January 4, 2017

Cypress Point Club

Pebble Beach / 6,524 yards, Par 72 | Points: 69.5123

3. Cypress Point Club

Alister Mackenzie & Robert Hunter (1928)/Robert Trent Jones (R. 1966)/Robert Trent Jones Jr. (R. 1991)/Jeff Markow (R. 2002-2004)

Glamorous Cypress Point, Alister Mackenzie's masterpiece woven through cypress, sand dunes and jagged coastline, wasn't always the darling of America's 100 Greatest. Golf Digest demoted it to the Fifth Ten back in the early 1970s, saying, "It's not surprising that good players might find Cypress Point wanting: it has several easy holes and a weak finisher." Our panel has since changed its collective opinion. In the 2000s, member Sandy Tatum, the former USGA president who christened Cypress Point as the Sistine Chapel of golf, convinced the club not to combat technology by adding new back tees, but instead make a statement by celebrating its original architecture. So Cypress remains timeless, if short, its charm helped in part by superintendent Jeff Markow, who re-established Mackenzie's unique bunkering with the help of old photographs.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 2, 1987-88. Previous ranking: 3


Panelist comments:
“Cypress Point encompasses one of the most spectacular pieces of property one can imagine. The beauty lies within and outside the golf course boundaries, and you may have a few deer grazing to add to nature’s gift. The variety is most amazing: You have some holes that are dune type golf, then you are in the woods for mountain golf, and of course you finish up with the famous seaside stretch for some of the best holes in the world.”

“These are sacred grounds -- a historic and remarkably amazing golf treasure. As you stand near the 16th green/17th tee complex it feels as if you may be at the furthest point west you will ever set your foot on.”

“The experience of walking these fairways left me with a feeling I've never had leaving a golf course. Coming from somebody who plays around 200 rounds of golf every year around the country and world... That is a very hard thing to accomplish.”

“Such a strong ambiance comes from a club committed to upholding the traditions of the game. I've never seen a locker room quite like it. Very small and quaint, the smell of old wood and carpet, as if it hadn’t been touched in decades, along with a fire burning in the back. Any golf nerd will geek out.”

“The members of Cypress Point GC have embraced the plan to restore their unique Club by restoring, reshaping, and renewing the spectacular MacKenzie bunkers, and by restoring the incredible sand dunes that had become overgrown with grasses. Many original pictures are now seen at the Club showing how it looked in the 1930s.”


Hole No. 16

Stephen Szurlej