Heather and I enjoyed the memorable experience of playing Cypress Point in 2005.
It will stay with us forever...
But whereas Pebble Beach is a public course, and home to many events including the US Open, Cypress Point remains a very private and exclusive club.
It is a charming combination of exclusivity, the most spectacular of sites, and wonderful design.
McKenzie is famous for his bunkering, and Cypress Point has sandy hazards at every turn- strategically positioned, with wonderful wild shaping, and at times providing a level of intimidation.
In my view the bunkering defines the course at Cypress as much as the spectacular setting...
Our day started with an oddity!
Our host proceeded to hit his opening tee shot into a hedge crossing the fairway- what a disappointing start to a day with such promise!.
No matter, he quickly declared 'breakfast ball', pulled out a new ball and parred the hole..
That was an education for the uninitiated, and something we have seen many times since with our friends from the states.
After the first hole the course turns inland through pine forests, and the bunkering is sublime..
My memories of holes 4 & 5 is dominated by acres of sand- strategically placed, artfully designed and totally 'in synch' with the surroundings.
There are some wonderful runs of holes here- I particularly I liked the 'back to back' shorter par four 8th and 9th holes.
And I think that the run of 15 to 17 is the most exciting golf I have ever played.
When you walk from 14 green to 15 tee along the coast you turn the bend and the sound hits you in the solar plexus- a cacophony of waves hitting the rocks, the calls of the wild- seals and sea birds
...and then you turn again and confront the most beautiful short par 3 possible.
Overwhelmed, you putt out on 15 and proceed around the point.
You need to adjust again to the sound of the pounding sea overpowered by the pounding of your heart as you approach the most famous par 3 in the world - the par 3 200metre 16th hole with ocean carry from tee to green.
It is a tad overwheming!
..but completely awesome!
The seventeenth tee sits on a point nearly surrounded by ocean.
Your tee shot must carry the ocean and coastal rocks which run at a diagonal to your line of play.
Of course the safe line away from the sea requires less carry but leaves a longer approach over a pine tree, whereas a longer or more daring tee shot hugging the coastline will leave a shorter approach from a better angle.
The closing hole is nice, but is perhaps the weakest hole on the course- an uphill par 4 through the trees.
Originally MacKenzie had suggested the tee be positioned on a rock off the coast (which was to be reached by a swing bridge)
Now that would have been a memorable finish!
CPC has that perfect combination of great strategic design, wonderful variety of golfing terrain (through sand dunes, pine forest, and along the coast), and gorgeous ocean backdrops
In my opinion it ranks with Pine Valley as the best two courses in the world- but CPC is the one I would play over and over- it is just that good.
Cypress Point Club is a very private club, so you need to befriend a member to get an invite.
Cypress Point Club is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a Golf Tour to Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula to suit your group.
For further information please enquire here: