I’ve been playing golf for about 4 years now. After playing baseball my whole life, it seemed like it would be a natural transition, as there are similar skills involved. I spend a lot of my free time practicing/playing, watching golf, reading about golf etc. I have accumulated a lot of knowledge about not only how to play, but the history of the game.
A golf course is like my sanctuary. A place in nature to unwind after a long, stressful week. For me, golf is almost an art form. To quote Arnold Palmer, “what some people find in poetry, I find in the ball flight of a perfect drive.”
Chandler Park Golf Course
Chandler Park Golf Course - Chandler Park Drive, Detroit MI
Chandler Park is a great course for all skill levels. There is a blend of shorter and longer holes, as well as narrow and more open holes. It is a great place to work on your game and try new things. Personally, this is a great venue for me because it is close and it is a very good price. I know all the staff there because I go there a lot. They are all very friendly. I guess I would consider this my "home course."
Rammler Golf Club
Rammler Golf Club - Utica Road, Sterling Heights MI
I nicknamed this course "tranquility" for it's scenic views and often quiet atmosphere. It has a lot of long, winding holes with massive willow trees, and gently flowing river that seems to just follow you around the hole course. I like this course because if you go at the right time, it isn't too crowded. My dad and I once played 40 holes in one day here.
Plum Brook Golf Club
Plum Brook Golf Club - Plumbrook Road, Sterling Heights MI
Right across the street, Plum Brook is almost like Rammler's little brother. The holes are a little shorter and a bit more forgiving. It is sort of a good place to work on your game because there are definitely some tough shots, but it is not as relentless as bigger courses.
Rouge Park Golf Course
Rouge Park Golf Course - Burt Road, Detroit MI
With it's rolling hills, thick forests, and little creeks and rivers, this course makes for some very scenic views. I've only played here once during an outing, but I definitely would like to go back. There is plenty of room and the holes sort of zig and zag around, so no two holes are the same. There are some tricky lies around the greens too, so it definitely tests your short game.
Rackham Golf Course
Rackham Golf Course - West 10 Mile Road, Huntington Woods MI
A staple in the Metro-Detroit area, Rackham was designed by Donald Ross, a legendary golf course architect. It is right off I-696 next to the Detroit Zoo, so it is easy access for all Metro-Detroiters. It offers an even mix of both forgiving and more challenging holes, and at a cheap price. The back 9 has some pretty lengthy holes.
St Clair Shores Golf Club
St Clair Shores Golf Club - Masonic, St. Clair Shores MI
SCS features a classic American style golf course design. Tree-lined fairways, thick rough, elevated greens and a few water hazards to get in your head. They definitely try to mimic a U.S. Open or PGA type setup. The greens are elevated, some are multi-tiered and are usually cut thin and well maintained. There are definitely some slippery putts out there, and the ball can roll a little farther than you think. The whole course is pretty well maintained, which makes it a little pricier and more crowded than the other courses on this list.
Maple Lane Golf Club
Maple Lane Golf Club - Maple Lane Drive, Sterling Heights MI
Maple Lane is a perfect spot if you're looking for an affordable, beginner level course. Most of the holes are wide open and the greens are pretty flat. I think there is 27 holes there, so you get a good variety to choose from. It’s also one of the only places in Michigan that will open during the winter if the temperature goes up enough. So keep your eyes open if you want to sneak a round in during the offseason!
Sycamore Hills Golf Club
Sycamore Hills Golf Club - North Avenue, Macomb MI
Sycamore Hills is another favorite stop of mine during the season. The course is very well designed and well maintained. I’d argue it’s as close to country club quality as you can find in a public course. I like it because it is very challenging, but not by being super long. A lot of the holes curve and dog leg, and there are a lot of protruding water hazards, sand traps and trees, which causes you to really stop and think. You can be more conservative, or be aggressive and try and cut corners. It really forces you to work on your course management.
Selfridge Golf Course
Selfridge Golf Course - South Perimeter Road, Selfridge Air National Guard Base MI
Selfridge Golf Course is the perfect all around golf course. It’s challenging enough to punish errant shots, but it’s also a course you can shoot a really low number on if you keep the ball in play. It is built on a pretty big chunk of land, and the holes sort of wind all the way around through all of it, so you really get a different look on every hole. Some of the holes on the back 9 have a variety of different trees, bushes, flowers and other plant life. When everything is in full bloom, it’s sort of like you’re playing in a giant garden. Selfridge also has a great warm-up/chipping and putting area with grass tees, a feature you won’t see at most public courses.
Rattle Run Golf Course
Rattle Run Golf Course - Saint Clair Highway, East China MI
Lastly, my personal favorite, Rattle Run. It has been ranked the #1 public course in Michigan by Golf Digest, and ranked in the top 75 nationally by Golf Digest as well. I truly believe this is as challenging of a course as you will find. It is a huge course measuring at 7,000 yards from the back tees, and was originally designed to host professional tournaments. The course sort of weaves it’s way through this giant, hilly forest area. The natural topography of this course is what makes it so difficult to me. The large hills and valleys make for many blind shots, as well as hitting into both elevated and lowered greens. The slope of the greens make for some lightning fast putts too. And if that doesn’t make it tough enough, might I add that there are trees everywhere because you are literally in a forest. You can really tell that there is little margin for error on every shot. Danger seems to be lurking at every turn, which is what makes this course so fun and exciting. It really tests all your skills as a golfer. And the same things that make it so difficult, are what make some of the most beautiful views. From the massive trees, giant hills and valleys, and rivers and creeks flowing everywhere, there is plenty of sight seeing. The Run is a little bit of a drive all the way out in St Clair, Michigan, but it is definitely worth it. You can tell as soon as you pull in that you are entering something grand and majestical.
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