Cypress Point Golf Club is a private, invitation-only golf club located on the Monterey Peninsula in California. It has been consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the world and is known for its challenging holes, stunning natural beauty, and exclusive membership.
If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to play at Cypress Point, it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare. In this article, we will share insider secrets on how to play Cypress Point Golf Club like a champion. From course layout to shot selection, we’ll provide you with everything you need to dominate the course and make your visit unforgettable.
So whether you’re a seasoned professional or simply love playing golf, read on to discover our tips for mastering Cypress Point Golf Club!
Understanding The Course Layout
If you’re wondering how to play Cypress Point Golf Club, the first step is understanding its unique layout. This highly exclusive club, located on California’s Monterey Peninsula, has earned an esteemed reputation as one of the world’s most challenging and rewarding courses.
The Front Nine
The front nine at Cypress Point is known for its magnificent ocean views and strategic bunkering. With a length of 3,560 yards, this portion of the course features a mixture of par-3s, par-4s, and one par-5. As golfing legend Phil Mickelson once noted, “The first three holes have some of the best views in all of golf.”
While players can expect to face several challenges during the opening stretch, including tricky crosswinds and greens that are difficult to read, they will also be treated with breathtaking scenery. A particular highlight is the third hole, which requires players to hit their approach shot over a rocky inlet to reach the green.
As seasoned golfers are aware, good scoring opportunities are often found early in a round, and the same holds true at Cypress Point. Players who manage to navigate the front nine with skill and precision will set themselves up for a strong finish on the back half of the course.
The Back Nine
The back nine at Cypress Point presents a different type of challenge compared to the front. With a variety of doglegs, elevation changes, and small greens, accuracy off the tee and solid iron play become crucial. At just under 3300 yards, it may seem like the back nine is shorter than the front, but its undulating terrain makes it anything but easy.
A signature feature of the back nine is the fourteenth hole, a downhill par-3 that plays directly towards the Pacific Ocean. From the tee box, players are greeted with a stunning view of the water and nearby iconic landmarks like Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This hole is often ranked as one of the most scenic par-3s in the world.
As the round nears its conclusion, Cypress Point’s finishing holes demand precision and mental toughness. The last three holes are considered by many to be among golf’s most challenging finishes. Wind off the ocean can wreak havoc on shots, and the greens become faster and more sloped. All of this builds up to the course’s most notorious hole – the 16th.
The Infamous 16th Hole
“It’s (the 16th) my favourite par-four anywhere in the world” – Tom Watson
Known as the “South Africa” hole due to the shape of its green resembling the African continent, the 16th hole at Cypress Point is arguably the club’s defining feature. At just under 400 yards from the championship tees, it’s not the longest hole on the course, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in difficulty thanks to its undulating green that slopes rapidly from back-to-front, two deep bunkers protecting the front, and a calm cove behind the green ready to swallow errant shots.
For those who have played here, the allure of the 16th hole is summed up perfectly by former US Open Champion Michael Campbell: “Cypress Point Golf Club is pure magic – every hole, every shot, particularly No. 16 – is utterly mystical.”
To play well at Cypress Point, you need everything in your game to be working. The narrow fairways will test your accuracy off the tee, while the quick, slippery greens and punishing bunkers require precise iron play and a deft touch with the putter. The views, especially along the front nine, are breathtakingly beautiful to remind you that this is where pure skill meets aesthetic sensibility.
Mastering The Greens
If you want to learn how to play Cypress Point Golf Club, one of the most important skills you can master is putting. Putting can make or break your game and being able to read the greens and control your putting speed can help you become a better player.
Reading The Greens
To read the greens at Cypress Point Golf Club, start by looking for any slopes or undulations in the green that will affect how your ball rolls. Pay attention to the grain of the grass as this can also impact how the ball moves. Look at shadows and any other indicators that might suggest where the low points are on the green. Don’t be afraid to walk around the hole and get a good look from different angles before making your putt.
“Greens don’t scare me,” said Jack Nicklaus.”I’ve been sinned against far more often than sinning.”
Controlling Your Putting Speed
When it comes to putting, speed is just as critical as direction. Learning to control your putting speed takes practice, but it will pay off when you’re out on the course. One way to improve your speed control is to practice hitting putts with only half or three-quarters of your normal power. This helps you develop a feel for the length of the stroke required to achieve the right speed. Focusing on keeping your head still throughout the stroke will also help keep your speed consistent.
“Putting is like wisdom – partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience,” Bobby Jones once said.
Club Selection For Approach Shots
The approach shot is the shot that sets up your putt, so choosing the right club is crucial. At Cypress Point, you’ll encounter many different types of shots, some of which require more loft, while others call for less. When selecting a club, consider the distance to the hole, the wind, and any hazards or bunkers you may need to clear.
“Golf is a fascinating game. It has taken me nearly forty years to discover that I can’t play it,” quipped Ted Ray.
The Pacific Ocean
One of the unique features of Cypress Point Golf Club is its stunning location on the Pebble Beach peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean. However, this also makes it a challenging course to play due to unpredictable oceanic winds that can wreak havoc on your shots.
To successfully navigate the hazards presented by the Pacific, golfers must pay close attention to wind direction and adjust their stance and club accordingly. As former Masters champion Scott Simpson noted, “Playing with the wind at your back is one thing, but hitting into it requires a lot more skill and strategy.”
“The Pacific wind always tests you… It’ll hold up a high shot, or make a low ball skid along the ground.” – Tom Watson
Cypress Point is known for having some of the most treacherous bunkers in all of golf. With over 100 sand traps strategically placed throughout the course, avoiding them altogether is nearly impossible.
