features reviews essays directories blog  
 
  The BearEagle EyeThe HillsTanglewoodShepherd's HollowSugarbush The MonarchTreetopsBlack Forest
  Arcadia BluffsTimberStoneThe Gales at LakewoodTullymore The Rock at WoodmoorBoulder PointeHawk's Eye
  Cedar ChaseThe Moor
   
 

Arcadia Bluffs

 

By Senior Writer Don VanderVeen
Photography by Kevin Frisch

When Michigan Golf introduced Michigan’s Monsters in 2002, Doug Hendershot, ratings manager for the Golf Association of Michigan, said, “there seems to be a tendency to build a course that is harder and get a reputation that a course is difficult.”

Do you think!

The average yardage of the 2004 edition of Michigan Monsters is 7,141 yards from the championship tees. And par is not likely for even the scratch golfer.

Michigan Monsters II is about brawn and beauty. Michigan Golf’s toughest 18 courses in the state can be cruel and horrifying if you’re not on your game; but the elegance of these monoliths will most always overpower the beast.

Three years ago we showcased the state’s 18 most demanding golf courses according to their slope. Since that time, several new courses have opened across both peninsulas and some have had their courses re-rated. This time we chose to rank our selections on course rating. There are 10 newcomers on the list.

The United States Golf Association rates courses on both course rating and course slope. The course rating correlates to how the course plays to a scratch golfer, those who play to par as a rule. The course slope pertains more toward the challenge for the average bogey golfer, compared to the scratch player.

Some courses that have a more difficult course rating may not have as high of a slope. Or visa versa.

The Chief at Sky Lodge, for instance, ranks among the most challenging courses in Michigan by virtue of its slope (145), but does not make this Michigan Monster’s edition of toughest 18 courses in the state. On the other hand, Hawk’s Eye, The Chief’s sister course, is tame by slope standards (140), but its length adds an average of 2 strokes to par for scratch golfers, and does make the top 18.

Our list is taken from GAM rated courses – the top 18 highest course ratings in the state.
Think you’re good? Move back to the tips on these monsters and see how you do.


The Bear, Acme
Rating 76.8, Slope 146

When it comes to Michigan’s most challenging test of golf, The Bear is often a centerpiece topic. Designer Jack Nicklaus once said that “it takes a real man” to survive The Bear. Playing just over 7,000 yards from the championship tees, The Bear’s deep bunkers, tall heather grasses and challenging layout that meanders throughout wetlands, woods and orchards make every round an adventure.

“It’s a second-shot golf course,” says Scott Hebert, who worked two years as an assistant pro at the Grand Traverse Resort. “It’s not that hard off the tees, but you’ve got to be real precise with your distance, and you have to be pretty accurate as well because there is so much trouble around the greens. If you miss a green with a sand wedge, you can easily make a double bogey.”

Hebert should know. He has won five Michigan Open titles at The Bear, which annually shows its teeth against the top club professionals in Michigan.

“To define a tough golf course, you have to have some good par 4’s and difficult par 3’s, which it does,” Hebert said. “You hear a lot of horror stories about guys making huge numbers on the par 3’s at No. 4 or No. 9, where there is an island green and water all around.”

Other holes of note include No. 5, which requires a difficult tee shot and another over the water to the green. At No. 7, there are hazards on both sides of the fairway. No. 10 is a classic par-5 hole that even the best players can make anywhere between 3 and 8, while No. 11 presents difficulty off the tee.

“On the back side, there are a number of holes that can derail a round,” Hebert said. “You can get on a bogey string and make four or five bogeys in a row.”

 ^ back to top

 

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye at Hawk Hollow, Bath
Rating 76.4, Slope 145

This new links-style gem designed by Chris Lutzke of Pete Dye & Associates has become a sought out golf destination in mid-Michigan for its challenging layout and outstanding old-world features that include mounding, heathers, length, water and wetlands.

Playing over 7,300 yards from the back tees, its sheer length is a challenge. Playing par-4’s at 440 or more yards can create problems even for great players. Mix in 110 bunkers and it becomes about 110 times more demanding.

The landing areas on the par-3s require accuracy. At No. 5, bunkers or hazards surround the small target green some 210 yards beyond the tee, while hole 13 requires some length and accuracy out of a chute of woods.

“ The course is kind of rolling and not really level in places, so sometimes your feet may be above or below the ball,” says head professional Kirk Sherman. “You have to think about the shot or you might fade or hook it depending on how your ball is positioned at your feet.”

