The one great thing about Florida is the many options golfers have when they want to play 18 holes or even book a golf vacation. Located just 15 minutes from the EPCOT resorts is the Grand Cypress Golf Club Orlando. This 45-hole club gives golfers the challenges they thrive and can also give golfers the feel of playing one of the greatest golf courses which of course is St. Andrews. We’ll get to that in a few minutes.
The really cool thing about Grand Cypress Golf Club is the course is broken down into three distinct 9-hole courses, and “The New Course” which is 18-holes. With that being said, you could play this course time and time again and never have the same experience. Each 9-hole course offers a combination of classic Nicklaus design and challenges. I’m, going to come out and say it, I am a “Grip it and Rip it” golfer. Many times this style gets me in a lot of trouble and courses that require strategic play and accuracy can drive me nuts. Well, Grand Cypress did that in a good way!
Mother Nature helped drive me crazy a little too, as the night before we played, she dumped a few inches of rain on the course. With all the rain Orlando received in August, the rough was brutal. Coming from New England, the Florida rough gave me, my sister Jen and our friend Ken a new challenge. This course certainly rewards you for being in the fairway and punishes you for being in the rough or the bunkers.
One of my favorite holes made me feel like I was on the 17th tee at the TPC of Sawgrass. It was playing about 150 yards with an island green surrounded by water and a few alligators. Being from New Hampshire, it is always cool seeing a few wild gators. They did look a little hungry, so I decided to feed them one of my new Bridgestone e7 golf balls. In the air, the shot looked perfect, however the kidney shaped green was about a foot shorter than I needed it to be. Both my sister Jen and Ken put it on the dance floor, but the contour of each green would make even the best PGA putter’s knees shake. They walked away with pars, I walked away with a bogey. However, when the scores were tallied at the end, I was the victor!
I was a little disappointed I didn’t have a chance to play “The New Course”. The New Course is a play on words as it has many features and layouts of “The Old Course” St. Andrews. The course was closed for maintenance, however I really liked the fact they would do that to make the course better! After our round, Director of Golf Joe Angelino took us on a tour of The New Course. You could instantly tell the layout had the feel of Scotland with gorse mounds, stone bridges and walls, huge pot bunkers, wide open hole designs and 14 large shared or common greens. The New Course plays 5,242 yards from the reds and 6720 yards from the blues. If you have game enough to play the blues, you will be facing an intimidating 600+ yard par 5 of this course. This course has such the look and feel of St. Andrews, that Tiger Woods and Mark O’Mara stopped by to play before making the trip overseas for a “warm-up” round. When asked how the course was and how they played, O’Meara replied, “I shot a 63 and lost!” Looking at some of the designs of the bunkers, I would be happy to break 100! The New Course has a replica of the famous “road hole” and I can tell you this course will be on my “must play” list for my next trip.
After our round, we enjoyed lunch at The Club restaurant and sports bar. It’s always nice to have a good meal with friendly staff after a bad round of golf. You know what they say, “A bad round of golf is still better than a good day at work!” I would say for what Grand Cypress has to offer, prices were very reasonable for both golf and lunch.
Some other features of Grand Cypress Golf Club that I didn’t have a chance to take advantage of was the Academy of Golf. Considered one of the Top 25 golf schools in America, I probably should have taken the time to go there and fix my swing! If you don’t want to pay the extra baggage fee bringing your clubs, Grand Cypress has Cobra AMP clubs and ECCO golf shoes available for rental. You may be asking yourself where you know the name Grand Cypress, well this course has hosted several LPGA events and is on schedule for a television event that will be scheduled for playback on New Year’s Day 2013.
If you are looking for a unique golf experience, add Grand Cypress Golf Club Orlando to your travel plans, you won’t regret it! Check them out on-line at www.grandcypress.com.