Grand Cypress Golf Club - North Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.5

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Orlando, Florida

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Grand Cypress Golf Club - North Course Review

Review and Rating of Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando Florida

Grand Cypress Golf Club is home to 45 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus, a golf academy, and the Villas of Grand Cypress. Grand Cypress has won a number resort and other awards including being recognized in 2010 by Golf World in the "Top 50 Resort Courses." Each of the courses (East, South, North, and New) has it's own unique characteristics and personality. For example, the New course is a links style course designed to pay tribute to some of holes of Scotland's St Andrews Old Course. The North and South courses both have terraced fairways with tall shaggy mounds and elevated and well guarded greens - as such, course management and target golf are rewarded. The East course is the shortest with more generous fairways and less bunkering which provides an opportunity to score well. The North course is the hardest by 3 to 4 stokes and the South has the most challenging greens. When we visited Orlando in February 2010, we played the North and South courses and the South course was our favorite. You can read our review of Grand Cypress South Course to learn what we liked about playing it.

The North course is pretty straightforward (you can see the pin and what you're up against) with some but not a lot of variety, mostly flat fairways lined by mounds, natural sand areas, bottle-brush, water on 6 holes, and some good sized bunkers anxiously awaiting your ball. That said, it seemed deceivingly difficult which was reflected in our scores! The 7th and 9th hole are fantastic - #7 423 yard par 4 that horseshoes around the lake offering a risk reward opportunity off the tee box and again on the approach to a well protected green. #9 is straight but it plays along the lake (it swallowed a couple of our balls) and the approach requires an accurate shot.

The fairways were in very good condition as were the soft sand bunkers. The greens are fast (10 or 11 on the Stint Meter) and tough to read thanks to lots of slope, undulation, and spines - could this be part of the reason we didn't score well? Make sure you spend some time putting before you head out.


Bottom line - this is a great nine, in very good condition, and both fun and challenging to play. We played Grand Cypress as part of a fun filled seven days in Orlando where we rode in an Indy race car, saw alligators on an air-boat ride, sky dived in a wind tunnel, flew a 1946 World War II fighter trainer, para-sailed, swam with the manatees, ate too much good food, enjoyed some fun nightlife, golfed 9 different courses, and got very little sleep! Read our Orlando Vacation article to learn more about this adventure packed vacation.

The New Course is a beautifully designed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that opened in 1988 to great fanfare. Inspired by his great performances through the years at St. Andrews Old Course, Jack pays homage here to the birthplace of golf. A "links-style" design to its greatest degree, reminders of St. Andrews appear throughout the course with 150-plus bunkers, elevated tees and greens, stone walls, a winding burn (including a stone bridge crossing), and seven huge, double greens. Plus, replicas of the world-famous first and 18th holes at St. Andrews Old Course and Nicklaus' version of the Road Hole. All in all, it's quite a tribute to the Old Course. Impeccable playing conditions year-round for every caliber of golfer. The preceding comments are thanks to

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,223 36.4 138
White 3,000 35.1 131
Gold 3,521 38.0 142
Red 2,629 36.5 130

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jack Nicklaus
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 26 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$125.00 to $250.00

The service is excellent and the practice facilities and pro shop are very good. The GPS is fantastic - it talks to you as it is providing tips and a fly over from the tee to the green.



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.