There are several water hazards on the course, well, more than several, including an island green at No. 17 that is reminiscent of the No. 17 hole at TPC at Sawgrass.

The greens at Eagle Eye are undulating and some are quite large compared to a lot of courses, which doesn’t always leave an easy tap-in for par.

“If you get on the wrong side of the hole, it can become a difficult two-putt in regulation,” Sherman said. “There could be a lot of three putts in the round if you’re not careful.”

No. 9 and No. 18 share a common teeing area and go along opposite sides of a pond. Both offer opportunities to get home in two, but make big hitters think twice with the water waiting to swallow up errant shots.

“What I love about the course is that every hole has its own uniqueness and its own character,” added Sherman. “There are good par and birdie holes and some you have to really be on your toes to make a par sometimes.”

 

The Hills Course at Boyne Highlands
Rating 76.4, Slope 144

Perhaps the most challenging golf course of the eight that are part of the Boyne properties, The Hills Course was several years in the making. Nine holes were completed before namesake designer Arthur Hills went to work on his masterpiece at Bay Harbor.

When the second nine finally opened, it proved to be well worth the wait.

Special features of the course that make it particularly challenging – along with its intimidating length of 7,312 yards – include the long angular hazards that challenge golfers from the tee.

Long bunkers create an early challenge the first three holes. Marshlands at No. 6 continue to build the momentum. On No. 13, a deep ravine to the left creates a long all-carry shot from the tee box. On 15, a 75-yard bunker on the right dogleg can jump up and bite, while water on the double dogleg 18th hole provides twice the risk/reward.

“From the tips, the par-3’s are daunting, ample in length and have carefully articulated surfaces providing more than ample challenges,” Hills said.

The No. 3 hole is a 550-yard par-5 with a 100-yard angular bunker off the tee, a front cross-bunker guarding the green and a buried elephant within the green.

“My favorite hole is No. 10, which is a short par-4 with a pedestal green falling off in all directions,” Hills said.

No. 12 features the highest bunker ever created by Hills. It reaches 18 to 20 feet high and is reminiscent of the dogleg bunker on the No. 4 hole at Royal St. George in Sandwich, England.

The tee at the par-5, No. 13 hole plays 100 feet above the fairway and features a 15-mile long panoramic view of Northern Michigan in all its splendor.

 ^ back to top

Tanglewood, South Lyon
Rating 76.2, Slope 139

This course is all you want to tangle with.

While the mix of long par-5s, par-4s and par-3s measure over 7,200 yards from the back tees, the par-3s are what really jack
up the yardage.

There are doglegs left and doglegs right, meaning golfers must be able to effectively work the ball both ways with draws and fades.

“There are definitely some holes out here that can get you (in trouble) in a hurry,” head professional Brad Stedry says. “A good player has a chance to have a decent round for sure, but there are plenty of opportunities to make double bogeys real quick. You just have to play steady.”

Located just outside of metro Detroit near Milford, Tanglewood features 27 holes of golf.

The signature “Michigan Hole” features a green shaped like the Lower Peninsula surrounded by a big pond with a miniature replica of the Mackinac Bridge that connects to the next tee box. Despite the green’s generous size, shot placement is paramount.

“A lot of times, people hear about it and see the contour of green and request to play that nine,” Stedry says. “But if the hole is located near Cheboygan, you definitely don’t want to be putting from Detroit.”

Tanglewood features a generous mix of holes. The South is tree lined, while water comes into play in six of the nine holes on the West side. The North course has more of a links-like feel with fescue grasses, water and fewer trees.

“Depending on which nine you play, there are a lot of carry shots required, and on the West you could go into the water on virtually every hole,” Stedry said.

 

 
Shepherd's Hollow

Shepherd’s Hollow, Clarkston
Rating 76.0, Slope 147

With a length of 7,236 yards, Shepherd’s Hollow is one of the longer and more demanding courses on the east side of the state.

“Length is by far a huge factor,” head professional Kevin Grostick said. “But there are other factors that make it challenging.”

Like speed of the greens or the U.S. Open rough?

“For a public facility, our greens are on the quick side,” Grostick said. “The speed of the greens and the undulation are a big factor.”

The water, bunkers and hidden hazards places a premium on course management.

“A guy has to mentally get himself around the course,” Grostick said. “You have to hit fairways off the tees and hit your putts. That’s the case just about anyplace, but here it is really important.

“I try to give up a few yards to be in the center of the fairway rather than chance to go into the rough.”

