From the Editor
This issue marks our annual new course issue, part I. With El Nino seemingly giving
Michigan a break on the weather_and certainly we deserve it after last year's pseudo-spring_courses
may be in for a record season. For me, I'm anxious to play El Nine-o and more at some of the new and exciting layouts set to open this season. It's always
amazing to see how designers and builders have transformed their dreams and plans
from wilderness and rock into a pleasant golfing experience. Each one will have something
unique and special to offer golfers. For me, I know I'm going to enjoy:
- Riding in a cart at new Boulder Creek GC over the best and widest concrete cart
paths I've ever seen on a golf course. If only Boulder Creek could persuade Chi Chi
(Rodriguez) and Cha Cha (Muldowney) to show up for a cart drag-race on its opening
day! And the course is rock-solid and player-friendly too.
- Taking my brother-in-law and angler John Lowery to fish and play at Hidden River
Golf & Casting Club. What a novel idea: combine the symbiotic worlds of fly-fishing
and golf (please no smirks about bamboo ball retrievers) in one setting. It'll be
a treat to listen to John, in the cleverly named Rainbow Room, talk about the "one that
got away" and not know if he's referring to his near birdie or his near trout.
- Playing the par-five 13th hole at The Lynx of Allegan along the pristine Kalamazoo
River. Just another wonderful environment for golf in an area that's ripe for a quality
- Returning to Apple Mountain near Saginaw and teeing it up at the scary but scenic
par four 6th hole. The elevated tee has the distinction as the being the highest
point in the Saginaw Valley. The folks behind Apple Mountain have thought big and
the result, especially considering the mundane land given them, is impressive.
- Trying to hit the par-five 6th hole in two shots at Pilgrim's Run. As writer John
Bebow told so well in our last issue, the reachable par-five is one of golf's pure
joys. You'll find one at this gem of a course in Pierson.
- Walking Rick Smith's new course, The Tradition, at Treetops. I applaud Rick and
Treetops for this "retro" innovation to resort golf_a walkable, non-mandatory cart
layout. The Casey Martin exception aside, playing and walking a fine course is an
enhancing experience. I remember one writer saying somewhere that walking maintains "the
journey of the game."
- Checking out the new nine at Crystal Mountain. Bill Newcomb has done some noteworthy
work in the last several years and this latest addition will keep Crystal Mountain
very competitive for years to come. Kudos too for master shaper "Dozer" Doug O'Rourke for his efforts during course construction.
- Comparing Arnold Palmer-Ed Seay's sublime work at Shanty Creek with their latest
endeavors at Sugar Loaf called "The King's Challenge." If Traverse City golf coach
Bob Lober says it's a marvelous layout then that's all the "reconnaissance" I need
to hurry back to Cedar, MI.
- Savoring a round redux at South Haven's Hawkshead GC. The conditioning has improved
dramatically since last spring when this Art Hills-designed track opened quietly.
And is there a more charming Inn and restaurant than the one found at Hawkshead?
See you out on the links . . .
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