Your Golf Season is Just Beginning at Olde Cypress
The Masters is Over, but Your Golf Season is Just Beginning at Olde Cypress
The 2022 Masters is in the books. But if you're like most golfers across the U.S. – especially those in northern climes – your golf season is just getting underway. However, if you're reading this blog post, you've either joined or are thinking about joining The Club at Olde Cypress.
Congratulations are in order; now, your golf season never ends!
We recently sat down with Olde Cypress PGA Head Professional Aaron Karr to glean a few tips for getting your golf season started at our P.B. Dye-designed golf course here in Southwest Florida.
Know Your Grasses
Augusta National is the best-conditioned golf course on the planet. Golfers see it in high definition on their flat screens and devices, then expect their home course to look the same way (unrealistic, to say the least). Karr says Director of Golf Course Maintenance Brad Haynes and his team do a fantastic job of creating one of the best-conditioned golf courses in Naples.
"It blows me away every time I see it, and I see it every day," adds Karr.
The course underwent a full agronomic remastering in 2021, including new turf on all tee boxes, fairways and greens. New sand was added to all 90-plus bunkers, and overall, the layout presents like it's brand new. But there's a BIG difference in the grass at Augusta National in the spring and the grass you'll play on at at Olde Cypress.
"Augusta National is a Bermudagrass course that's heavily overseeded with ryegrass for the Masters," Karr says. "Olde Cypress is Bermudagrass year-round, including TifEagle on the greens and Bimini on tee boxes."
TifEagle is the gold standard for Bermudagrass greens. Bimini is a relatively new strand gaining market share in South Florida due to its fine texture, dark green color, and drought and saltwater tolerance. It's visually pleasing and tough enough to stand up to a balmy year-round golf climate like Naples.
"Bermuda has dramatically different characteristics than northern grasses," Karr adds. "Especially the grain on and around the greens. Golfers need to know if they are chipping or putting against or with the grain. This not only affects speed but also wedge selection on chip and pitch shots."
Get Golf Ready
Maybe you haven't experienced many rounds on Bermudagrass. Or perhaps you just haven't played much golf at all this year due to the weather, work, etc. Karr encourages golfers who've invested in a membership to invest in improving their golf game. Numerous studies show that the better golfers play, the longer they stick with the game.
"Our staff of PGA professionals offer several instructional clinics leading into our peak golf season in November when members return from up north," Karr says. "About 90% of our lessons are private, so members can get golf ready any time of year."
Karr also points out that members have access to a "wonderful practice facility" featuring a double-sided driving range, spacious chipping green with three bunkers and a practice putting green.
Focus on Shot Selection
The golf course at Olde Cypress is a modern layout featuring myriad contemporary Dye trademarks. Given that many new members are used to traditional, parkland-style courses, Karr recommends focusing on driving accuracy and bunker shots from the onset.
"Hitting fairways on this course is key for scoring and overall enjoyment," Karr says. "We have so many trees and thick vegetation lining fairways and there are water hazards and waste bunkers. At many Midwestern and Northeastern courses, you can find it and hit it. That's not always the case in Florida."
As for the sand, Olde Cypress is home to more than 90 bunkers. Inevitably, members will find themselves in one, two, three or more per round. Having some semblance of a sand game is key for saving par. One additional pro tip: the greens are new and still firm, so Karr recommends hitting to the green fronts as approach shots will roll out.
It might be spring where you're living now, but it's effectively summer if you're relocating to Naples in April or May. Afternoon temps in the high 80s are typical this time of year, with heat indices in the mid-90s. Most members play in the morning before it gets too hot, but Karr says the afternoons can be enjoyable with the proper preparations and precautions.
"It will take a bit to get used to the heat and build up your endurance, but once you do, afternoon golf in the summer is very doable," he says. "I love to play around noon once the dew has dissipated and the heat isn't coming up from the ground."
Olde Cypress is also one of only a handful of clubs in the Naples area where members can use their golf carts (by paying an annual trail fee). Many have portable fans and sunshades attached to their carts to provide additional summer comfort.
There you have it, and big "thank you" to Aaron for sharing these thoughtful tips. We hope to see you at Olde Cypress soon.
At the Club at Olde Cypress, memberships are designed with the needs of today's golfer in mind. Director of Membership and Marketing Melissa Hansen is standing by to answer any questions you might have, or to schedule your tour, today!