FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Grand Cayman, BWI, The North Sound Club

Jun 1, 2011
2011 / June 2011

The North Sound Club, formerly the Links at SafeHaven Grand Cayman — the only 18-hole championship course in the Cayman Islands — was designed by Roy Case of New Jersey National and Carenage Bay Canouan Grenadines fame. He’s known for creating great golf on environmentally sensitive land and working with the natural topography. At North Sound, one hole takes you by the ocean and the others pass saltwater ponds in an open layout filled with native mahogany and coconut trees and bright-colored bougainvillea.

Hurricane Ivan devastated Grand Cayman in 2004, destroying the course by dumping saltwater on it and killing the grass. The clubhouse was also damaged, and cart paths and carts vanished. The course was fully restored and reopened in 2007, with salt-resistant paspalum replacing the Bermuda grass. It hosted the Caribbean Open in 2008.

North Sound is run by PGA golf professional Jason Deerwester, who recently left the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest to enjoy Grand Cayman. The course boasts 180 members and about 20,000 yearly rounds. Full-time residents include more than a thousand iguanas of all sizes and colors who sun themselves on the course.

Hole 4 “Lakeside” (425 yards, par 4)
This No. 1 handicapped hole plays long, with prevailing winds and challenging landing areas. Your drive should slightly favor the right side for a better approach to the green; you also have to clear a large lake. Your second shot must avoid a second body of water on the right and an outcropping of trees and brush on the left. Plenty of second shots get lost in the overgrowth. Behind the green, more water is ready to catch overpowered shots.

Hole 6 “Big Bend” (535 yards, par 5)
Jason says you can cut the corner on this dogleg, but his shot from the tee was out of my league. I nailed a drive into the wind and had a slight tail to my ball, sending it slightly right and making the hole a little longer. At this point the hole turns left toward the green. Avoid the water on the left just beyond the palm tree line that runs the length of the hole. I was fortunate to tag a 3-wood to place within a sand wedge to the green, but missed my shot and carded a double bogey.

imagephoto: Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 8 “Mo” (385 yards, par 4)
Holes 7 and 8 take you into what I call “Iguana Alley.” The creatures are all over the course, but they seem to congregate here. Careful on the tee box, as the pond on the right is not visible and is within your reach; ease up with a 3- or 5-wood from the tee. Without this knowledge, I slammed a low “screamer” over the hill on the left of the fairway. Thinking I’d be in the middle of the fairway, I was surprised that my ball was nowhere in sight. I finally found it on the bank of the pond next to a large, sunning iguana. I shooed away “Mr. Lazy” and took a sand wedge, coming up slightly short but within two-putt range for par.

Hole 9 “Small Island” (175 yards, par 3)
One of the course’s oddities is the front nine’s beginning and ending with par 3s. This one is no disappointment, especially when the wind is in your face as it was my first day. My demise was the large pond; my first ball found “Davy Jones’ Locker’‘; but the second, taken with the power of two more club lengths, made the green.

Hole 11 “Sound” (235 yards, par 3)
I’m going to get a lot of raised eyebrows on this one, but with the wind coming off the sound, I didn’t give a second thought when I grabbed the driver. I slammed my tee shot, landing squarely on the green; the ball rolled to the right. With less wind on the second day, I hit a 3-wood and came up short. This hole is also about beauty. Look out over the azure water before you move on — it’s the only ocean hole on the course.

Hole 16 “Mitchell” (345 yards, par 4)
My father’s middle name was Mitchell, so it is fitting that I review this hole. It is ranked the No. 2 handicapped hole — perhaps because of the water you must clear on your drive or perhaps for the second pond on the left that caught my rolling drive the first day. But let’s talk about the second day. I took a far different and more rewarding approach. This time, my drive favored the right side of the fairway, landing on the edge and within a pitching wedge to the green. The green slopes from front to back with sweeping views of the channels and the million-dollar homes and their “toys” floating at their docks. Stay away from trouble and Mitchell will be your friend.

Hole 17 “Devious” (320 yards, par 4)
As the hole says, I was a little devious. Instead of following the contour of this dogleg right, I hit a long ball straight left of the flowering bougainvillea. From here, I had a sand wedge to the green, making par and never touching the fairway. Jason says he has been asking the greens keeper to let the grass grow behind those bushes so that it is more of a punishment for guys like me. Don’t do it!

For those who tend to hit a slice or fade, there is a pond right where you will land. I hit a “fun ball” drive, which landed to the right a foot away from a coconut tree. I manhandled a sand wedge, clearing the water and just coming up short. A fun par-able hole from either angle.

Hole 18 “Waterloo” (545 yards, par 5)
You might think you have engaged in the battle of Waterloo if you don’t control yourself here. With water along the right side and the dogleg hugging it all the way around the green, this hole is not the friend of the slicer. My tee ball was straight and true but not exceptionally long. The key here is to keep your senses and cut off the distance with a squarely hit 3-wood across the elbow of the lake to about 100 yards from the green. From here, you are home free to the elevated green, which has a bunker on the left and back. The green is shaped like one of the Grand Cayman’s sting rays — a great finishing hole to a must-play course. Make sure you have a local Ironshore Bock beer served by Jackie at the clubhouse bar.


The North Sound Club

SafeHaven Drive
Grand Cayman, BWI
tel 345 947 4653

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jan 27, 2022

Winter at The Broadmoor for Non-Skiers

Outdoor winter sports aren’t for everyone. If you prefer après-ski over actually skiing, The Broadmoor in Colorado has options for you.

Seabourn: It’s Not an Escape, It’s an Arrival

Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.

eFlyer Reviews
Jan 26, 2022

Magna Pars-L’Hotel à Parfum Review

Navigli is Milan’s current “it” neighborhood, a quick tram or train ride from the Duomo, the oft-photographed Quadrilatero della Moda shopping, museums, chain stores and throngs of tourists. While it has the youthful vibe and artist-chic found in formerly industrial neighborhoods in major cities around the globe, it’s not every day you’ll find such a district that has reinvented itself as a Venice that’s wholly defined by the stylish and tech-savvy locals who live, work and play there. It is both photogenic and approachable, while also tapping into the current sustainability zeitgeist.

eFlyer News
Jan 26, 2022

Steamboat Ski Resort Welcomes Skiers with Disabilities to its Champagne Powder Snow

Believing everyone of all abilities and skills should have a fulfilling ski experience, Steamboat Ski Resort partnered with Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports to allow all to hit the slopes, no matter their abilities. A nonprofit focusing on empowering lives through adaptive recreational activities, STARS will help Steamboat Ski Resort offer an adaptive ski experience for skiers and snowboarders with disabilities.

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel

eFlyer News
Jan 26, 2022

Icelandair Adds Three New Destinations in Europe

Icelandair adds Rome (FCO), Alicante (ALC), and Nice (NCE), to its international network for travel this summer. As popular tourist destinations, the addition will provide connections between North America and Iceland during the busiest travel time of the year. Passengers flying to these three new destinations can take advantage of a multiday stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Daily
Jan 25, 2022

Air France Launches New, More Eco-Responsible Comfort Kits

Air France’s long-haul business-class passengers will receive a new comfort kit made of 93 percent recycled material. The new kit, part of the airline’s eco-responsible approach, boasts the company’s historic winged seahorse emblem in two colors: navy blue and grey.

 Reconnect with the world in The Islands of Tahiti

Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.

Slideshow
Jan 25, 2022

7 Reasons to Put Maui, Hawai’i, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Maui, Hawai’i, with us.