Welcome to Cypress Lakes Golf and Country Club



PAR 72


Cypress Lakes
Give Cypress Lakes its due. The Pokolbin resort is the course that began the evolution of golf in the Hunter Valley wine region. While tourists had been flocking to the area for years, it took until 1990s before they began visiting for the greens as much as the reds and whites.
It was a bold play but where Cypress Lakes trod others soon followed, to the point that the Pokolbin region is now a genuine golf hub for visitors from Newcastle, Sydney or further afield. The course opened nine holes at a time – the first nine in autumn 1992 – and has evolved during the more than quarter of a century since. After the second nine was completed, a huge new clubhouse and restaurant replaced the initial one before a series of stylish villas were constructed on-site to allow golfers (and non-golfers) to stay at Cypress Lakes. There were low-key but long-held plans for a second course to be built across McDonalds Rd, but they never materialised.
Today the course looks its ripest thanks to a concerted restoration project in recent years. The bunkering, which is dominated by large, sprawling pots on a clay-based soil, was long prone to severe washouts after heavy rain. A $1 million renovation saw 5,000 tonnes of bright, white USGA bunker sand brought in to revitalise the traps – just one way the course was rejuvenated.The layout has operated under three different sequencings of the 18 holes over the years, but the current one is definitely the best. It saves the five-hole loop closest to the clubhouse for the end rather than the beginning, building to a crescendo with some of the best tests in the Steve Smyers-designed layout.It begins with the uphill and over-the-water par-5 14th hole, where the tee shot (which was once the opening strike of the round) requires a mid-length carry across water and is played within full view of the clubhouse. Two holes later is one of the longest par 5s in Australia at the 573-metre 16th (with a steeply uphill tee shot), before a pair of contrasting but strong par 4s. The 17th hole features a split fairway as play meanders downhill towards a long, skinny green. Players choosing the lower right half of the fairway face an easier tee shot but will pitch to the green from an oblique angle and across a greenside pond. Those opting for the higher left-side route will need to negotiate the bunkers separating the two halves of the fairway off the tee but, if successful, face a much more straightforward approach shot. The closing hole wraps left around a scheme of fairway bunkers towards a green set into a hillside with an amphitheatre look. It’s a demanding approach as any iron shot failing to cover the distance will be swallowed by new bunkers or a steep swale in front of the target, while any ball finishing on the green but above the cup will yield one of the most treacherous downhill putts on the property.Perfectly playable by novice golfers from the forward tees yet armed with one of the highest Slope ratings in the country from the back markers, Cypress Lakes is as challenging as golfers wish to make it.

For more information

Cnr McDonalds & Thompsons Rd
Pokolbin, NSW 2320