As the sun rises each morning, the smell of dew summons golfers to Orchard Hills Golf Course, a scenic, 27-hole complex with one 18-hole course and a separate, 9-hole track. Cleaved through 6,026 yards of tree-lined terrain, the 18-hole monolith requires precise play and whispered Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes to conquer its topographical challenges. The par 72 layout showcases multiple memorable shots, including forced carries onto water-protected greens on both the second and fourth holes.
Slightly shorter than the other two nines, the East course blankets the countryside with a straightforward layout that begins with a tricky, 425-yard right dogleg. A staff of golf pros presides over Orchard Hills’ pro shop, where guests can upgrade their equipment, schedule a lesson to hone swings, or learn to read greens written in their doctor’s handwriting.
18-Hole Course at a Glance:
Prior to 1963, the entire Gun Lake area did not have a golf course. Local enthusiasts had to travel out of town to get their weekend morning fix, and younger residents had nowhere to become acquainted with the game. It would take a man who had never played a round of golf in his life to give the community a welcoming locale to practice the game and unveil heat seeking three-woods. This visionary, Frank Tichvon, turned his greenhorn status into green-thumbed activism, building a modest yet challenging nine-hole course that thrilled locals with tee shots down beautiful tree-lined fairways and breaking putts across manicured greens. The course's popularity brought about the construction of a second nine-hole layout, and by 1987, the course had grown into a 27-hole destination sprawled across more than 200 acres of verdant Michigan terrain. Eighteen-hole combinations range in length from 5,200 yards up to 6,373, challenging golfers with tight fairways framed by mature arbors that kidnap gullible golf balls.
Course at a Glance:
The Acorn Grille at Thousand Oaks Golf Club melds a variety of upscale dishes with wines and attentive service. The chefs and staff train their eyes on the details, whether manicuring platings or refining in-house recipes. Seafood options such as perch and scallops swim alongside aioli and pilaf, and pastas dress up veggies and proteins with bowties or tortellini pocket squares. Tender grilled or slow-cooked cuts of meat, including beef tenderloin and prime rib, incorporate robust ingredients including smoked gouda, garlic, and chipotle. The dining room sports high-gloss wooden tables, while the outdoor patio overlooks rolling acres of green hills, 100-year-old oak trees, and herds of golf balls that roam the 425-acre golf course.