by Art McCafferty
Art Hills is building a great legacy for golf course design throughout Michigan. His works include Fox Hills, the Honors Course at Oak Pointe Golf Club, Pine Trace, Taylor Meadows, the Thoroughbred at Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Egypt Valley's 36 hole layout and the emerging tracts at Bay Harbor. His legacy will be a little more permanent with the opening of his newest design, The Legacy, a new course located at Ottawa Lake off of Exit 5 on US-23.
Dan Bunge and Joe Garverick are the owners of the course. They also own Wedgewood Golf Range located at Exit 1 on US-23 just north of the Ohio border, as well as Components Plus, a supplier of golf club componets to golf professionals. Dan Friel is the Director of Golf and Neil Radatz is the superintendent.
The owners had met Art Hills at their range from time to time and had made up their mind to hire him. That decision immediately cost them some money as Art suggested they needed another 80 acres to really put together a great course. The 207 acres it sits on gives the 6840 yard course plenty of room to stretch out and provides the area for a first rate practice range and putting green.
There are a number of superb holes on the course. The fifth hole is Dan Bunge's favorite as it offers a challenging shot into a well trapped green. The 8th is Art Hills' first island green, a par 3. The 11th features a massive bunker and lots of other trouble. The finishing holes will be a real benchmark of this legacy of this course. It all starts with the 15th, a par four 461-yard hole that will have you working all the clubs in your bag. The 16th, a par three surrounded by trees with a waste bunker in front, is Art Hills' favorite. The 17th plays next to one of the two lakes on the property with the other side of the fairway edged in trees.. The dogleg right hole hugs the water almost all the way. The 18th is a short par four that requires you to negotiate a couple of water hazards on your way to the pin.
There will be a full service 7500 sq. ft. clubhouse that will feature memorabilia from the career of Art Hills, starting most likely from the days he captained the MSU golf team.
The course is scheduled to have a soft open in early June with the grand opening to follow in mid July. For tee times and further information, call 1-313-856-1977.
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