The Blue Shark Golf Course, Nassau, Bahamas, is another of those picturesque layouts that makes the most of its lush, tropical setting. Unfortunately, there are more changes being made and the courses was not open for play at the time of this update (I will post the opening on my blog, and update this review when the course reopeds). Having said that, the Blue Shark is said to be “a world-class test for the skilled golfer while offering a fun-filled round for the less experienced player.” Well, I’m not so sure that’s as true as its marketing gurus would have us believe. Blue Shark is, however, a very enjoyable remake of what once was an extremely popular Joe Lee design. And, of course, the mere mention of the Shark himself, Greg Norman, will usually bring fear to the heart of even the lowest of handicapped golfers. This one, though, is more tarpon than shark, with a touch of barracuda thrown in for good measure. Tough in places, easy in others, but always entertaining, enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing the Blue Shark is destined to become a Bahamian favorite.
The par-71 design has been brought into the 21st Century by lengthening the former South Ocean layout to over 7,100 yards and by a complete remake of the greens. Greg is more than enthusiastic about his redesign. "It offered a rare opportunity for me, and was something of a challenge," he said. "The existing course was a popular and already well-designed layout.”
I played the old South Ocean layout back in the late 1990s. It was suffering a little even then from the ravages of constant sunshine and traffic. Even so, it was a grand course in the traditional manner and, I think, about as good a Joe Lee course as I'd ever come across. Today, it's so much the better for its innovative Greg Norman redesign. Way to go, Greg.
I suppose the Blue Shark’s signature is its distinctive three-hole stretch, the 10th through the 12th, known somewhat deferentially (by the locals at least) as “The Shark’s Teeth.” When I first heard the term I was instantly reminded of another such “run of three,” the Bear Trap at the PGA National Resort. Now, while the Bear Trap is one tough test, even for the pros, the Shark’s Teeth are more fun than intimidating.
Built on old plantation grounds, Greg Norman's 7,118-yard Blue Shark offers an enjoyable round in a tropical landscape of water, trees and sand, strategically placed bunkers, treacherous terrain, wetlands, fresh water lakes and, unique in golf, at least as far as I know, Blue Shark's two mysterious and intriguing "Blue Holes." Blue holes are subterranean, water-filled caves - often filled with ocean dwellers of every shape and size, including real sharks - with links reaching under the island to the Caribbean.
Verdict: I never met a Greg Norman golf course I didn’t love, and Blue Shark is no exception. Not as difficult as some I’ve encountered, but the nature of the shark is evident at almost every turn. I think you’ll really enjoy the Blue Shark, low score or not: it is, after all a resort course.
Blue Shark Golf Club, South Ocean Drive, PO Box SP-63822, Nassau, Bahamas; Phone: 242-362-4546
Where to Stay:
- Atlantis Paradise Island resort
- South Ocean Golf & Beach Resort - Paradise Island
- The Radisson Cable Beach
- Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino
How to Get There:
The Islands of the Bahamas are served by two international airports: Nassau International Airport and Grand Bahama International Airport. These two airports are served by almost all of the US domestic airlines as well as airlines from Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Travel to the Out Islands of the Bahamas is achieved via Bahamasair. Bahamasair offers regular scheduled service to the Abacos, Exumas, and most of the smaller inhabited islands.
Travel to the Abacos and The Exumas can also be achieved via the Fast Ferry from Potter’s Cay in Nassau – daily scheduled service is available. This is a great way to visit the Out Island. I highly recommend it.
Rental cars are readily available at both international airports.
Look for the best airline and car rental deals with these two aggregators, which provide travelers with an up-to-date search tool to compare prices on airfares and car rentals of all ratings:
I have been traveling to, and writing about, the Islands of the Bahamas for more than 25 years. The Bahamas are my own, personal favorite vacation destinations. I love the emerald waters, the glittering white sands, the friendly people, and the overall feeling of well-being. I have NEVER had a bad experience anywhere in the Bahamas. I never miss a chance to hop on a plane and travel between these most beautiful of islands. I truly hope that you enjoy your visit to the Bahamas as much as I always have.