 ^ back to top

Sugarbush, Davison
Rating 75.6, Slope 146

Measuring 7,285 yards from the tips, Sugarbush is a very good, classical golf course. Sweet maybe. But soft, no way.

“The golf course is pretty traditional and everything is straight out in front of you, but length becomes a little bit of a factor from the back tees,” says head professional Tom Wojciechowski. “There’s really not a lot as far as it being tricked up or having blind shots, but our green complexes are slightly elevated and if you miss greens it’s a little severe to get up and down.

Located near Davison, the blend of holes at Sugarbush are tree-lined with contoured fairways. Some of the chutes are tighter than others, including No. 13, which is cut right out of the woods. There there’s the par-5 that plays about 620 yards.

“There are some long holes, but the longer the fairways play, the wider they get,” Wojciechowski said. “There is some good thought to what is out there. The long par-4s are a little bigger and more generous – as far as being flat – than the shorter holes.

“There is a huge shot making element built into Tanglewood,” Wojciechowski said.

“You have to hit the center of the greens. If you miss, it’s hard getting up and down because of the contour of the greens.”

 

The Monarch at Garland Resort, Lewiston
Rating 75.6, Slope 140

Of the variety of courses at Garland Resort, The Monarch has the most bite for the buck: lots of length (7,188 yards), water, bunkers and woods.

“From the tee box, the woods don’t penalize you and you can take a good cut at it with your driver, but there is always pressure on your second shot,” director of golf Todd Campbell says.

The greens provide a contrast in size and shape. Some greens are quite small. Others are large and narrow. Yet others are deep, albeit thin.

“It puts pressure on being able to hit the tee ball and keep it in play, and you will still have a mid to long iron into a lot of the holes,” Campbell said.

You want tough? The Monarch opens with the number one handicap hole and gets arguably harder from there.

“Starting off, you don’t get much time to exhale,” Campbell said. “Then on the back, you’re playing back to the south end of the property and some of the holes are protected by large towering pines and also a large open area with water. When you have the wind howling back there, it tends to swirl around those pine trees and club selection and guessing what direction the wind is blowing becomes difficult.”

“A lot of ladies (forward tees 4,800 yards) enjoy playing their significant others at The Monarch because it gives them a good chance to whip their husbands,” Campbell said.

 ^ back to top

Treetops/Robert Trent Jones Course, Gaylord
Rating 75.5, Slope 144

Since it’s opening in the mid-1980s, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed Masterpiece at Treetops remains one of Michigan’s most revered and challenging tests of golf.

“It was built in the era when big, bold and challenging was in vogue,” Treetops director of golf Scott Head said. “Any big name golf course built at that time seems to be very difficult.

“He had a very dramatic piece of property to work with and exploit and stretch over 7,200 yards. It’s very long, even by today’s standards. I couldn’t imagine playing it with a Persimmon driver even back in 1986.”

Much of the challenge at the Jones Course lies within the lies. The mountainous terrain creates uneven lies, which make it difficult for the casual golfer.

The elevated green complexes can be severe at some points. The undulation adds yet another element.

“The Jones Masterpiece epitomizes that you have to hit it on the high side to get it to the flat side by using the lines on the golf course or you can get stuck with some awkward lies with a long club,” Head said. “It takes a lot of testosterone, but we as golfers tend to be masochistic by nature and that’s why we are drawn to the game. They want to get a full test back there (the championship tees).”

“The key to this course is getting off the tee,” Head said. “There are probably four or five holes where driving areas get really narrow, and you really have to drive the ball well and position it off the tee, and if you’re playing the back tees, you have to play the driver. It’s a first-shot course and it doesn’t slow down.”

 

Black Forest, Gaylord
Rating 75.3, Slope 145

Following the lead of Robert Trent Jones at nearby Treetops, architect Tom Doak designed the Black Forest to test the best.

“It was deliberately built to be a challenge,” Doak said. “The other course on the site (Wilderness Valley) is fairly easy and the client wanted me to make sure that nobody said (the Black Forest) was too easy.”

Doak, who has international acclaim with his spectacular courses worldwide, was glad to oblige.

"It was built during a time when difficult courses like The Bear and Treetops were synonymous with getting attention,” Doak said. “We set out to build something pretty hard and pretty dramatic.”

The woods at the Black Forest are very thick, hence the name. And while the fairways provide fairly wide clearings, hitting a shot into the woods is worse than jail.

The contoured greens are not overly fast, but they do have some built-in Tom Doak features.

