Cypress Point starts by spreading its Mackenzian fingers through the dunes as if to grab a firm hold on dry land, so it can dangle its lower extremities into the Pacific with confidence. Because of the intensely private nature of the club and the overwhelming famousness of its photogenic finish, the first 14 holes are virtually unknown to the golfing public, which is a shame, because they, too, are gorgeous. Eight and nine, two sometimes-drivable par fours, might be considered too short and quirky by today's standards, but only by those who don't have fun playing golf.
We played to the 14th green, all of us entranced by our surroundings, which included deer so secure it seemed as if they had been darted with Prozac. I was utterly spellbound by the sight of the 15th. I'd seen so many photographs, but Ansel Adams couldn't have prepared me for a vision so blissful. Verily, I was gobsmacked.
The Pacific boiled on the rocks and tore at the kelp below, an otter lolled on his back in the shallows, a peregrine falcon hovered overhead, and the smell of the brine filled my nostrils. I sullied the moment by hitting a morbidly obese 7-iron, but it didn't matter. The 16th was even better.
This place is special, it must be, because it made me feel like playing golf again. Playing Cypress Point made me feel like a lucky, lucky man, and it is my favorite golf course. - David Feherty, Golf Magazine
-- Cypress is also one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. Bob Hope once memorably summed up the club this way: "One year they had a big membership drive at Cypress. They drove out 40 members." Hope was himself a member for more than 40 years, but he didn't recall playing more than a half-dozen times outside of the "Crosby Clambake." He still paid, however. At the end of every year Cypress Point divides its total operating costs evenly among the members. They pay even if they never set foot on the property that year.
-- GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Mike Bender wrote that Cypress Point is one of his Fab 5 Courses. Here's what he had to say about it:
"Lots of people rightfully say that Cypress Point is one of the best golf courses in the world, but for me, its extra special because it's the place where I played my first PGA Tour round. In 1987, in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, I got played with baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays. We started on No. 10 Thursday and when we reach the famous par-3 16th I was two under par. I had been told to watch the ocean because the ball will carry farther when the water is crashing against the rocks. I closed my eyes, hit a 3-wood that flew to the back of the green and somehow made par. Of course, Mays jinxed me by saying that everyone he'd played with went on to a star; I missed the cut."