History of Golf in Cayman
Golf in Cayman...
was a long time coming! Real Estate Developers were promising golf courses as early as the 1970s but the promises never materialized. Golfing devotees were frustrated and reduced to traveling to Florida or Jamaica to indulge their hobby. Indeed, a small but dedicated group regularly organized competitions in those countries and Costa Rica and there are still many CIGA members who will share their enjoyable memories of those early travels at the drop of a hat.
Golf finally became a reality in 1985 when the Britannia Golf Course opened. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, it had a unique concept of an 18 hole Par 3 Executive course overlaid on a 9 hole Championship course. In addition, the Executive layout could also be used as a track for the "Cayman" ball, a 50 compression ball which travelled about half the distance of the regular golf ball. However, the idea never really took off in Cayman, largely because of the windy conditions regularly encountered in the Caribbean which could see a lofted ball being blown back over the golfer's head!
The Links at Safehaven finally opened at the end of 1993, bringing the first 18 hole Championship course, allowing many more golfers to enjoy the sport. Since that time, the two Championship venues were joined by the Sunrise Family Golf Centre at Savannah, which provided a sporty short hole test for family members of all ages. The Sunrise Family Golf Centre at Savannah did not reopen after Hurricane Ivan.
In 2007 the Links at Safehaven became the North Sound Club, and in 2013 The North Sound Golf Club. It continues to be the only 18 hole championship course on the island. It also has a driving range and short game practice areas. The Blue Tip a Greg Norman Signature designed golf course opened in October 2006 and wass exclusive to Ritz-Carlton guests. It is currently a 9 hole golf course that plays just over 3,500 yards from the back tees with water on 8 out of the 9 holes. In 2015 it opened up to members and has now been renamed The Ritz Carlton Golf club – Cayman. The Britannia Golf Course is slated to close at the end of August 2016.