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 (now shittered) 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.
Golfers who would like to "experience" links golf in Orlando should not wait too long to play the Grand Cypress New course, because a $1.5 billion renovation of the entire property is planned. In 2023 the former Grand Cypress facility will morph into the Evermore Orlando Resort.
The developer (Dart Interests) intends to maintain the New course until completion of resort construction in 2023, then build a replacement 18-hole Nicklaus Design course. According to Dart’s January 2021 press release, the replacement course will “pay homage to the legacy of golf excellence at Grand Cypress”.
The New course at Grand Cypress is a fun round of golf. It's a knock of of the Old at St Andrews.....but not really. It has a number of double greens. It has some nice features. But it is not really much like the Old. Grand Cypress has had some difficulty and this is the only golf left open for play here at this point. It's a fun day out.
Another great Nicklaus design. This is course is a tribute to the Old Course at St. Andrews.
I appreciate this course for what it is, a good golf course that pays "tribute" to the Old Course. I like the play on words here. The course has the same set up which I enjoyed. Hence, the same strategy would be used as if playing the old course. To those of us that will never get to play the Old Course I say Thank you to Grand Cypress for letting us think we are playing the next best thing. A very good "tribute" course indeed. I love the links style and had a blast. I know I will be back to enjoy a day at "New" again some day. Now if I could just get on at Golden Ocala someday...hmmmmmmm
Larry, with the greatest respect sir, your ratings are off the charts crazy. You say Grand Cypress New is a “good” course (4 ball rating) and then you go on to say it’s a very good course (4.5 rating) and yet you’ve awarded the course 5.5 (Outstanding – A brilliant World Top 100 course). Come on sir – get a grip on your ratings, they’re laughable.
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
I agree with many of the sentiments in the above and obviously it is nothing like playing St Andrews even though it has some similarities such as lots of twinned greens and the first and the eighteenth sharing a fairway. Having said that it is an enjoyable course to play and I would give it a 4 stars rating.
MJW - have you played the course ? Your piece suggest you haven't, which means your rating of the golf course is not authentic. It is a "tribute" course, so rate the course in that context. It is clearly nonsense to compare a course in mid Florida it to the real thing which is 4000 miles away ! Many tribute courses, bands, artwork can be excellent in their own right so it would be interesting to hear from reviewers that have played the course.
David, I have played all the Grand Cypress courses - including the one in question. As I mentioned -- the facility provides all the creature comforts of a comprehensive resort, but the attempt to replicate one of golf's most enamored courses is laughable. Why all the effort to create a "tribute" course -- just create something original.
The turf is far from anything relating to what a real "tribute" would include. I don't consider spongy turf to be anything close to what a real "links" is about. The bounce of the ball is central to any "tribute" and that does not happen with this faux attempt.