History of the Cayman Ball
In the 1930s William H.
Diddel, a golf course architect in Indianapolis, first conceived of
a golf-like game to make starting golf easier and to shrink the
size of courses. Unfortunately Mr. Diddel was never able to
obtain a reduced-distance ball which performed
satisfactorily. In the 1980s pro golfer Jack Nicklaus asked
the MacGregor Golf Company to develop a ball for a small course his
design company was laying out on Grand Cayman Island. Troy
Puckett, then MacGregor’s top golf equipment engineer,
produced a suitable ball composed mainly of DuPont’s
Surlyn. Mr. Puckett has further improved that ball and his
company now manufactures it as The Cayman ball.
The Cayman ball is the same size as a golf ball. Instead of dimples it has a brambled surface and weighs approximately 24 grams, compared to the average 45 grams of a traditional golf ball. Together these restrict its distance to only slightly more than half the distance of a golf ball with a fast swing and a greater percentage with a slower swing. Also the Cayman ball floats on water hazards and streams.
Cayman golf is more readily accepted by those who have never played golf, particularly juniors. To these people this game has several advantages over golf or pitch and putt. The first being that an 18 hole course can be that much shorter and a round will take less than 2 hours, even for inexperienced players. Learners frequently hit off-line shots, but being struck by an errant cayman ball is unlikely to injure anyone. Also this means that playing Cayman golf is perfect for the whole family, many women, young people, older seniors and even disabled persons infact anyone who wants to play golf or pitch and putt. When the joy and ease of cayman golf becomes more widely known, some people who can afford and are capable of effectively playing traditional golf should at times play cayman golf for a different game entirely.