In 1917, famed golf-course architect Donald Ross carved New Rogell Golf Course out of an urban plot along Grand River Avenue, adding yet another gem to a portfolio of courses that also includes Pinehurst No. 2 and Oakland Hills. Today, players enjoy the fruits of Mr. Ross’s labor as they cruise over a bentgrass path that stretches to 6,075 yards from the farthest tees. Two additional tee boxes start off each hole as well, allowing golfers to tailor rounds to their skill level or forsake tees completely and start in a bunker.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 70 course
Total length of 6,075 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.2 from the back tees
Course slope of 129 from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
Palmer Park Golf Course may be a short, flat layout designed for beginners?but that doesn't mean it hasn't attracted its fair share of heavyweights. Since it was founded in 1927, boxer Joe Louis, singer Marvin Gaye, and members of The Temptations and Four Tops have all played the course. Though each of them gained fame in their respective fields, they all looked to Palmer Park as a place suitable for their more modest skills as golfers and budding interests in amateur turf management. In additional to traditional rounds, Palmer Park also features footgolf on the front nine, where players navigate the fairways by kicking soccer balls toward soccer ball-sized holes.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,007 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard
Golf and curling are similar in their basic values: both games require a steady hand, have their own distinct vernacular, and emphasize sportsmanship so much that the post-match handshake is a universal ritual. Roseland Golf and Curling Club brings the two genteel games together in one facility that features a six-sheet curling rink and a 27-hole golf complex. Open November through March, the curling club offers free “Learn to Curl” classes at various points throughout the season, leagues for curlers of all ages and abilities, and open ice sheet rentals all day on Saturdays for those looking for a place to stash their perishable snacks.
Outside, golfers can test par-hunting skills at an 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Donald Ross and built in 1926. The layout measures a formidable 6,943 yards from the farthest tees, requiring golfers to call upon every club or oversized crowbar in their bag to complete the round. In addition, the facility offers shorter, short game-oriented rounds in the form of a 9-hole, par-3 course.
PGA pros Alex Macko and Alex "Breezy" Koskos propagate sound pin-hunting form from their post at Jawor's Golf Center, which fosters year-round practice with indoor and outdoor training areas. The duo can demystify the subtle mechanics of the golf swing at the center's 44-tee driving range, which features 14 covered, heated stalls that enable practice sessions during inclement weather. With clubs and apparel from brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist, the full-service pro shop offers equipment upgrades as well as repair services for club shafts snapped by players who mistakenly teed up a bocce ball. Two outdoor, 18-hole mini-golf courses buttress the facility, inviting players to work on their putting form as life-size cartoon characters break the tension after a missed gimme or a dispute about whether or not an abandoned shoe is an acceptable ball marker.
In Normandy Oaks Golf Course, the city of Royal Oak operates a course open to the public. Aside from scenic views and lush, emerald fairways, the course offers players nine chances to hit long-distance drives and slam-dunk their ball into the hole. It also has a pro shop and a teaching professional ready to iron out rickety swings.
Hickory Hollow Golf Course has a storied history, as golfers have been squaring up tee shots on the dogleg-left first hole for more than 50 years. Players are drawn to the par 73's healthy mix of open expanses and tighter, tree-lined fairways, as well as the dramatic closing holes on both the front and back nines. The approaches on these finishing holes are remarkably similar: they incorporate a winding creek that fronts a green guarded by bunkers, setting up for a difficult-to-read putt that either incites a celebratory player pileup or leaves golfers further down the scorecard.