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course. In fact, many of the holes on this exceptionally large course (7,001 yards from the back tees) are right along the shoreline making it possible to admire stunning views of the ocean throughout your game.

Easy on the eyes, the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course also has all the amenities golfers could ask for including a full service golf shop, chipping and putting greens, club storage facilities, a practice bunker, jogging trail on the oceanfront back 9, and more.

Some of the other features of this course include mangroves, dunes, as well as striking rock outcroppings, and if you want to golf on this course it’ll be easily accessible through all-inclusive resort Sandals Emerald Bay and its marina.

Good to know: Green fees at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course are waived for guests of Sandals Emerald Bay, which is located on one of the most incredible beaches of The Bahamas.

2. Paradise Island Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island


Photo credit: Vicino Photography/Shutterstock.com

With 18-holes and stretching 7,100 yards, the Paradise Island Golf Club is located on a short drive from Nassau. This is a Par 72 championship course designed by Tom Weiskopf. This course has great views and is kept well maintained — all of this adds to its popularity, and as such you can sometimes find a crowd here.

The Paradise Island course is ideal for golfers of all experience levels and it features wetlands and lagoons. Golfers can expect great views throughout the course as it is set right next to the ocean.

There are holes along the shore as well which turn up the excitement factor during a golf session.

3. Royal Blue Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

The Royal Blue Golf Club can be found on New Providence Island in The Bahamas. This course is near Cable Beach in Nassau and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. This is the only course created by Nicklaus, a retired golfer turned course designer, in The Bahamas.

Kept in pristine condition, the green fees at Royal Blue are cut in half after noon. On this popular Bahamian green golfers can expect to find lots of bunkers, rolling sand dunes, and picturesque fairways. There’s lots of tropical fauna and stand out rock formations as well that’ll serve as the perfect backdrop for a rousing game of golf.

Expert tip: Stay at an all-inclusive resort in Nassau on Cable Beach for quick access to some of the best golf courses on New Providence and Paradise Island. You can find lots of other great things to do in Nassau as well, most of which are within driving distance from the most popular resorts!

4. Albany Golf Course

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

New Providence Island in The Bahamas is where it’s at for some of the best golf courses in the country, and one of these is Albany Golf course. This course is located at the southern coast of New Providence Island, a few minutes from Adelaide Village.

Designed by South African golfer Ernie Els, this is a Par 72, 7,400-yard course. Golfers can expect a challenge here with challenging water features and desert dunes. At the Albany Golf course players can expect to find practice facilities including a 400-yard driving range, chipping and putting greens, a golf shop, locker rooms, and more.

5. Treasure Cay Golf Course

Island: Great Abaco

Great Abaco is one of the islands in The Bahamas golfers can look to when planning a fun-filled golf vacation in the Caribbean. In this part of The Bahamas, the Treasure Cay Golf Course is one golf location that stands out for good reason.

The Treasure Cay Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course and it is located near the ocean. The course was designed by Dick Wilson, and has previously been voted ‘the number one golf course in The Bahamas’ by Golf Digest in the past.

On a typical day, this course isn’t very crowded and golfers can enjoy the cooling sea breeze as they play. A full round on this course takes less than three hours, after which golfers can wind down restaurants or bars in the vicinity.

Expert tip: Want to find a golfing buddy while in The Bahamas? Show up at this course at 8.30 in the morning and staff here can assist you in finding a partner!

6. Grand Lucayan Reef Course

Island: Grand Bahama

While in Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas you might want to check out the Grand Lucayan Reef Course which is one of the most challenging in the islands. This course has 6,909 yards of rolling greens and fairways, and it includes bunkers, water hazards and grassy rough. This is a links-style course, and it was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

As this course tends to be quite challenging (especially with water present in 13 of the 18 holes), it ranks high as a shot-makers course where accuracy is acknowledged and even rewarded. If you’re interested in the Reef Course on Grand Bahama Island, it is worth inquiring ahead of travelling whether it will be open during your stay.

7. The Abaco Club On Winding Bay

Island: Great Abaco

Great Abaco Island is one of the best places to find great golfing in The Bahamas, and for this reason, The Abaco Club on Winding Bay stands out. Designed by Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, this is a low-lying course that is right next to the Atlantic Ocean. With that said, golfers can expect nothing less than breathtaking views as they tee off in this truly scenic location.

There are glaringly Scottish-style elements in the design of this course, fused with tropical elements like the lush fauna that can be seen throughout. This is a true links golf course, and here golfers can find a practice area for short games, and the possibility of signing up for private lessons as well. Golf lessons here are run by PGA professional staff.

