I’ve always been a big fan of Alister MacKenzie courses, and I think Cypress Point in California and the West at Royal Melbourne in Australia are two of his best. Cypress in particular made quite an impression on me. My most memorable round there happened when I was nineteen—I shot a sixty-three. It’s been ten years since I’ve played the course, but I haven’t come across anything better or more enjoyable.
The setting is just incredible: the Monterey Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. The course has many picturesque holes, and the scenery is so varied. You start out next to the clubhouse and tee off over Seventeen Mile Drive, and before you know it you’re surrounded by cypress trees. As you come around the turn you make your way back out toward the ocean.
The sixteenth hole is the most famous, a one-shotter that calls for me to pull a two-iron. But the fifteenth hole, a pitching-wedge par three, is equally good. Playing these back-to-back par threes is especially interesting, and it’s a fairly uncommon design element.
Cypress Point illustrates why MacKenzie is renowned for his bunkering, but his green design is also impressive. I really admire the strategies and philosophies he used when creating a course. He used his imagination a lot, which in turn allows the golfer to do the same.
You know, it’s hard to rate golf courses, because everyone sees them differently. But it is certainly very enjoyable to play Cypress Point. Now that I’ve been thinking about it, I should go and have another game there. The course isn’t really on my way to a tournament, but I’ll find any excuse to make the trip.
For more information on Adam Scott, visit adamscott.com.au.