Grand Cypress in Orlando is a Jack Nicklaus Showcase

By: Tim McDonald


Florida has some of the best golf resorts in the world, and one of my favorites is Grand Cypress in Orlando. It's Nicklaus, Nicklaus, Nicklaus from the first time you tee off on No. 1 'til you walk away from your last putt on the 18th.

The Nicklaus I'm talking about is Jack, of course, and if you admire him as a designer, you'll love Grand Cypress: 45 holes, all designed by Nicklaus.

First of all, there is the New Course, which was inspired by the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, the course that Nicklaus has loved so much and played so well in his career.

It's not a true links course, but it's as close as you're likely to get to links-style golf in central Florida, with fescue grass, 12-foot pot bunkers, stone walls and a wide-open, swing-away feel.

It can be disorienting at first – all those acres and acres of wide-open fairways. But, it can also be confidence building with your driver, as long as you don't find the hidden hazards. It's also easy to shoot for the wrong green your first time out. Some of the greens are shared: ever tried a 120-foot putt?

Then there are the North, South and East nine-hole layouts that put more emphasis on precision over power. The original North-South design is target golf, with sharply defined fairways, elevated greens, and tall, shaggy mounds. The East course is more wooded with less bunkering, especially in front of the greens. The three nines can be played in any combination.

Any way you slice it – excuse me, fade it – if you like Nicklaus, you'll love it here. There's also an excellent golf academy. Call 877-330-7377 for more information.

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