Page 13 From Summer 2014 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
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Ironwood, Arnold Palmer's First Caribbean Golf Course

The new course design by Arnold Palmer Design Company of Ironwood golf course in Cayman.

Arnold Palmer at a press conference at Ironwood     

        Ironwood, the Cayman Islands’ newest community recently welcomed golf legend Arnold Palmer who officially launched the development of the first Arnold Palmer Signature course in the Caribbean.
        This new course in the Cayman Islands will be part of the new Ironwood development that’s set to revitalize the islands, adding jobs and improving the country’s infrastructure.
        Construction of the 18 hole course at Ironwood is scheduled to begin in Fall 2014 and should be complete by Summer 2016. “The course itself will be a core golf project, pushing houses back and being generous with the golf corridors,” explained Thad Layton, Senior Golf Course Architect and Vice President at Arnold Palmer Design Company.
        Speaking of the design, Layton said, “The easterly trade winds also have to be taken into account for safety and for the golf course design strategy. Every hole changes direction and, again, the wind is an issue. We have to make the ones into the wind not as long as the ones downwind because there’s a prevailing wind down there that’s always blowing; it’s just a matter of to what degree.”
        “The golf course at Ironwood will be around 7,100 yards long l;and will be capable of holding a tour event, but we're designing it with the everyday golfer in mind. It will be quite versatile. Our emphasis is going to be on making it fun, interesting, strategic in nature as well as beautiful.
        “We're not building the world's longest golf course, nor are we trying to make it the hardest. We want to make it fun and interesting, but also dynamic enough to host a tour event if so desired. It will be the only golf course in the Cayman Islands that will have the capability to do that because of the yardage.
        “Our approach is to really get to know the piece of land. We’ll get out and walk it and route the golf course in a way that respects the terrain. We will also try to save as many of the native trees and as much of the native vegetation as we can and work any rock outcroppings and natural water bodies into the strategy and the aesthetics of the golf course.”
        The Ironwood course could also potentially solve a larger problem plaguing the Cayman Islands: the tires at its landfill. The millions of tires piling up in the George Town landfill could potentially be shredded and used as fill in the golf course, creating a greener golf course. The shredded tires will act as drainage fill and this eco-friendly recycling of the tires will alleviate a great burden in George Town's landfill.
        Another environmentally sensitive issue is the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park that encompasses several hundred acres to the south of the golf course property. Part of that is the Blue Iguana Preserve that butts up to the golf course property. The Blue Iguana is an endangered specie and this island is one of the primary places where they can be found.
        Ironwood plans to be a good neighbor to the preserve and if that means creating uninterrupted wildlife corridors in and out of the golf course, that’s what they’ll do. Any native habitat that might have traversed this site before will still have the same access to go through it uninterrupted.

Thad Layton - Architect and VP of APDC also spoke at the Ironwood press conference.

Page 13 From Summer 2014 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
To advertise in Florida Golf Magazine in print and on-line, phone 863-227-2751 and/or email