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Emerald Vale
by Art McCafferty

Emerald Vale Golf Club, located on M-42 four miles west of Manton, is the newest golf property to be added to the flourishing Cadillac area.

Built for the Manton Golf Association by architects Bruce Matthews III and Angelia Hicks of Design 3, Emerald Vale measures 6700 yards from the back of its four sets of tees. As golfers tee up for their initial round, they should note that over sixty grass and sand bunkers, five water holes and elevation changes of up to 120 feet await them. However, the fairways are wide and the greens are large, thus offering the golfer a good balance and the opportunity for a good round.

Early reviews by those that have seen or played the course indicate that holes 1, 8 and 10 are early favorites. According to Angelia Hicks, the first hole really represents what Design 3 was attempting to do throughout the entire course, that being to leave the ground as intact as possible. "The first hole was hardly touched, it was a natural hole right from the start," said Hicks. Mel Powell likes the 8th, which has an openness that is a real grabber and the 10th hole that goes by a refurbished barn.

Mel Powell is one of the movers and shakers of the Manton Golf Association. Mel indicated that the project had some age to it as it was initially thought about in 1988. "We had some original investors that helped to purchase most of the 200 acres that the site is on, but the money to build was just not there at the time. Another individual tried to put it together in the early 90's , but could not pull it off. Finally the original group got together to give it one more try. We have seven major investors and another 120 that have invested at least $1,000." Our readers might recall a similar project in Farwell, Michigan -- Eagle Glen.

The front nine is scheduled to open in May with the back nine coming along in July. The clubhouse will be built this spring and the dream that some many Mantonians have had for the past decade will finally come to fruition.

For future information, you can call Emerald Vale at 616-824-3631.

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