As local golf readies for new courses, a celebrity tournament aided the sole 18-hole venue.
North Sound Golf Club was the site of last weekend’s 2014 Cayman Islands Golf Invitational, organized by resident former pro Marcello Santi and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. The two-day event attracted former world No.1 David Duval and a host of golf legends, including Peter Hanson, Rich Beem and Kim Welch.
Jeff Sauvage, North Sound’s general manager, says the competition puts the facility in a good position.
“It can have a tremendous impact on golf,” Sauvage said. “This event will help North Sound and in turn, golf in Cayman reach a broad audience via social media. All the guys were tweeting throughout the trip so we can have tremendous reach and exposure from that. They all had a positive experience,so that will help solidify our reputation as a first-class golf facility.”
Cayman is expected to hold public tournaments at the Blue Tip nine-hole course – which belongs to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman – in 2015. The Cayman Islands Golf Association, according to president Paul Woodhouse, will be hosting trials and qualifiers for national teams headed to international competitions. In the future, Blue Tip is slated to become an 18-hole course.
Another venue coming into the fold is Ironwood, a resort development featuring an 18-hole course designed by Arnold Palmer that is expected to be completed within 20 years.
At North Sound, the invitational featured 44 players in 22 pairs. Visiting pro Thomas Levet was this year’s winner, with the top squad being the Camana Bay team of Nigel Bates, Cameron Graham and Isabel Mendes (formerly Lawson). A junior clinic showcasing English trick shot specialist David Edwards was also held.
Sauvage, a Professional Golfers Association of America-certified instructor, says the pros enjoyed themselves.
“It went great, everyone had a great time and there were lots of fun activities set up for the group. I was impressed with how relaxed everyone was – their guard was down, they were visiting with the families and looking to have a relaxing vacation.”