Cypress Lakes has it all – an award-winning resort with a premium golf course located in a world-class destination. Here, each green and tee presents unique ambience and stunning panoramic views of the Brokenback mountain ranges and the region’s famous vineyards.
Despite being snubbed by critics for almost two decades, Cypress Lakes has now resurged back into the conversation as one of Australia’s best courses. Meanwhile, its resort has won Australia’s best golf Hotel for three years running.
THE STORY BEHIND CYPRESS LAKES
Florida-based architect, Steve Smyers designed the course that was opened in 1992. It didn’t take long for Cypress Lakes to raise eyebrows, quickly earning the reputation as one of the nation’s leading golf resorts.
The glory was short-lived with the track dropping out of Australia’s top 100 in 2006. This was mainly due to the course’s large bunkers which, on the clay-based soil, were defenceless to significant washouts in heavy rain making them a nightmare to repair.
This problem was fixed when major Thai hotel group, Minor International purchased the resort in 2013. They invested in a $1 million bunker restoration project, led by James Wilcher, that has the course currently looking better than ever.
THE CYPRESS LAKES COURSE
Aside from the brand-spanking new bunkers, Cypress Lakes’ key features are its pristine fairways, manicured greens and unique layout.
The layout presents a fun variety of hole types, from long par-3s to par-5s big hitters can reach in 2, to drive-and-pitch par-4s.
To add to the variety, each nine has it’s own distinct character. The front nine is more open and undulating, whilst the back nine winds down from the top of the resort presenting sharper falls and rises.
The success of the recent renovations is loud and clear in the finishing holes. Wilcher has really done a good job on the bunkering here, with large sandpits splitting the fairway on the 17th and new sand traps to the left of the fairway that gives the 18th more tang.
THE SIGNATURE HOLE
The most memorable and visually spectacular hole at Cypress Lakes is 6th. It is the only hole that hasn’t changed from the original course, and why would it be? It is that good!
The 491 metre par-5 starts from an elevated tee box where you will enjoy a nice view looking over the vines. The 6th features a swooping fairway that plays down from the markers before turning into an uphill battle halfway through the hole.
DID YOU KNOW
From 2006-2015, Cypress Lakes hosted the Jack Newtown Celebrity Classic. Jack Newton, who famously lost to Tom Watson in a playoff in the 1975 US Open, started the event in 1979. 40 years on it still attracts over 400 celebrities, golfers, and social hackers alike.
The late Bob Hawke was the patron of the event, whilst other big names ranged from golf major winners Ian Baker-Finch & Wayne Grady to TV presenters Kerri-Anne Kennerley & Ray Martin, to rugby league immortals Wally Lewis & Andrew Johns.
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