The Bunker that's good for your golf

By: Jonathan Joyce

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has long been the top destination for tourists visiting Cayman. This year has presented locals with the opportunity to book a staycation and take advantage of the resort’s amenities. For golfers, in addition to a nine-hole championship course, the Ritz also offers "The Bunker," an indoor practice facility that features two Trackman simulators, multiple televisions and lounge seating. It is luxury indoor golf, Ritz-Carlton style.

Oliver Riding, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grand Cayman, said The Bunker is open to the public for individual, group and corporate events.

“We book individual private lessons, group clinics and corporate events with food and drink available from any of our restaurants," he said. "We also have steady bookings from golfers who are looking to improve their game or have fun playing one of hundreds of golf courses that are available.”

I entered The Bunker recently to work on my game. My plan was to play a round of simulated golf at Adare Manor, host of the 2027 Ryder Cup. But first I went to the practice range. The big-hitting screen revealed a typical outdoor range with an assortment of detailed swing data. I took a swing and saw the ball soar into the sky before turning hard to the right — bit of a duck hook in golfer’s parlance. Looking at the data, my club face was closed, causing the ball to go right. Over the next 15 minutes, I made small adjustments based on the information provided and eventually saw the ball flying straight and true.

Feeling confident, I headed to the first tee. I had a half hour left in my booking. Plenty of time to play nine or 10 holes. The Trackman simulator allows for a realistic playing experience in a fraction of the time it takes to play outdoors. But unlike a video game where I can play as Tiger Woods, it was me hitting the shots. While no one will ever mistake me for a professional, I played well and left with some confidence to take into my weekly Saturday game.

Over on the other simulator, Tim Dwyer, one of the Ritz-Carlton's golf professionals, was conducting a junior lesson. Tim works with kids of all skill levels, including several of Cayman’s young golfing stars. I was impressed with how he mixed fun with the fundamentals of the game. The lesson ended with a competition between the student and the coach. I think Tim managed to squeak out a victory.

The Bunker is a great option for someone looking to work on their game as it gives immediate data analysis. It's also ideal for enjoyable company outings.

“We can customise any event to meet the needs of our clients," Riding said. "Get in touch and we can let you know what is possible.”

Contact the Ritz-Carlton at 815-6500 for more information.

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This article appears in print in the January 2021 edition of Camana Bay Times.

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