Arnold Palmer Group committed to Ironwood

Amy Saunders, daughter of the late Arnold Palmer, and the rest of the Palmer Group, were on hand over this past weekend to tour the island and the site of the future Ironwood development, which will feature an Arnold Palmer Signature Championship golf course.

Although other members of the team had been to Cayman on several occasions before, this was an inaugural visit for Ms Saunders, who has stepped into her father’s shoes at the helm of the Arnold Palmer Group.

Palmer, considered one of the greatest golfers ever, passed away in September at age 87 due to complications from heart problems.

Amy Saunders of the Arnold Palmer Group.

Amy Saunders of the Arnold Palmer Group.

“My father was absolutely taken with the Cayman Islands, its people and its beauty and he was personally involved in the design of the championship course that will bear his name”, she said.

“And it is easy for me to see, even after only two days, why he felt the way he did about Cayman. I am here to continue his dream of not only building a world class golf club here, but also to contribute in all the philanthropic endeavours that both he and my mother fostered.”

The Palmer Group representatives including Ms Saunders, had the opportunity to meet with Christina McTaggart-Pineda, Executive Director of the National Trust, to talk about environmental and educational programmes that the “Arnie’s Army Foundation” are working on in the US that could be supportive of similar programmes that the National Trust is trying to get off the ground in Cayman.

They also discussed at length the Arnold Palmer Group’s commitment to constructing and operating environmentally responsible and sustainable golf courses. “Our philosophy is to build golf courses that give back to the community and the environment,” said Ms Saunders.

Arnold Palmer at the launch event of Ironwood in 2014.

Arnold Palmer at the launch event of Ironwood in 2014.

While on island, the group toured the island, including the Ironwood site, by helicopter, and met with local stakeholders. The visit coincided with the naming of Joe Imparato’s company City Services Cayman as the design/build contractor for the Arnold Palmer Clubhouse & Lodge, of which Mr Imparato will have an equity stake.

Ironwood is a proposed 600-acre, US$1.1 billion commercial, tourism and residential community in East End and North Side. The community will comprise a town centre with boutique shops, conveniences including a grocery store, a sports complex, an 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course and Practice Campus, a nine-hole Palmer Family Course, and two vacation resorts.

The trip concluded with a visit with Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier/Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, where Ms Saunders reiterated the Group’s commitment to Cayman and to proceed with the project, which is now expected to break ground by the end of January.



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