"Like a lot of my courses, there is always a side of the green you can’t miss on because of the slope of the green and that doesn’t necessarily mean always behind the hole,” Doak said. “It could be to the right or the left, but there is one side of the hole making it difficult to get up and down.”

To make the Black Forest a memorable test, Doak said he tried to make each hole through the woods distinct with bunkering to create as much variety as possible. As a result, nearly 100 bunkers are scattered throughout the Black Forest.

"The people who score better at Black Forest are those who play a little more conservatively,” Doak said.

 ^ back to top

Arcadia Bluffs, Arcadia
Rating 75.1, Slope 143

While Arcadia Bluffs is undeniably awe striking visually, playing it well comes down to ball striking. Literally.

Length is not an obstacle at Arcadia Bluffs. It’s the short shots that make it tough.

“Tee to green, the fairways are extremely wide and the rough is not overly difficult because we don’t let it grow too much,” says Arcadia Bluffs general manager William Shriver. “The difficulty here is really from about 50 yards in.”

That’s when golfers must deal with sod wall bunkers and the contours of greens which average over 6,000 square feet and are groomed so neatly that putts roll fast.

“It’s the short game more than anything here, because the greens are so difficult,” Shriver said. “You need to be very careful on your lag putts or first putts.

“You have to have distance control on the approach shot and determine where you land the ball because of the undulation of the greens here. There are a lot of three and four putts.”

With a pure sand base, the bent grass fairways are firm and trimmed tightly to less than a quarter inch, so the ball doesn’t set up like it would on a bluegrass setting.

There are more than 100 bunkers – either cross bunkers or sod walls — on the course with some so big and expansive that it is hard to tell where they stop.

“People usually aren’t prepared to deal with hitting a ball into fescue. Most people try to hit a miraculous shot instead of playing out and going from there.”

And then there is the “X Factor.” That factor is the wind, which always creates havoc on a classic links style courses.

“When you go to the links-style course, it is not always as direct and right in front of you. It’s a little different mind set at a links course, and the fact that you are at Arcadia Bluffs also adds to it, Shriver said.

“ It’s a lot about the difficulty of the greens. It’s not just a big deal to hit the green; you have to hit the correct part of the green and that’s where experience comes into play.”

 

TimberStone, Iron Mountain
Rating 75.0, Slope 140

TimberStone, rated the 2004 golf course of the year by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, is one of the Upper Peninsula’s pre-imminent tests of golf.

“One of the unique things about TimberStone, in addition to elevation changes, are the towering evergreens that tend to mold each hole as it carves its way through the woods,” general manager Susie Fox said. “It’s more visually intimidating than it actually is.”

The Jerry Matthews design plays just under 7,000 yards from the back, but the placement of bunkers, water hazards and natural creek beds that run throughout the property come into play throughout a round of golf.

“There is a reason they want to play the tips or they should be playing the tips, and that is because they are a better golfer than an average golfer,” Fox said.

Course management at Timberstone is important for good scoring. That may mean leaving the driver in the bag for some holes and utilizing the information provided on the scorecard and yardage books.

The greens can be very large and pin placement is important.

Holes of note include No. 6, which is a 413-yard par-4 from the tips that requires two carries over water and a peninsula landing to the green.

The finishing hole – named “Double Black Diamond” in reference to the difficult ski runs throughout the country – descends 220 feet on a 625-yard par-5 with a tee shot that appears to be blind. Two rock tiers provide a natural hazard on the fairway before reaching a double green that is shared with the No. 9 hole that is very wide, but not particularly deep.

“We talk about the tips a lot here, but we offer four sets of tees to accommodate players of all abilities,” Fox said.

 ^ back to top

The Gailes at Lakewood Shores Resort, Oscoda
Rating 75.0, Slope 138

What you may see is not always what you get when trying to score at The Gailes.

“One of the biggest things that faces the average golfer is the presence of all the mounding on both sides,” says Lakewood Shores Resort general manager and director of golf Craig Peters. “It gives you the illusion that the fairways are much smaller than they actually are. It gives that you have to thread a needle and that intimidation affects you mentally.

“And, as everybody knows, golf is a mental game.”

The bunkers at The Gailes are sod faced and many of those are hidden.

The Gailes is not an overly long of a course; it plays 6,300 yards from the white tees and 6,958 from the tips.

“From that length, there are a lot of birdie opportunities, but course management is at a premium,” Peters said. “Some of the shorter holes are short for a reason.”

