|Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress New Course|
The original heart of the golf operation are three mix-and-match nine hole courses (North, South, and East) designed by Nicklaus in 1984-86. Each nine is distinctive, although the East course is a bit more forgiving, with wider fairways, fewer bunkers, and more options for getting your ball onto the green. The North and South are tighter and more demanding of accuracy, featuring slightly elevated fairways with unforgiving edges and plateau greens all-too-frequently surrounded by sand and/or water. Tackling all three nines in a day will give you a feeling of accomplishment regardless of your score.
The headline course at Grand Cypress is the confusingly-named New Course, which opened in 1988. Nicklaus designed it as a tribute to the Old Course at St. Andrews (now do you get the name?) complete with a links feel, replica holes, devastating pot bunkers (bring a ladder) and even double greens and fairways. Bring your bump and run game--it will feel right at home.
Not to be overlooked is the Greens of Lake Windsong Par Three course at Grand Cypress. It's a nine-hole pitch-and-putt with holes ranging from 37 to 90 yards. Best of all, the hotel will supply the clubs, tees, and even a golf ball when you stop by for a little family fun--or to work on your short game.
If by any chance you need a break from golf, the list of other activities at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is almost too long to include here. Suffice it to say there's everything you (or your other family members) could want in the way of water sports at 21-acre Lake Windsong or around the half-acre pool with 12 waterfalls and a water jet splash zone, the Marilyn Monroe Spa, and seven on-premises bars and restaurants. And did I mention the accommodations? The 815 rooms were recently refurbished and have every sophisticated amenity you could possibly want.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf