Cypresswood Golf Club is situated on 800 acres of heavily treed gently rolling terrain which is home to the Tradition and Cypress 18 hole courses – both of which are one of the many fantastic courses that are owned and operated by Foresight Golf. The Cypress Course was designed and built in 1988 by Rick Forester and it is the easiest of the two 18s with more traditional holes, flatter fairways, and some side by side holes. Avid Golfer named Cypresswood’s Cypress Course #3 in the 2010 “Top 10 Mid Priced Courses.”
The Cypresswood Tradition Course is home to the 2010 PGA Tour Shell Houston Open 4-Spot Qualifier and it’s a fantastic track. In fact since opening the Tradition course has won a number of accolades and in 2010 Avid Golfer named the Tradition as #1 in the “Top 10 Mid Priced” Houston category, the Dallas Morning News rated it the “#2 Public Course in Texas,” and the Houston Chronicle rated it the “#1 Daily Fee Course in the Houston Area.”
Cypresswood’s Tradition Course opened for play in 1997 and was designed by Keith Foster. Both courses play through the tall pines of East Texas and if you can’t find the fairways you’ll have plenty of time to explore the forest and most likely you’ll lose a number of golf balls. The Tradition’s fairways are ample and friendly off the tee box and then get a little tighter as you approach the greens. When you play a round here it’s just you and your fellow golfers and nature – no screaming kids, barking dogs, or residents sitting in their yards heckling you or collecting your stray golf balls. In fact, the only noise I heard was some birds and squirrels, my yelling fore, and the sound of my ball ricocheting off the trees.
This is a fun and challenging track and the back nine has some very interesting holes. Each of the holes at the Tradition course have been named and each name will give you an idea of what to expect. For example:
- Big Bend is a hefty 606 yard par 5 that bends (Big Horseshoe might be more appropriate) around the piney woods and a big swale offering a couple good risk reward shots
- Leaning Tree is a 528 yard dog leg left par 5 with a bunker and you guessed it, a leaning tree in the middle of the fairway about where your drive wants to land or they could have named this hole Minefield thanks to the 8 bunkers you’ll need to avoid on the way to the green
- Double Vision is just one of the several holes that has two distinct sets of tee boxes and each one gives you a very different approach to the green
- Tough Approach is what you’ll find on the approach shot to a well guarded green on #10
- Green Canyon is a beautiful, fun, and challenging hole that words can’t describe – you’ll need to experience it firsthand
- Double Gulch forces you to make a decision – do you try to carry both gulches or try to nail the small landing zone between them
- Courage Point is the shortest par 4 on the course at 318 yards and it will temp to try and drive it but you’ll need a lot of courage to go for it – the lake on the right and around the back and the 7 bunkers in front of and around the green will test you courage and there is not much room for error
When we played in November 2010 the fairways, rough, and tee boxes were all in very good condition. The fairways are soft, smooth, and most have plenty of slope and contour. From the tee box, you can usually bring out the big dog and let-er-rip – the fairways are generous off the tee and the rough is playable, but if you spray the ball you’re lost in the dense forest and you’ll need a chain saw or trained squirrel to find your ball.
The greens were in near perfect condition and they held the ball well. The greens are about average width and depth and all shapes and sizes. Most of the greens are elevated and well guarded putting a premium on approach shots if you want to score well. All of the greens have some degree of slope ranging from gentle to severe plus you’ll encounter some undulation and tiers. There are some subtle breaks that can be hard to read but in general the greens are true and smooth and typically run about a 10 on the Stimpmeter.
In addition to some tough approaches, risk reward opportunities, dog legs, and water you’ll need to manage the 68 bunkers. The good news is the sand is soft and thick, the bad news is that the fairway bunkers are strategically placed, the greenside bunkers generally guard both sides, and most of the bunkers are steep faced (one to three feet).
This is a fantastic track and compared to others in the Houston area, it is a good value and it lives up to Forsight Golf’s motto of providing “exceptional golf at a remarkable value.” The Tradition’s “amen corner” which is holes 16, 17, and 18 will make you want to come back again. Load up on some food or drinks before you head out, the Traditions doesn’t come back to the clubhouse at the turn.
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We played on a Wednesday and the pace of play was fast but there was no cart service and I was starving and thirsty from hole three and on, which I’m sure is the reason I didn’t score well! Strange, the rest of my foursome did have a good round! The pro shop is very well stocked, the grill serves a range of food, the practice facilities are good, and the service is ok.