Quite often, I’ll receive an email from a visitor to or reader of the blog and they’ll ask for my advice on where to play whilst visiting Orlando. Typically, I’ll refer them to some of the local hot spots, Disney, Celebration, etc..
I realized that I never gave much thought to referring folks to Grand Cypress. I don’t exactly know exactly why, I guess it always seemed like Grand Cypress was in a league of it’s own, sorta out of touch to mere mortals like us 🙂
Earlier in the month, I made my way to their Academy of Golf, to the TaylorMade Performance Lab and after my fitting, I had lunch with the Director of Golf and Director of Marketing and toured the facilities. As a result of the fitting, I ended up purchasing the custom fit 2009 TaylorMade Burner Irons and I’ve been very impressed with them.
To sum up my experience, let me say, “Grand Cypress is amazing.”
Grand Cypress Golf Club boasts 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus signature golf. There’s two courses, the Old course and the New course.
The Old Course is comprised of three nine-hole courses called the North, East and South Courses. Within these 27 holes, the Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed North, South, and East Nines provide three distinctly unique 18-hole masterpieces.
For the full round of 18, courses can be combined as the North-South, South-East, or East-North Course.
Each combination provides a distinctive playing experience, which will challenge even the best of golfers.
The North, South, and East Nines offer a variety of mental and physical stimuli that test accuracy rather than strength and distance. The original North-South combination, marked by sharp ledge fairways, tall shaggy mounds, and plateau greens perched above water or sand, is a demanding, target-style test. The sportier, more wooded East Nine is more generous, with less bunkering (particularly in front of the greens) allowing for more run-up shots.
The New Course is Jack Nicklaus’ tribute and homage to the famed Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. This Scottish links masterpiece is complete with double greens, stone bridges and walls, gorse mounds, burns, and pot bunkers as deep as 12 feet, all in the spirit of true Scottish original.
There was great care put into creating a course that was very similar, and to a certain extent, exactly like the Old course at St. Andrews.
They’ve created a replica of the Swilican Bridge that golfers for centuries at have trudged over on the 18th hole at the Old Course in St. Andrews. It’s said to be a very spiritual moment, as you cross the bridge, reflecting on just how many have come before you and will come after.
It’s said you can almost visualize the many golf’s “greats” that have crossed that very path, decades and centuries before. This is as close as it’ll ever get to the real thing, with the added benefit of the Florida sunshine!
While you’re there, you can also take advantage of the Academy of Golf, they offer so many different things, that I can almost guarantee that there’s something for everyone. I can tell you from experience that the driving range is immaculate. There’s nothing I hate more than going to the range, and trying to work on your game on ground that’s both uneven and beat all to hell. I was very impressed with the care the give the range and how great the conditions were. They even offer range finders that everyone can use, free of charge, so you can better gauge your distances.
It’s been rated one of golf’s “Top 25 schools” since 1999 and because there’s so much to offer, they’re always running special packages and rates on lessons. They’re presently offering a package, where you pay for three lessons, you get the fourth free, and they even throw in a free round of golf.
I highly encourage you to check out the TaylorMade Performance Lab whilst you’re there and see if Travis can squeeze you in, it’s well worth the investment and you can get 50% off the price if you mention “OrlandoGolfBlogger” (See above link for details).
Regarding lodging, there’s two options that are on site, the Villas at Grand Cypress and the Hyatt Regency at Grand Cypress. Both have tons of amenities and activities for you and the family and they’re both offering some seriously awesome summer rates. The location is perfect for families as well, for those who aren’t crazy about golf, you’re right next to Walt Disney World, so send them to the attractions and head to the links! 🙂
Another way to save on lodging is to rent directly from owners who are trying to sell timeshare at one of the nearby resorts in Lake Buena Vista. You can often get great weekly and nightly rates by checking online for these deals.
For all of you locals, just an FYI, they’re starting an initiative to get more of us out there, so you should definitely inquire about what sort of special rates they’re running for Orlando residents.
Hope this has been helpful!