“Happy as a Clam at Pismo Beach at High Tide.”
Bing Crosby made this seaside town famous years ago, but it is Nipomo just to the south that has shaken up the golf world. Cypress Ridge is perhaps the most scenic of the area’s three championship layouts, as Nipomo’s combination of trees, sand dunes, and crisp ocean air make for perfect golf conditions.
One thing I really like about golf in Nipomo is that the courses are all walker-friendly. The rolling hills are very reasonable especially when combined with the normally cool weather. While there are homes along the course, they do not come into play on many holes and are set well back of the line of play.
Cypress Ridge is a mostly a traditional layout that fits the landscape. Tall eucalyptus trees frame the property, which has a fair bit of elevation. There are several spots on the front nine that offer views of the sand dunes just south of Pismo Beach. The Jacobson Hardy design team utilized high-end feature shaping. This translates into chipping areas, multi-teared greens, deep fairway bunkers, and moguled fairways. This blend of modern design into the natural surroundings has resulted in the course being certified as a Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, one of only a few in California.
My favorite holes come at the very end of the course. Number 16 appears to have always been there. This uphill dogleg to the left can be stretched out to 412 yards but usually plays a bit downwind. The approach shot is framed by the huge eucs that run the entire length of the hole down the left side. The drive plays level but a large bunker in front of the green will gobble up poorly struck shots on the uphill approach.
Number 17 is a scenic downhill par three measuring 201 yards. The entire course is in view from here. The shot plays 10 yards shorter due to the elevation but the green slopes severely to the low side making accuracy a premium.
The 18th hole is a risk reward par 5 playing 498 yards. The tee shot is reminiscent of links golf with small pot bunkers guarding the corner and high native grass on the left. Any player going for the green will have to negotiate a large water hazard including a rock wall fronting the green. Coastal winds can play havoc here making birdie a well earned score.
Cypress Ridge has an excellent practice facility including a large grass hitting area and a separate teaching area at the back end. The course regularly hosts many top amateur events including the AJGA, SCGA, and USGA qualifiers. Make sure to bring an extra sweater or jacket when visiting this area as it is often brisk even in the summer.
For more information, visit cypressridge.com.
Every once in a while, something truly revolutionary comes down the pike in golf equipment technology. The SteelFiber shafts from AeroTech Golf are such an item. What they have done is to combine graphite and steel in a way to maximize both. You see steel shafts are preferred by better players for their consistency in feel and clubhead speed. Graphite, however, is much more forgiving on the body especially for someone who hits a lot of balls.
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