Olde Cypress Hole Profile - No. 13
Over the course of the next few months, we're spotlighting select holes from our P.B. Dye-designed golf course. This week, we're breaking down the No. 1 handicap hole for both men and women with Olde Cypress Director of Golf Joe Conforti: the formidable par-5 13th, dubbed "Islands in the Stream."
No. 13 is the No. 1 handicap hole on paper. But what makes it the hardest hole in reality?
"Well, at 600 yards from the tips, sheer length has a lot do with it. And given that it's a P.B. Dye design, visual intimidation is a huge factor, no matter which tee you play from. It's a true three-shot par 5, and on the second shot, you must hit it far enough right to have a chance to even get on [the green] in regulation."
-It's not unheard of, but it's somewhat unusual for a par 5 to be the No. 1 handicap hole. Is it the sheer length that determined its rating?
"Keep in mind that the No. 1 handicap hole isn't always the hardest. It's where the bogey golfer most needs a stroke from the scratch golfer. It's the great equalizer. But that said, No. 13 is one of the most challenging par 5s in the Naples area in my opinion. You must navigate both hazard areas and it has a small green surrounded by bunkers. It's not overly narrow, and there's plenty of room off the tee. But the second shot is key. You need to hit it long enough and far enough right or you'll have a 100-yard layup shot to get on in four. It's just solid golf course architecture."
-What advice would you give new members playing the hole for that first time?
"Don't be afraid of making a six; bogey is a solid score. It takes three good shots for most golfers, even low handicappers, to get there [to the green]. Don't get greedy. If you need to layup, then layup. Don't compound your mistakes on this hole or you'll card a big number."
-With 13 coming right after the signature par-3 12th, do you feel like the back nine has a leg up on the front in terms of memorability?
"I would say that's accurate for the most part, but we have just as many members who enjoy and appreciate the front nine as the back. Most avid golfers are attracted to holes without homes on them, and 12 and 13 represent core golf at its best. You won't find many holes without housing around Naples. And when it comes to the back nine, 16, 17 and 18 are three of the best finishing holes in town."
-Are there any members who play the tips and get on in two?
"Jimmy Glase's son Jeff has gone driver-6-iron on 13, and he's the only person I know of in the history of Olde Cypress who has gotten on in two. That tells you all you need to know about No. 13 – on the spectrum of par 5s along the Paradise Coast, it's the real deal." (editor's note: Jim Glase owns Glase Golf, a golf course construction firm based in Bonita Springs).
Interested in learning more about golf membership at Olde Cypress? Click here to contact Director of Membership and Marketing Melissa Hansen today.