It was a result that turned heads in the Hunter Valley and perhaps raised an eyebrow or two outside the acclaimed New South Wales wine region, however Cypress Lakes’ return to Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses ranking was most definitely on merit.
Taking 85th place in our most recent list represented the second-highest return mark for a course not visible on the 2016 ranking. It was due praise for a course that had experienced chequered conditioning in recent times but one that addressed its shortcomings and became vastly improved for it.
Twelve years after it last featured on our ranking – and 26 years after its first nine holes opened for play – Cypress Lakes has never looked better. The secret recipe? A dedicated program of bunker replacement and refurbishment was the major component. The large, sprawling bunkers on the clay-based course were always susceptible to huge washouts in heavy rain, creating a nightmare repair task for course staff. Their new shape and construction alleviates that problem, while the turf across the Steve Smyers-designed layout is also in peak health.
In a climate that varies between morning frosts and 40-plus degree temperatures, the ability to look in best-ever shape throughout the year is Cypress Lakes’ new calling card.
Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
Ranking in 2018: 85th
Prior rankings: 100th (2006), 96th (2004)
Where: Corner McDonalds & Thompsons Roads, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4993 1555