Situated just a few miles to the east of the Walt Disney World Resort, the Grand Cypress golf complex was fashioned in the mid-1980s, with the North, South and East nines appearing first, followed a couple of years after by the 18-hole New course.
All forty-five holes on this golf complex were designed by Jack Nicklaus and, although it’s geared up to accommodate golfers enjoying a relaxing round on vacation, the resort has hosted a number of prestigious professional competitions, including a number of LPGA events, in recent years.
The New course is the Golden Bear’s tribute to the Home of Golf at St Andrews in Scotland so trees are kept to a minimum, stone walls make an occasional appearance and pot bunkers – some as deep as 12 feet – are regularly brought into play.Seven huge, double greens replicate the original configuration found on the Old Course and there are other little imitations around the course that pay further homage, such as a “Swilkin Burn” at the 1st, “Hill” and “Strath” sand traps at the 7th and a bunker-free green on the final hole.
Why anyone would venture to play a themed course patterned to the iconic Old Course at St. Andrews is beyond me.
So much of Orlando is about creating illusions with Disney World leading the way. Right behind it is the New Course at Grand Cypress. The idea one could somehow create an American version on spongy ground -- completely eliminating the ground game connection is truly mind-boggling.
Frankly, it would have been far better to simply create an original layout of some sort and go that way with a higher degree of authenticity and credibility.
Grand Cypress provides all the creature comforts associated with a comprehensive resort. The sad part is that the golf dimension provided with the New Course is a grand waste of time. If anyone believes that by going to the New Course they are encountering the genius that is the embodiment of The Old Course they truly need to wake up and smell the coffee.
by M. James Ward