Thousand Oaks in Grand Rapids recognized as one of nation's best new courses
After playing host to more than 20,000 golfers during its first year of operation, the Rees Jones-designed Thousand Oaks Golf Club capped the 2000 golf season by being honored as one of America's top new courses by Golf Digest. In its January 2001 issue the magazine tabbed Thousand Oaks as a winner in its "Best New Affordable" course category, ranking it as the top new course in Michigan and Great Lakes region, and the fourth-best overall in the United States.
"Being recognized by Golf Digest is a real honor," said club co-founder Mike Dodgson. "Rees and his team delivered a course that people here love." Added Dodgson's partner Dave Mehney, "This reinforces what the public has been telling us all year - that it's amazing that a course like this is available to the public without a destination and resort green fee structure." Jones' first foray into Michigan pleases the architect since he built such a layout near the place where his late father, Robert Trent Jones, authored the famed Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club, the longtime site of the Western Amateur championship in Benton Harbor.
"Dad loved Michigan and did such great work here," Jones said. "He used to always say Point O'Woods was one of his very favorite courses and his work at Oakland Hills helped enhance one of the great championship venues in the world. I'm proud to have had a site like Thousand Oaks, which stands with the courses Dad did here."
Thousand Oaks is located a mile east of East Beltline Ave. on Five Mile Road in Plainfield Township, just ten minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. Situated on 42 acres above the banks of the Grand River, it has all the earmarks of a prototypical Rees Jones design: wide, sweeping fairways and landing areas, subtle bunkering and classic, traditional green site development.
Built almost exclusively on rich, sandy loam, Thousand Oaks cuts through dramatic acreage filled with oak, maple and ash trees. It measures 7,128 yards from the championship tees, but is decidedly user-friendly thanks to generous landing areas and open approaches to greens on most holes. The staff is headed by Director of Golf Operations Gary Smithson. The course will be bordered by 125 single-home sites with a proposed condominium development also planned.
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