Macomb Country Treasures
With Macomb County golf courses just an interstate away, it's no wonder that metro Detroiters are enticed to sneak out of work for an afternoon game. A quick phone call can reserve after-lunch tee times at courses like Cracklewood, Leaning Tree, Salt River and Scalawag's. Many of the county's courses are close enough for a commute, yet offer a rural feel by preserving the natural lay of the land. Rattle Run in St. Clair is nestled in trees and surrounded by forest. Marsh Oaks at Oak Ridge sits amid farmland and is punctuated by wetlands.
Golfside homes ring Glacier Club, the Orchards, Cherry Creek and Graystone. More than 45 golf courses are located in the county, including Middle Channel on Harsen's Island and Tee J's in Macomb. Here's a look at a few clubs that are helping Macomb County become a destination.
Graystone Golf Club
Graystone boasts arguably the best finish in Michigan golf. The last three holes, dubbed "quarry holes," wind around a lake. According to head pro Mike Newbury, No. 16 is an island green, and18 is a bear. "The length of 18 is extremely tough, with a long second shot over water," he said.
The 18-hole course was designed by Jerry Matthews, and is surrounded by million dollar homes. Apres-golf amenities include an upscale banquet facility and a grill room overlooking the quarry. Golf is $55 during the week and $65 on weekends, with reservations up to 30 days in advance. Say hello to director of golf Dave Graulau if you go.
The Orchards Golf Course
The Orchards carded an ace when it landed the 77th Annual U.S. AmateurPublic Links Championship, which is scheduled for July 15-20. Amateurs who have established their handicaps at public courses will converge on the Orchards for two stages of championship play - 36holes of stroke play and then six rounds of match play.
The Robert Trent Jones Jr. course also offers junior golf camps, golf school, golf academy and a unique "Golf Day" featuring three hours of instruction followed by lunch and a round of golf. During the lesson, instructors make a personalized video analyzing your swing. Golf is $60 midweek, $75 weekends.
Oak Ridge Golf Club
The Oak Ridge Golf Club, which hosted a girls high school regional tournament this year, consists of two 18-hole courses, the Old Oaks and the newer Marsh Oaks. Old Oaks is the more wide open and forgiving of the two, according to manager John Amatangelo.
Marsh Oaks brought a little more challenge to the club when it opened in 1997. Designed by W. Bruce Matthews, III, it features play over and around considerable water hazards and marshes. There are some tough par-3s on the back nine, with 11 and 15 pegged as the most difficult with their elevated greensand bunkers. Oak Ridge also offers two practice putting greens, a natural grass driving range with target greens and a practice bunker. Facilities include a pro shop, clubhouse and banquet facilities.
You can walk Old Oaks, paying $32 for 18 holes weekdays or add $13 for a cart. Marsh Oaks is$50 weekdays and $60 weekends. It's surrounded by farmland at I-94 and 26 Mile.
Rattle Run bills itself as an "Up North Experience" because of its rolling hills and mature trees. This course is known for being difficult, especially the back nine, according to head pro Jim Mrozinski. Rattle Run has a newly-renovated clubhouse, restaurant and small banquet facilities. Golf is $49. MG
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