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Gems of Michigan
Spring Valley Hersey, MI

by Jim Neff

The purpose of this column is to discover the hidden gems of Michigan golf, courses that are bargains to play but might not get the publicity they deserve. In order to qualify as a "gem," a course must be in excellent condition, have greens fees of $30 or less for eighteen holes, and must allow players to walk.

Located between Reed City and Evart on U.S. 10, Spring Valley is one of those courses that's a little off the beaten path, not quite "up North" but close enough for vacation play. With greens fees of less than $20, it's a great stop-off if you're going to or coming from a destination in the northwest lower peninsula.

The course has two distinct nines. The front side is the older of the two, and stretches for almost 3600 yards. It has an interesting configuration in that the two par threes are situated back-to-back early in the round, 192-yard, par 5, seventh hole, which crosses a creek and has a fairway that climbs dramatically upward for the last 150 yards to a huge green atop a knoll.

The back nine has a totally different character. At less than 3000 yards, it winds through forested terrain and challenges your course management skills with six doglegs. While there are only two holes on the back longer than 400 yards, narrow fairways and some blind spots make it a sneaky-tough layout.

At the end of a round, Spring Valley has a cozy clubhouse/restaurant for you to enjoy. Call 616/832-5041 for current fees and tee times.

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