Golf Digest Videos

Every Hole at Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, CA

Sportscaster and Pebble Beach local, Jim Nantz, narrates this spectacular hole-by-hole flyover of Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, California

Released on 2/3/2020

Transcript

00:00
[peaceful piano music]
00:07
[Jim] Cypress Point,
00:09
on California's Monterey Peninsula, is viewed by many
00:13
as the most beautiful golf course in the world.
00:17
It's craggy shoreline, bold architecture, and daring nature
00:22
combine to present an experience in golf that's unmatched.
00:26
It breaks all the rules,
00:28
including back to back par 5s and back to back par 3s
00:32
but Alister MacKenzie's masterpiece
00:34
is always top three on Golf Digest's ranking
00:38
of America's Hundred Greatest Golf Courses.
00:41
Former USGA President Sandy Tatum called it
00:45
The Sistine Chapel of golf.
00:48
It's beauty and beast, majestic and testing.
00:52
This is no relic overtaken by modern technology.
00:56
It's 18 holes feature a number of heroic carries
01:00
and alternate routes, making finesse still matter,
01:03
course management richly rewarded.
01:07
[dramatic orchestral music]
01:11
Welcome to Every Hole at Cypress Point.
01:18
The opening tee shot plays over 17 Mile Drive,
01:21
though it's hidden from view
01:23
by a tall hedge screening the road.
01:26
Clusters of cypress trees pinch the fairway right and left,
01:30
serving as aerial hazards.
01:33
Two bunkers on the left about 280 off the back tee
01:36
suggest that MacKenzie anticipated the future.
01:39
Beyond the perched green are grand, towering sand dunes
01:43
that stretch hundreds of yards to nearby Spyglass Hill.
01:47
[dramatic orchestral music]
01:50
The second hole is the longest on the course,
01:52
a slight dogleg left over a stretch of waste areas
01:56
that mark the target line on the uphill tee shot.
01:59
Far down the fairway lies a huge bunker on the right,
02:03
eating into the fairway,
02:04
counterbalanced by a smaller one left.
02:07
These are carry bunkers,
02:09
a feature MacKenzie repeats throughout the course.
02:12
The green is long, slender, and sloping from back to front.
02:16
Don't go long or a par could be hard fought.
02:19
[dramatic orchestral music]
02:22
The third is a par three featuring
02:25
a beautiful green complex with scattered bunkers,
02:28
some well short of the putting surface,
02:30
painstakingly restored nearly 20 years ago
02:34
by longtime superintendent Jeff Markow.
02:37
[dramatic orchestral music]
02:39
From the tee, the fourth looks like a sea of bunkers
02:43
but the fairway is quite generous,
02:45
in a dense forest of Monterey Pines.
02:48
Though the spectacular bunkers on the left can be carried,
02:51
those farther down on the right can come into play
02:54
on the tee shots for the bigger hitters.
02:57
The green is considered treacherous.
02:59
You must keep your approach below the hole
03:02
or risk slipping your first putt off the green.
03:05
The late cartoonist Hank Ketcham, a longtime Cypress member,
03:08
said, It's like putting in a bathtub.
03:11
[dramatic orchestral music]
03:13
The first of consecutive par fives, the 493 yard fifth,
03:18
can be reached in two by some low handicap players
03:21
courageous enough to challenge
03:23
the bunker complex 280 yards from the tee.
03:27
The fairway dips and crests and tilts
03:30
from tee to two-tiered green
03:32
and tall Monterey pines line the hole.
03:35
For the average golfer, it's a three shot game of chess,
03:38
with each play more demanding that the last.
03:41
[dramatic orchestral music]
03:43
About 30 yards longer than the fifth
03:45
and playing in a different direction, the sixth doglegs left
03:49
with a massive bunker at the turn
03:51
and several more along the left
03:52
to catch shots pulled off sloping fairway lies.
03:56
The green sits at the base of yet another sand dune
03:59
that dominates the landscape.
04:01
[dramatic orchestral music]
04:03
Atop the dune seen on hole six is the seventh tee,
04:07
elevated above a valley.
04:10
The green, restored to it's original shape
04:12
by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw,
04:15
is fronted by a diagonal string of bunkers
04:17
and backed by more exposed hillsides of sand.
04:21
The seventh provides the transition
04:23
from pastoral parkland into genuine linksland.
04:27
[dramatic orchestral music]
04:31
The eighth is the first of consecutive holes
04:34
that many consider the two most interesting
04:37
short par fours in the world.
04:40
Eight is a sharp dogleg right,
04:42
climbing up a mountain slope of sand.
04:44
The drive is blind, whether playing straightaway
04:47
with something less than a driver or cutting the corner.
04:50
The well-guarded hilltop green, with four distinct levels,
04:54
must be carried on the fly.
04:57
Listen to your caddy who might tell you
04:59
to aim your putt 90 degrees offline.
05:02
[dramatic orchestral music]
05:06
The ascent to the eighth green
05:08
is followed by a hole that plunges downhill.
05:11
Pause for a moment here
05:13
and look around at the beauty of nature.
05:15
At least eight holes can be seen from this vantage point.
05:18
[dramatic orchestral music]
05:20
This par four is reachable from the tee
05:22
with a long, bold drive
05:23
but if one plays an iron or hybrid safe