To prevent getting trapped in one of these hazards, golfers should aim for the center of the fairway rather than trying to cut corners and risk landing in a bunker. Even if you do find yourself in a bunker, proper technique such as strong upper body posture and maintaining wrist hinge will help get you out with minimal strokes.
“Golf is a game played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.”- Bobby Jones
Cypress Point’s forested layout is both beautiful and challenging, requiring players to have precise control of their ball-flight and accuracy from tee-to-green.
In order to safely avoid the trees and maintain accuracy, golfers need to be conscientious of their positioning in relation to the fairways. Aim for safe landing areas and adjust your shot accordingly if you think it might clip a tree branch. Tom Kite, one of golf’s most methodical players puts it this way, “Golf is not a game of perfect shots.”
“Bad bounces come from good shots hitting trees at the wrong angle.” – Bobby Jones
The Undulating Fairways
Playing at Cypress Point requires golfers to have an excellent sense of level, as the course features expansive greens which are often sloping or undulating.
Golfers can ensure success on these greens by taking note of inclines early, carefully observing how the ball will break once it’s putted towards the hole, using minimum force when putting downhill and being aggressive when putting uphill. As Ben Hogan said famously,”The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.”
“Putting is like wisdom – partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience.” – Arnold Palmer
Playing at the Cypress Point Golf Club is a thrilling and challenging experience that requires not only physical skills but also mental preparation. A golfer’s mindset can make all the difference between winning or losing. Here are some tips on how to mentally prepare for a successful game.
Visualization is an essential technique in golf, and it can help establish muscle memory, reducing uncertainty in high-pressure situations. Before starting your game, take a moment to visualize each shot. Mentally rehearsing from tee to green can lead to better execution of shots. According to research by sports psychologists, visualization allows the brain to create neural patterns associated with executing a particular move. This creative virtual rehearsal helps improve performance.
“What we’re really after is to have our body perform as close to perfectly as possible — and the best way to do this is through quality practice combined with visualizing positive results.”
Incorporating visualization techniques during practice sessions can help build confidence and increase focus during actual playtime.
The power of breathing cannot be underestimated when it comes to improving mental clarity, lowering anxiety levels, and increasing focus. Calming breathwork is especially helpful in critical moments when stress levels may soar. One such breathing exercise called Box Breathing involves inhaling deeply for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, exhaling slowly for four seconds, and then repeating the process. Practicing relaxation exercises such as these before teeing off can lower blood pressure, which might help in maintaining composure throughout the game.
“Breath control gives you poise under pressure. The ability to control your emotions under pressure ensures success.”
Dealing With Pressure
Golf is a game of precision that demands utmost concentration. The ability to handle pressure and stay focused even during the toughest shots requires mental toughness. One effective way to combat anxiety is to create a pre-shot routine. It helps steady nerves and allows you to focus on specific thoughts while rehearsing your shot mechanics.
Apart from this, it’s essential to remember to detach yourself from the outcome and stay present in every shot. Instead of worrying about the score or previous shot performance, staying grounded in the present moment can help build momentum towards future success.
“Golf is mostly played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.”
In conclusion, playing at Cypress Point Golf Club can be an exhilarating experience with proper mental preparation. Exercise calming visualization techniques, try relaxation breathwork routines, and create a consistent pre-shot routine while focusing on staying grounded in the present — all these steps will lead to better performances both on and off the greens.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the rules for playing Cypress Point Golf Club?
There are some rules to follow when playing at Cypress Point Golf Club. Firstly, players must wear collared shirts and tailored shorts or pants. Secondly, players must use soft spikes on their shoes. Thirdly, players must keep up with the pace of play and not hold up other groups. Finally, players must respect the course and its surroundings by repairing divots and respecting the wildlife.
What is the best way to prepare for a round at Cypress Point Golf Club?
The best way to prepare for a round at Cypress Point Golf Club is to study the course map and familiarize yourself with the layout of the course. Additionally, you should practice your short game and putting as the greens at Cypress Point are known to be challenging. Lastly, make sure to bring or rent high-quality golf clubs as the course demands precision and finesse.
What are some tips for playing well at Cypress Point Golf Club?
To play well at Cypress Point Golf Club, it is important to stay focused and relaxed. It is also important to play conservatively and avoid taking unnecessary risks. Additionally, players should be mindful of the wind and adjust their shots accordingly. Lastly, players should take advantage of the caddies’ expertise and ask for advice on club selection and shot strategy.
What are the unique challenges of playing Cypress Point Golf Club?
Cypress Point Golf Club presents several unique challenges for golfers. The course is situated on a coastal terrain with rolling hills and ocean views, which can play havoc with shots. The greens are also known to be fast and undulating, making putting a challenge. Finally, the course features several strategically placed bunkers and hazards that require precision and careful shot selection.
How can I get a tee time at Cypress Point Golf Club?
Getting a tee time at Cypress Point Golf Club is notoriously difficult. The course is private and only open to members and their guests. However, if you are not a member, you may be able to secure a tee time by requesting an invitation from a member or contacting the club directly to inquire about availability.
What should I know about the history of Cypress Point Golf Club before playing there?
Cypress Point Golf Club has a rich history that dates back to its opening in 1928. The course was designed by Alister MacKenzie, who also designed Augusta National Golf Club. Over the years, Cypress Point has hosted several prestigious tournaments and has been played by many famous golfers. Additionally, the course has undergone several renovations to maintain its high standards and unique character.