Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club - Cypress Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.6

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Gulf Shores, AL
Website
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: October 18, 2016

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Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club - Cypress Nine Review

Review and Rating of Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club Cypress Course

Rated 4 Stars by Golf Digest, Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club is home to 27 holes of excellent golf that sits on over 820 acres of pristine land.  Set along Mobile Bay and nestled beside Bon Secour wildlife preserve, the three nines wind through live oaks, some gnarly cypress tress with draping Spanish moss, and other vegetation native to Gulf Shores plus 30 lakes and some of the area’s largest white-sand bunkers and waste areas.  Each of the nines was designed by Earl Stone and the Marsh and Lakes opened in 1995 and the Cypress Nine opened in 1999. 

Each nine is a little different from the other nines but common to all 27 holes at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club are excellent conditions, a good value, great GPS, friendly service, a well stocked pro shop, a good restaurant, and three unique layouts that are a blast to play and fair for all skill levels.

Each nine has it's own unique personality and characteristics, for example:

  • Lakes Nine is the shortest of the nines and true to its name has water on all nine holes that can come into play, plus plenty of dog legs left and right, and requires some precise target shots to score well - check out our review of Peninsula Golf Club's Lakes Nine
  • Cypress is regarded as the easiest and it plays along the nature preserve with oak and cypress tree lined fairways and has a true resort course feel to it with more traditional and straightforward holes with ample fairways and flatter more friendly greens
  • Marsh Nine is the longest of the nines at 3575 yards and the hardest with lots of forced carries, some huge bunkers, water on eight holes, and marshes that can come into play - we hope to play and review the Marsh Nine later this month

The Cypress Nine is one of those layouts where you can have a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable round of golf and have an opportunity to walk into the 19th hole with a good score:

  • the fairways are flat, wide, and forgiving
  • the greens are huge and have some subtle breaks but little to no severe slope or undulation
  • there are five sets of tee boxes with manageable yardages
  • the holes are traditional and straightforward with what you see is what you get
  • there are no distractions like cars or police sirens or airplanes and no homes with barking dogs or heckling neighbors to bother you
  • the bunkers, lakes, and trees are easy to avoid unless you pick your head up and really spray the ball  

Don't get overconfident, you'll need to manage a sharp 90 degree dog leg right and water on nine holes, 13 bunkers plus 11 natural sand areas with trees and bushes spread throughout them.  Our favorite holes included:

  • #1 a 393 yard par 4 with a great risk reward shot off the tee box to try and shorten this fun 90 degree dog leg right hole
  • #3 is a challenging 235 yard par 3 with a carry most of the way over a lake from the tips - bring out an old ball and save that ProV1
  • #6 has a challenging approach shot thanks to a lake and bunker on the right and a long natural sand area on the left which is perfect for a sunny day, a beach chair, and a Pina Colada
  • the 608 yard #8 is fun with 2 lakes that cover most of the left side of the fairway and 2 more lakes plus 2 long natural sand areas that line the right side

The Cypress Nine at Peninsula Golf Club has no homes thanks to the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve that borders most of the fairways.  The fairways are flat and rather straightforward (in most cases you can see the pin and what you're up against) and ample and forgiving with a wide playable rough - but spray the ball and you're lost in the Preserve, wet, or in the natural sand areas.  When we played the rough and fairways were in near perfect condition.  

The greens on the Cypress nine are relatively flat with some minor slope and surprisingly subtle breaks that we had a hard time seeing.  Most of the greens are huge and they are a variety of sizes and shapes.  The greens were in excellent condition, held the ball well, and ran at a good speed of around 10 or so.

The bunkers were also in outstanding condition with soft fluffy white sand.  There are only 12 bunkers, 11 of which guard the greens, and we found them easy to avoid which is normally not the case for us - I typically go home with sand in the pockets, shoes, and hair!  There are also 11 natural sand areas that can come into play and most of them are very long and narrow with trees and brush throughout them.

Bottom line - Cypress is a typical resort style course that is fun, scenic, in near perfect condition, and a real joy to play if you want a relaxing round. 

Slope and rating is based on playing the Lakes and Cypress Nines together.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,606 73.1 129
Gold 3,358 70.3 125
Blue 2,900 66.5 111
White 2,653 64.9 106
Red 2,475 67.5 110

Course Information

Course Architect:
Earl Stone`
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.3
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
9.8
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 9 holes and the 22 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.6 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
7.5
Variety:
7.8
Fun to Play:
9.2
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.6
Front Nine Rating:
8.6
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $105.00

Service is excellent, the restaurant serves a variety of food, the practice facilities are very good, the pro shop is well stocked, and the pace of play is excellent.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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