Comparing courses keeps an idle mind out of trouble and in the case of comparing Cypress Point and Fishers Island, it can actually be instructive in terms of appreciating certain qualities that each course possesses. Though distinctly different, both coursescan lay claim to being the most enchanting place on their respective coasts for a game. The property at the Cypress Point Club is more diverse as it features woodland, dunes and coastal portions. Conversely, Fishers Island features many more holes along the coast with water in view from all but a few holes. The soil is sandy at Cypress and Alister MacKenzie built many of his green complexes to meld into their surrounds.
Fishers Island has more abrupt topography and Seth Raynor routedtwelve holes to touch its rocky shoreline. As was his want, Seth Raynor pushed up many of the greens, and in this case he created numerous plateau greens. The green complexes are more fortified in appearance at Fishers Island than at Cypress. Fishers Island doesn’t have the artistry of Cypress Point; Seth Raynor‘s style is more manufactured and engineeredthan MacKenzie’s. The fact that Seth Raynor got the rocky site and MacKenzieinherited thesandy one is just fine with the author. In many respects, Seth Raynor‘s pushed up greens on such holes as the 3rd, 7th, and 11th only add drama to their alreadyexcitinglocations. There are two othertelling factors with these elevated green pads. Firstly,the back drop to the flag stick is often well in the distance, as in mainland Connecticut! The 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th holes have nothing around the green to assist the golfer in gauging the distance for his approach shot.
This featureis more dominate at Fishers Island than any other course in the United States. Many of Fishers Island members come from the Winged Foot type clubs in New York and Connecticut were trees frame every hole. There is no such (mis)fortune at Fishers Island (side note: thetrouble past numerous greens (the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, and 18th ) is often worse than that in front of the green). Secondly, running shots in low under the wind is tricky to some of these green pads. Some fairways feeddirectly onto the greens such as at the 1st, 8th, 13th and 14th holes and a running shot is fairly straightforward. The going gets tougher with the more pronounced green pads such as at the 3rd, 7th and 11th holes but Seth Raynor always provides a way onto the green, provided the golfer is coming in from theproper angle. Green Keeper Don Beck does a superb job of maintaining the fairways in a fast and firm manner and seeing a ball bounding along the ground at Fishers Island is one of the game’s great joys.