No. 10 is short par-4 with a big mound on the inside with two landing areas. Three sod wall bunkers are out there lurking for anybody that gets too greedy. No. 12 is a little par-3 with a similar look to small “Postage Stamp” green with similar mounding and bunkers around it.

Michigan’s first upscale links-style course can provide many of the amenities of its forefathers across “The Pond.”

“When the wind is blowing is when it is really fun to play,” Peters said. “You have to control the height of the ball, and for the better players especially, it’s a lot of fun. It gives you a look you’re not going to see at too many golf courses. You just have to have your wits about you.”

 

Tullymore, Stanwood
Rating 74.9, Slope 148

Tullymore, kitten or cat?

With five sets of tees, golfers can choose an accommodating length to fit their games. Or they can pick their poison if they prefer.

“Playing it all the way back, there is only one par-5 that is reachable in two,” claims Kevin O’Brien, director of golf at St. Ives & Tullymore Resort. “They are not ‘gimmie’ birdie holes by any means.”

Combined with three very challenging par-4 holes that span over 450 yards – including two that usually play into the wind – you have the makings for a very long-and-strong test of golf that measures 7,150 yards.

Then there are the par-3s, like No. 12, a 257-yarder reminiscent of the “Dell Hole” at Lahinch, where much of the green cannot be seen. Architect Jim Engh calls it “the Dell Hole on steroids.”

No. 15 is 178 yards with strategic bunkering surrounding it and a very challenging green complex.

“When you take those five par-3s with the distance and green complexes, they can provide quite a challenge,” O’Brien said.

“If you can play the front nine even or one over on the par-3s you are in good shape.”

The five sets of tees give a different look at each stage, but the silver tees provide the longest and strongest challenge.

“You need to hit solid shots on the par-3’s for sure,” O’Brien said. “If you don’t hit good shots on those holes, you will probably wind up in a bunker or a hazard.

“The par-5s have generous landing areas, but the green complexes get narrow at certain spots. Some of the green complexes have challenging breaks.”

 ^ back to top

The Rock at Woodmoor, Drummond Island
Rating 74.9, Slope 142

Whether it’s water, wasteland, wetlands or Netherlands, forced carries are the nature of The Rock.

“You’ve got to be able to carry the yardage,” says Chuck Hessel, director of golf and head professional at The Rock.
It doesn’t take long to get the message across. No. 3 is a 230-yard carry shot to the green. If the carries don’t get you, the woods may.

“It’s basically target golf,” Hessel said. “There is little relief. If you hit it into the woods, you don’t have a shot.”

Although it plays a little over 6,800 yards from the back tees, there are other factors that make some holes long and strong.

“Once you’re out there on the course, the wind plays games with you,” Hessel said.

The design began on the drawing table of Robert Trent Jones before Harry Bowers completed the project. It features many Jones’ trademarks, including risk-and-reward opportunities.

“It tests you,” Hessel said. “It’s a fair course, but you have to grind a little bit and be patient. If you want to attack the course, you may have to pay a price for it.”

The finishing hole can play as long as 600 yards, all uphill. The fairway is wide and climbs upward to a two-tiered, elevated green. It will leave a lasting impression.

The par-3 at No. 11 seems harmless enough, but two-tiered green and overworked sand traps catch many balls for those who misjudge the wind and under-club.

 

Boulder Pointe, Oxford
Rating 74.7, Slope 142

For sheer length, Boulder Pointe requires sheer strength. Measuring just over 7,400 yards from the back tees, the course can play long and strong.

While the length of the course is definitely part of the challenge, lots of heather and a prevailing wind make it even tougher.
The course features split fairways, a lot of bunkering and a good dose of world class heather waiting to swallow up errant shots.

The fairways are generous, but the edges are well guarded by the heather grasses.

“You definitely want to be on the short grass,” head professional Glenn Busam says. “From the back tees, it requires a lot of length and a lot of accuracy.

“Bunkers are well placed from the back tees. From the forward tees, they tend to not come into play as much for the better player.”

The greens are very large and undulating and very well bunkered as well.

The defining collection of holes at Boulder Pointe stretches from No. 3 through No. 7, a stretch that consists of five consecutive par-4s that Busam claims can rival any course in Michigan when it comes to difficulty. Two of them can play as long as 500 yards with the wind coming into play on all them. The front nine can play as long as 3,900 yards.

With five sets of tees, Boulder Pointe can play anywhere from 5,000 yards all the way to nearly 7,600 yards.

