The hundreds of islands known as the Bahamas stretch for some five hundred miles off the coast of Florida. They were once a haven for the pirates of the Caribbean before becoming a tropical hideaway for the wealthy. For a long time, the country was run by a consortium of businessmen with colorful names like Sir Roland Symonette and Stafford Sands known as the "Bay Street Boys" (after the major boulevard in Nassau). Whatever its other merits, the democracy that was established in the Sixties is certainly not as efficient at running things as these men were.
The British got the golf ball rolling, so to speak, in Nassau, the nation's capital, located on the island of New Providence. Their course on Cable Beach attracted such star players as Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton and Walter Hagen in the years before World War II. It was, however, not until 1960 that a reasonably good layout was established in association with one of the early resorts on the other side of New Providence at Lyford Cay. This club continues to be a bastion of private golf; there is also the nearby South Ocean course, built a little after Lyford Cay. Across the harbor from Nassau, the Ocean Club is situated on Paradise Island amid the grandiose Atlantis development by Sol Kerzner. Albany is another noteworthy club in the area.
Other opportunities for play can be found elsewhere, such as on Grand Bahama, home to the Grand Lucayan Resort, where Dick Wilson created the layout in the Sixties; Wilson's course is no longer played, but one by Robert Trent Jones II at the Reef Club remains in business. For those seeking a links experience, the Abaco Club on Great Abaco Island offers some truly memorable holes. There is also Baker's Bay on the shore of Great Guana Cay, which was designed by Tom Fazio in 2010.