It is hard
to believe that the 400 acres that is now
home to the model land reclamation golf
project in America was just three years
ago a square mile of urban blight in the
heart of suburban Northville.
is where the old Wayne County Child Development
Center and Plymouth State Home and Training
School once was. The buildings stood
vacant for 20 years.
Northville Hills Golf Club is a cooperative effort
of national and local government agencies partnering
with Toll Brothers, Inc. to provide the city
a high-end residential community and a spectacular
18-hole championship golf course, which acts
as a buffer to the area’s commercial district.
Toll Bros. never conceived of embarking on a
project of this scale without having one the
most renown and respected names in the golf industry
involved from day one: Arnold Palmer and his
team of golf architects that comprise the Palmer
Course Design Company.
The Toll vision is now available for everyone
to play, forever.
“This will always be a public,
daily-fees course,” said
General Manager Martin Fuchs. “The land
purchase agreement from Wayne county makes
it so.” But no one would fault you if
you mistook Northville Hills as a private residential
“Had this been opened as a
members-only course in spring of last year, we
would have sold out
in 30-days,” said Fuchs. As it is, the
popularity of the “player friendly” Palmer
design has made it necessary to schedule your
tee times well in advance.
“Word gets around,” said
a course beats you up. This course is easy.
“It was specifically designed
to be visually very challenging from the moment
and stand at the first tee. The object is to
have you say
WOW!” added Fuchs. You will. And
you will say it again when your round
Easy is a matter of opinion, however.
But unless you’re a scratch golfer, you will want
to play the third set of tees, or the blue, which
presents a less than formidable challenge of
only 6,200 yards. Gold is the fourth or furthest
set of tees and that length—7,000 yards—will
test even the best golfer.
Big is a common theme at Northville Hills.
The fairways are enormous, bordered by
and various fescues. The bentgrass greens
are massive—averaging 8,000 square feet. You’ll
have a big ego if you can par all the par 3’s. “They
are toughest holes on the course,” said
Fuchs, “because of the hazards associated
with each hole”. But from the blues,
the longest par 3 (hole No. 11) is only
The bunkers, however, are not overly
foreboding. Forty-five of them dot the
fairway bunkers are mostly directional.
bunkers are minimal.
One unique feature of Northville Hills
are the numerous water treatment basins
wetland areas. They were designed into
the layout to act as a storm water filtration
for the water used on the course. The
environmental stewardship program at
certified and monitored by The Audubon
You can live big at Northville Hills,
too. Executive home floor plans range
from 2,500 to
4,300 square feet. Yet the homes and
villas at Northville Hills don’t
drape over the course, conflicting with
your game and your enjoyment.
Northville Hills Golf Club adheres to
every principal of an Arnold Palmer
a traditional, straightforward golf
experience that is both exciting and enjoyable.
As word gets around, Northville Hills
is sure to be ranked among the finest