05:26
to the ribbon fairway, the ball must be positioned
05:29
to avoid sand left and right.
05:32
The second is then uphill to a shelf green
05:35
that's tricky to hole because
05:36
of it's diagonal configuration and tumbling character.
05:40
[dramatic orchestral music]
05:44
Ten is the fourth and final par five on the course.
05:47
It's also the shortest.
05:49
It begins from an elevated tee
05:51
and it seems like it's going to be easily reachable in two
05:54
but the fairway is pinched by two glorious bunkers,
05:58
one 280 yards off the tee, the other less than
06:01
a hundred yards off the green,
06:02
and a tiny putting surface is ringed
06:05
by a series of deep bunkers.
06:07
[dramatic orchestral music]
06:10
Parallel to the tenth but in the opposite direction
06:13
and often playing into the prevailing wind,
06:15
11 might be the most difficult par four on the course,
06:19
with trees right and left
06:21
and the landing area stopped by two linear bunkers
06:23
in the center of the fairway.
06:25
The second shot might well be a long iron or hybrid
06:29
to an oval green, squeezed by three more bunkers.
06:33
The massive dune containing the ninth green
06:36
provides the backdrop for this hole.
06:40
Like the eighth, this is another sharp dogleg right
06:43
around a windswept hillside of dunes.
06:46
But where the eighth plays extremely uphill,
06:48
the longer 12th plays slightly downhill from the tee.
06:52
Mackenzie's fairway bunker, far left, is about 260 out.
06:55
It has been restored
06:56
so golfers must position their tee shots.
06:59
The second is over a swale and diagonal bunkers
07:02
to a green that seems to flow out of the dunescape.
07:06
The 12th is claimed to be Ben Hogan's favorite hole.
07:09
[dramatic orchestral music]
07:11
The drive on 13 is over a ridge of sand
07:15
to perhaps the widest fairway on the course.
07:19
Position is paramount, depending on the hole location.
07:23
The approach is uphill to a green
07:25
with bunkers embedded into another sand ridge.
07:29
Along the left, a ridge resembling a cresting ocean wave.
07:34
[dramatic orchestral music]
07:38
We go from the widest hole at Cypress
07:41
to the uphill, slight dogleg right 14th,
07:44
with it's gnarly cypress trees left and right.
07:46
The second is uphill to a perched green that,
07:49
despite all the trees framing it,
07:51
still seems exposed to ocean winds.
07:53
[dramatic orchestral music]
07:55
As you walk this narrow corridor,
07:57
look right at the famous octopus tree
07:59
and marvel at our good fortune.
08:01
The best is yet to come.
08:03
You might call this call this hole anticipation.
08:06
[dramatic orchestral music]
08:09
Emerging onto the jagged Pacific coastline,
08:12
we find another Cypress Point oddity,
08:14
back to back par threes.
08:16
The 15th is breathtaking, a short shot from 60 feet
08:20
above a diagonal ocean cove containing
08:23
a cauldron of churning surf
08:25
to a boomerang-shape green surrounded
08:28
by six glorious bunkers.
08:30
Get out your camera.
08:31
Some say it's the most scenic hole in the world
08:34
but wait until you see what's next.
08:39
The 16th is perhaps the most photographed hole anywhere,
08:43
if not the hardest.
08:45
Mackenzie debated making it a par four.
08:48
It requires a carry of over 200 yards, over the rock wall,
08:53
above an ocean cove, to reach the front collar of the green.
08:56
To most players, the 16th is still the most awesome risk
09:00
in all of golf, especially if the wind is in one's face.
09:04
Mackenzie thoughtfully provided
09:06
a wide bailout area to the left
09:08
for those windy or less courageous days
09:11
but from there, the pitch onto the green isn't easy.
09:15
When the course was being routed back in the 1920s,
09:18
Marion Hollins' influence on the design of Cypress Point,
09:22
and especially this hole, cannot be emphasized enough.
09:26
She casually dropped a ball on the tee
09:28
and hit it on the green to convince Mackenzie
09:31
it was a par three.
09:33
Years later, Bing Crosby became one of the few
09:35
to make a hole in one.
09:37
[dramatic orchestral music]
09:39
Next comes a shoreline-hugging par four,
09:42
complicated by the expanse
09:44
of rocky coastline all along the right
09:47
and a shallow peninsula green off in the distance.
09:51
For most of us, the second shot must be played
09:53
over or around a grove of cypress trees
09:57
that gobble up much of the fairway.
10:00
The second must be dead online
10:01
to avoid the vertical cliff on the right
10:03
and a nasty bunker on the left.
10:05
Ocean winds always seem swirling on the 17th.
10:11
The short, dogleg right 18th, with an uphill second shot,
10:16
has scattered cypress trees
10:17
that seem to block out the entire fairway.
10:20
Even the club's yardage book describes them as a barricade.
10:25
The trees give the illusion
10:27
that they engulf the entire hole.
10:29
In truth, a skinny ribbon of fairway threads it's way
10:32
between tree trunks from tee to green
10:35
and can be hit by a determined, accurate drive.
10:39
[dramatic orchestral music]
10:40
It's a unique, unexpected finish to a course
10:44
that provides a lifetime of memories in a single round.
10:49
[peaceful piano music]
10:51
You have completed the greatest experience
10:56
in the world of golf.
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