Review and Rating of Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando Florida
Grand Cypress Golf Club is home to 45 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus, a golf academy, and the Villas of Grand Cypress. Grand Cypress has won a number resort and other awards including being recognized in 2010 by Golf World in the "Top 50 Resort Courses." Each of the courses (East, South, North, and New) has it's own unique characteristics and personality. For example, the New course is a links style course designed to pay tribute to some of holes of Scotland's St Andrews Old Course. The North and South courses both have terraced fairways with tall shaggy mounds and elevated and well guarded greens – as such, course management and target golf are rewarded. The East course is the shortest with more generous fairways and less bunkering which provides an opportunity to score well. The North course is the hardest by 3 to 4 stokes and the South has the most challenging greens. When we visited Orlando in February 2010, we played the North and South courses and the South course was our favorite. You can read our review of Grand Cypress South Course to learn what we liked about playing it.
The North course is pretty straightforward (you can see the pin and what you're up against) with some but not a lot of variety, mostly flat fairways lined by mounds, natural sand areas, bottle-brush, water on 6 holes, and some good sized bunkers anxiously awaiting your ball. That said, it seemed deceivingly difficult which was reflected in our scores! The 7th and 9th hole are fantastic – #7 423 yard par 4 that horseshoes around the lake offering a risk reward opportunity off the tee box and again on the approach to a well protected green. #9 is straight but it plays along the lake (it swallowed a couple of our balls) and the approach requires an accurate shot.
The fairways were in very good condition as were the soft sand bunkers. The greens are fast (10 or 11 on the Stint Meter) and tough to read thanks to lots of slope, undulation, and spines – could this be part of the reason we didn't score well? Make sure you spend some time putting before you head out.
Bottom line – this is a great nine, in very good condition, and both fun and challenging to play. We played Grand Cypress as part of a fun filled seven days in Orlando where we rode in an Indy race car, saw alligators on an air-boat ride, sky dived in a wind tunnel, flew a 1946 World War II fighter trainer, para-sailed, swam with the manatees, ate too much good food, enjoyed some fun nightlife, golfed 9 different courses, and got very little sleep! Read our Orlando Vacation article to learn more about this adventure packed vacation.
The New Course is a beautifully designed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that opened in 1988 to great fanfare. Inspired by his great performances through the years at St. Andrews Old Course, Jack pays homage here to the birthplace of golf. A "links-style" design to its greatest degree, reminders of St. Andrews appear throughout the course with 150-plus bunkers, elevated tees and greens, stone walls, a winding burn (including a stone bridge crossing), and seven huge, double greens. Plus, replicas of the world-famous first and 18th holes at St. Andrews Old Course and Nicklaus' version of the Road Hole. All in all, it's quite a tribute to the Old Course. Impeccable playing conditions year-round for every caliber of golfer. The preceding comments are thanks to GolfOrlando.com.