“It’s a very good test, and it can be real difficult from the back tees, but it’s also a lot of fun from the forward tees,” Busam said. “When you catch it on a day when the wind is up, it makes for a demanding day and concentration is a must.”

 ^ back to top

Hawk’s Eye, Bellaire
Rating 74.6, Slope 140

An outstanding complement to the challenging Chief at Sky Lodge, Hawk’s Eye creates one of the most formidable double-play combinations in the state. Located in Bellaire, Hawk’s Eye overlooks neighboring Shanty Creek Resort.

The comparisons and contrasts to The Chief are duly noted.

While The Chief plays a little over 6,600 yards and is a short course, Hawk’s Eye is more expansive at 7,011 yards.

While The Chief features many severe doglegs, Hawk’s Eye is more of a straightforward layout.

Both courses feature dramatic views and elevation changes.

“With both courses, it’s like beauty and the beast,” architect John Robinson says.

“They are two really different courses.”

Hawk’s Eye plays over 7,000 yards with some interesting greens, including what architect John Robinson describes as a diabolical green at No. 14 that features undulating undulations.

“It’s a short par-4, but very difficult to two-putt on that hole,” Robinson says.

No. 15, meanwhile, is a long par-5 with a bunker between hitting areas. It leads up to No. 17, which is a par-5 that plays over 600 yards descending 120-feet downhill from tee to the green, which has a big roll in the middle of it.

The No. 18 hole is one of the few par-3 finishing holes Robinson has created over his 37-plus years in the business.

Hawk’s Eye meanders through a planned $18 million residential community, while there is little or no housing at The Chief.

 

Cedar Chase, Cedar Springs
Rating 74.6, Slope 132

Making a surprise appearance as a Michigan Monster is Cedar Chase, which just may be one of the best-kept secrets in the state.

Located just north of Grand Rapids on a high ridge overlooking the Rogue River Valley, Cedar Chase sports a pseudo links look and stretches out 7,115 yards from the back tees.


Cedar Chase
 

The Bruce Matthews III design features 72 bunkers, many forced carries, woods, elevation changes, a good dose of wind and some superb putting surfaces.

“It’s definitely tough to golf with the factors of the tall grasses and wind mixed in,” Lynch said.

The No. 18 hole is an uphill par-4 that climbs 75 feet of elevation to a narrow pill-shaped green into a shallow depth green that is usually firm.

“Good course management with some accuracy in mind will definitely make the round more enjoyable,” Lynch said.

The front nine – which begins with a 90-degree dogleg into an amphitheater green – is fairly straightforward with the exception of the second hole in which the green slopes away.

The backside is when things heat up. No. 11 is a long hole and tight as a rope.

The par-3 14th hole plays 175 yards to a tricky double-tiered green, while No. 17 is a par-3 that plays 241 yards from the tips and No. 18 features an uphill climb into the wind and sunset.

“You can grip it and rip, or you can use a different club on every hole,” Lynch said. “It’s a straightforward layout if you’re playing well.”

 ^ back to top

The Moor at Boyne Highlands
Rating 74.6, Slope 135

One of Michigan’s original resort courses, The Moor has aged gracefully and remains a very solid tournament tested golf course.

But there is more to The Moor than initially meets the eye. Much more.

The Moor opened in the early 1970s as the second course built at Boyne Highlands after the Robert Trent Jones’ designed Heather.

Although the front nine is fairly benign for the most part, the back becomes a stiff test of golf. The course also features probably the toughest collection of par-3’s of any of the eight Boyne courses.

The Moor is very marshy with a lot of water hazards. The ponds and marshes are located in strategic areas.

No. 10 is a relatively long par-4 that plays into a prevailing wind with marsh on both the left and right and a forced carry on the second shot. Additional forced carries over marsh and/or water also exist at No. 11, No. 12, No. 15, No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18.

The green complexes are gently undulating, making it difficult to read some of the breaks.

The tournament-tested course has been host to the Michigan PGA, Mid-Am and U.S. Amateur qualifier, as well as state Pro-Ams.

“It’s a good tournament course,” says Bernie Freiderich said. “(Golf instruction guru) Jim Flick rates it at the top of all the courses we have.”

Like most courses, accuracy off the tee is a must. It is especially true at The Moor.

“You have to get your driver in play — it is a must,” Freiderich said. “And you have to be aware of the greens that are very fast. You have to putt the ball very well.

“It has stood the test of time for some 30 years.”

   
  ^ back to top
   
   
Subscribe About Us   Contact Us Home