The Abaco Club is generally a private club, but it is open to one time sessions for non-members.

8. Baker’s Bay Golf Club

Island: Great Guana Cay

Located on Great Guana Cay in The Abacos, the Baker’s Bay Golf Club course was designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio who has designed and built over 200 courses. Positioned along the northeastern shoreline of this island, this Par 72 championship course measures 7,327 yards from the back tees.

Baker’s Bay Golf Club is quite a popular option in The Bahamas with golfers being treated to amazing ocean views everywhere they look as they get into a relaxing game of golf. The Baker’s Bay Golf Club is part of a private resort community in the Northeastern Bahamas. This golf course is open to members and their guests only.

9. Lyford Cay Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

Lyford Cay features a private golf club on the northwestern coast of New Providence Island. Designed by Dick Wilson, the Lyford Cay course has amazing ocean views and lots of royal palm trees and tropical fauna creating a paradisiac feel.

Lyford Cay itself is a private gated community so playing golf here has a really exclusive feel. The course here plays to about 7,007 yards and was most recently updated in 2006. This course is open to members and their guests only.

10. Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club

Island: Grand Bahama

The Fortune Hills Golf course on Grand Bahama Island was originally intended to be an 18-hole course, but today operates as a 9-hole course. The tee settings here are diverse, which allows the course to be played here to championship levels when played twice.

Located to the Northeast of Freeport, the Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club appeals to beginner and novice players. On this course, you won’t find the same level of challenge as on some of the other golf courses in The Bahamas, but you’re sure to find some entertainment for around $50 including a golf cart and caddy.

The Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club isn’t usually crowded, so golfers can have a calm and quiet experience here with staff that are always willing to help.

How much does it cost to play golf in The Bahamas?

The price you’ll pay to golf in The Bahamas will depend on where you go. Some courses charge around USD $50 including a golf cart and caddy, while other courses can cost way upwards of that with carts and caddies being special features golfers would need to pay extra for. Other golf necessities you’ll need to pay extra for include green fees, equipment and shoe rentals.

Green fees

Green fees are available from USD $60 all the way up to USD $350 per person for 18 holes. Discounted rates are available for resort guests, but if you want your green fees waived completely while still playing one of the best golf courses of The Bahamas, consider staying at Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma.

Golf clubs & shoe rentals

Golf clubs can cost between USD $200 - $400 if you purchase your own, while renting them can cost between USD $30 - $70 for 18 holes, around USD $20 - $40 for 9 holes. The price to rent golf clubs tends to increase based on the brand of clubs you’ll be renting. Shoe rentals in The Bahamas can cost USD $10 - 15 per pair.

Caddies & carts

Caddies can cost around USD $20 per caddy per hour when walking. A caddy for 9 holes can cost between USD $10 - $15. Shared caddies can cost less than it would cost two golfers to each hire their own, and usually its two people max per cart. A golf cart can cost USD $50 and upwards for 18 holes, though some courses as previously mentioned include caddies and carts in their overall cost.

What is the best time to visit The Bahamas to play golf?

The best time to visit The Bahamas is between mid-December to mid-April annually, although May and June are also excellent months to go.

Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay golf course, the undisputed number 1 golf course of this list. Guests of Sandals Emerald Bay don't pay green fees.

This time of year is considered peak season, and for good reason. The weather then is typically sunny and breezy, with less chances of spontaneous rain showers. You’ll be able to see the true beauty of Bahamian golf courses at this time of year as well, as it isn’t as hot as it would be in the summertime, and the trees, grass and other greenery are likely to be at their most vibrant.

Generally, peak season is a great time to golf as well because it provides a chance to socialise, have fun golf sessions, and just to enjoy The Bahamas at its best.

Take on a new challenge and prove your golf skills in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is one of the most exciting places to play golf in the world, and there are lots of great golf courses that players of all skill levels can enjoy during their vacation. Golfers can revel in the natural beauty of these islands as they play through 18, or just 9, challenging holes, without giving up the professionalism they are used to. Many of the courses in The Bahamas were designed by esteemed golf course architects and professional golf equipment is readily available to all players.

You have nothing to lose by trying out any of the best golf courses in The Bahamas, and everything to gain. Get ready for a new adventure - golfing in an island paradise!

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About K. Williams, T. Thompson & W. van der Hoop.

A collaboration between seasoned travel writers, boasting over 30 years of collective experience in Caribbean travel.