Dusted Off the Golf Clubs Today on Grand Cayman

(& No “Worm Burners” or 3-Putts)

by Anne Evans

My History with Golfing

I started golfing in the summer of 2014 at the age of 58. We were living in Rancho Mirage, California (in the Palm Springs area), and we had a Social Membership at the Mission Hills Country Club.

Rick had been a golfer long before we met – and now it seemed that everyone we knew was a golfer. I started with an introductory 4-lesson mini course. I hoped golf could be something that Rick and I could enjoy doing together. I was able to hit the ball so I bought a “starter” club set. Then they dangled the “carrot” of a summer special in front of me where we just had to pay the monthly golf membership dues – without having to shell out for a golf membership. I was in heaven! I have no problem practicing or playing in the 3-digit temperatures common in the summer in Rancho Mirage, so I pretty much had the practice areas and 3 golf courses to myself. I was hooked! We ended up forking over the $$ for a golf membership when the summer special ran out.

In 2017, we moved to Entrada in St George, Utah. We purchased and renovated a home overlooking the 3rd green with the Red Cliffs of Snow Canyon State Park in the background.

Off season, when the course was mostly deserted, the 3rd green became my private chipping and putting practice area.

At the time of that move, I was in my early sixties. My short game is good – particularly putting. However, my physical strength is not so great, so it takes me forever to make my way down a fairway. Plus, I have a wicked slice. Entrada was a tough course to play (even from the red tees), because the fairways were often narrow from the tees, so my drive would generally send the ball out of bounds ☹. The course has been renovated since we left in 2021. It is a much kinder course to play now yet retains its challenges for the advanced players.

The last time I hit a golf ball was after we initiated our transition to Grand Cayman, and we landed in a rental in Venice Florida. I discovered the Myakka Pines Golf Course – and fell in love with it.

Myakka offers memberships, however, it’s also open to the public and offers three 9-hole courses that are just delightful to play. The biggest hazards were the alligators that lived in the surrounding waters. (If you lose a ball in the water, don’t venture toward or into the water to look for it!). I would practice on Saturdays and then play 9 holes with my favorite golf partner (me, myself, and I) on Tuesdays. Dec 11, 2021 was the last time I golfed there; so sad to say good bye. My golf clubs were packed and went to storage – not to be seen again until August of 2022 in Grand Cayman.

New Golf Adventures on Grand Cayman Island

The issues hindering my resuming golfing when my clubs were finally unpacked in Grand Cayman were:

  1. We could not afford a car (we had little-to-nil expendable income) so how was I going to get to the golf course, let alone afford to play? A taxi could get me to the course and back – however the added expense made it unaffordable.
  2. We were incredibly busy that first year of residency on Grand Cayman. Our days were consumed with trying to establish ourselves in our new condo (so many renovations were required to make it our new  home). Plus, there were all of the challenges of importing our possessions, dealing with immigration requirements, gaining health insurance and fulfilling the remaining requirements to establish our status as residents. Establishing ourselves here was a full-time job!
  3. And just as I felt we were rounding the corner of being (financially & otherwise) stable residents here, I developed an ear infection in March 2023 that just wouldn’t get better – and landed me in the hospital for 10 days. Let’s just say, I ended up getting out of that serious medical situation as a very fortunate lady, however, with an emptied pocketbook.

So now it is September, 2023. I am healthy. Rick is healthy. We have a car (albeit leased). We have some expendable income. So, time to resume golfing . . .

There are 2 Golf Courses here on Grand Cayman – and both very close to where we live.

  1. The Ritz Carlton Golf Club on Grand Cayman offers a 9 Hole Course (Designed by Greg Norman).

This course is only available to Guests, Ritz Carlton homeowners and those that have become Golf Members. It is not available to the public. Probably the closest I will ever come to playing this course is jogging past it in my morning runs.

2. The North Sound Golf Club, “Grand Cayman’s premier 18 hole golf course.

This course is open to the public and offers discounts to residents of the Cayman Islands. It also offers memberships. It is the only 18-hole course in The Cayman Islands. This past week I made 2 ventures out to the club – simply to use the practice areas to see if I could still hit a golf ball (answer: yes) – and ascertain if it appeared to be a friendly and affordable place to golf as a member of the resident public (answer: yes).

Kind of scary to start to golf again — just like learning to drive again.  Was I going to send a drive sideways and nail another golfer? Was I going to have to cope with condescending male golfers that felt the need to impose their advice/judgement of my abilities? Well, this is hurricane season, so I dusted off my golf clubs and off I went to the golf club. I had very little company on the practice areas and was left blissfully to myself.

I love golf. Actually, I love practicing golf. And I really love putting (I could spend hours putting). It’s so nice to just spend time thinking about nothing other than that little white ball and the beauty that surrounds me. I am sort of okay with playing too. Mostly, I prefer to play with “me, myself & I” as: 1) there is less pressure to perform, 2) I avoid encountering male golfers that feel the need to advise me on my game, and 3) I escape inane female “chitchat” that just makes me want to scream! The latter noted, in my short, late-in-life career as a golfer, there have been a small number of females (like less than the number of fingers on one hand) when if I just played with them, it was so much fun!     

Even though I have yet to play on the NSGC course, I can see that it “fits like a (golf) glove.” Just by using the practice facilities, I sense a kind, welcoming and forgiving staff – and I am confident that the course reflects the same.

If ai cannot solve a problem by baking a cookie, I cannot deal with it

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