Situated in the beautiful Hunter Valley wine district, Cypress Lakes Golf & Country Club is a Steve Smyers-designed resort course that was first unveiled in 1992. From the championship back markers, the layout extends to 6,467 metres, with stunning views of the region’s famous vineyard territory and the surrounding Brokenback mountain range.
The gently undulating front nine – which is laid out around a couple of small lakes and one or two local wineries – contrasts markedly against a more challenging back nine where tree-lined fairways occupy hillier terrain. The landscape in either half might be different but the level of interest remains high throughout.
Feature holes include a pair of short par fours at the 7th and 17th: the first of these holes requires a tee shot carry across water and the second plays to a pond-protected green. The uphill 9th is the toughest hole on the outward half, while the 573-metre 16th is a monster par five that seldom yields a birdie, fully justifying its stroke index 2 rating.
Steve Smyers gave us the following exclusive quote:
“Cypress Lakes is a very special project to me. I first learned of the opportunity on my first trip to Australia to visit my wife’s family. Sherrin grew up a couple of hours north of Cypress Lakes and came to America to play and compete on the LPGA Tour.
We were newly married and I was just starting my design business, building my first major project, Wolf Run in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the time, the opportunity to get involved in a project of this type was very exciting for me my new wife and her family.
Australia was going through tough economic times and the project was developed on a very measured timeline and a tight budget. The region was experiencing a severe drought and the terrain had outcrops of rocks, both of which made construction costly, time consuming and tricky. It was a great learning experience.
During this time I made several visits to the courses of the Melbourne sand belt region where I became truly enamoured with the courses there. As a side note, my oldest son Trent is now living and working in Sydney and when I visit him we go to Cypress Lakes for a few rounds of golf.”