The Villas of Grand Cypress, Florida
There may have been thunderstorms during my first round of golf in America's Sunshine State but, unlike back at home, it was still 32°C (90°F)!
There are 4 courses at the The Villas of Grand Cypress Resort - the Jack Nicklaus signature-designed 9 hole North, South and East courses and the 18 hole New Course. There is also a grass driving range which I managed to practise on when the sun was shining:
I only had the chance to play one round on my trip but the ability to mix and match courses is nice to add variety. I played the South and East courses on my round which were absolutely beautiful with a great mix of challenging and easier holes. There are a few opportunities for losing balls with some water hazards around the course and the course didn't drain particularly well in some places so there was some surface water on the fairways and in the bunkers with the rain.
Hole 5 of the East course is the island hole which is mentioned on the course's website and in many other reviews as one of the iconic holes and it is a beautiful one. Here is my tee shot on the hole:
Straight after playing this hole I was faced with a whole group of at least 40 men in buggies crossing the middle of the fairway on hole 6 whilst they were taking a shortcut on their golf day. I thought they were all out of sight so I teed off and then got scared by cheers, clapping and shouts of “money,” “that’s the money shot,” “great swing” and “keep it up.” I turned around confused as to who was shouting and saw 3 buggies who decided to stop and watch me hit. That was a nice bit of American cheerleading which I have never seen back in the UK - I’m glad I didn’t notice them beforehand! We also got given some free drinks vouchers in the bar from one of the men who won a competition - very friendly people!
Overall it is a great course and definitely worth playing no matter what level you are. The pros provided a great service and were very helpful when organising the round.
The resort has now begun a series of redevelopment for a couple of years but it is definitely worth a visit when it re-opens again.