Fort Myers’ oldest and most historic private golf course, Cypress Lake Country Club, has been expertly restored to its original Dick Wilson design with updates designed to suit modern-day play resulting from changes in golf equipment and technologies. The private, member-only club spent $3.5 million on restorations including an extended course length to approximately 7,000 yards, restoration of bunkers, reconfigured and re-grassed greens, new turf on the fairways and tees, replacement of irrigation and new stone bridges dedicated in honor of former and current members.
“Our members have always loved and appreciated the Dick Wilson course features and wanted to restore its most unique elements while making updates that reflect the way golf is played today,” said Ed Rodgers, general manager at Cypress Lake Country Club. “Since the course reopening, we’re receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews. The look and play characteristics of the course are dramatic and exciting with the course returned to its historic integrity.”
The golf course at Cypress Lake Country Club is set on a rectangular piece of land with no residential areas except on its external boundaries. While the use of golf carts is available, the unique layout of the course, unobstructed by residential buildings, makes it ideal for the golfer who enjoys walking. One of the course’s most distinctive features, the ability to walk the rounds allows the golfer to experience the natural environment of the course, the subtle contours of the land and the overall flow of the course, all of which coalesce to create a superior golfing experience. Wildlife also find it an agreeable home site, and golfers share the course with great blue herons, egrets, ibis, an occasional alligator, several varieties of large turtles, resident ospreys, and many other creatures that seem to understand that passing humans are no threat to them.
The course was designed in 1959-1960 by Dick Wilson (1904-1965), a contemporary and respected rival of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Many of Wilson’s major renovations and original designs are well-known today: Pine Tree in Boynton Beach, Bay Hill in Orlando, the Blue Monster at Doral, La Costa (California), Coghill # 3 – Dubsdread in Chicago, Laurel Valley in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, and the Lakeside Course (now The Meadows) at The Greenbrier.
Ron Forse of Forse Designs completed the restoration project, bringing the golf course back to the original character that Wilson designed in the early 1960s. With more than 25 years within the golf course architecture industry, Forse has developed a reputation for bringing courses back to their original design, upholding and enhancing the unique traits that make them one of a kind. He is known for his renovation and design work on Indian Creek in Miami Beach, Bedford Springs in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and Rolling Greens in San Mateo, California. Forse also previously restored the Pine Tree in Boynton Beach, which was originally designed by Wilson.
Located at 6767 Winkler Rd. in Fort Myers, Cypress Lake Country Club is Fort Myers’ oldest and most historic private golf club, boasting three PGA hall-of-fame golfers as founding members. Founded in 1959, the award-winning Cypress Lake Country Club is one of the few golf courses in Southwest Florida where walking is encouraged all year long, a feature that perfectly complements the unparalleled beauty of the course. Members enjoy access to golf and tennis, a fully stocked golf pro shop as well as social and dining experiences at the clubhouse. For more information, please call 239-481-1333 or visit www.cypresslakecc.com.