How do you fit a large golf course on a small island?

by | Origin Story

When pro golfer Jack Nicklaus was hired in the 1980s to design a golf course on Grand Cayman Island, he faced a difficult challenge: The island, a mere six miles wide and 22 miles long, was too small to accommodate a full-sized course. In his first whack at the problem, Nicklaus and his team cleverly designed a nine-hole course that can be played twice from different tees. Still, golfers couldn’t shorten their swings, and balls were too easily sailing out onto the surrounding water. At this point, instead of continuing to focus on the size of the course, Nicklaus reframed the problem: What if golf balls simply traveled too far? It took some heavy testing and research, but Nicklaus and the MacGregor Golf Company developed the limited-flight “Cayman ball,” which drives half the distance of a regular golf ball with the same amount of swing. Small island hotels and backyard duffers everywhere rejoiced.

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