The course at Brookside Golf and Grill guides golf balls past babbling brooks and over rolling terrain as players traverse the 6,100-yard course. A stream treacherously intercepts the golfer's path on three holes, and a large pond lies in wait to the right of the green on the 13th hole, waiting furtively for wayward bounces and impulsive swan dives. After a round, players can head inside at the newly redesigned clubhouse, where a full grill restores lost calories with burgers and burritos and assuages lost chances at birdies with beer and wine.
Course at a Glance:
Oak and maple trees nod their shaggy heads in the breeze over The Emerald Golf Course. The gentle pop of clubs against golf balls floats from four sets of tees, set among easy hillocks crisscrossed by a stream. Past tufts of wildflowers, carts hum along, carrying players to a driving range or a pro shop brimming with clubs and golf apparel like RoboCop’s bag when he’s going on vacation. The clubhouse spills the aromas of burgers crowned with guacamole, tapenade, and sautéed jalapeños.
####Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,619 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees
Scant trees, rolling mounds, and small, deep bunkers. These are the marks of a serious, links-style layout, and Glenkerry Golf Course is as serious as they come. The course pays homage to the early days of golf with each of these traditional, Scottish-style characteristics, giving players 71 strokes to finish at par or better on the 18-hole loop. To accomplish such a feat requires control off the tee, limited mistakes on the greens, and the patience of a dreaming baby sloth. Those who manage to string together a round can be proud of their precision and prowess. And those who come up short can always haul their clubs to the on-site, all-grass driving range and practice putting green for solo practice, lessons, or group clinics.
Tall pines and hardwoods stand watch around Candlestone Golf & Resort, their reflections dappling the surface of marshy ponds and water traps that resemble pools where woodland sprites might splash. The par-72, Jerry Matthews-designed course has a timeless quality, though in fact it was completely renovated in 2008, setting new electric golf carts buzzing past sand traps redesigned to meet USGA standards. The resort’s two dozen guest rooms were recently remodeled, too, with flat-screen TVs, new mattresses, and a fresh supply of hardworking counting-sheep filling each serene, wood-accented space. Overlooking the golf course, the Water Tower Grille serves wine, beer, dessert cocktails, and crowd-pleasing dinner fare such as chipotle-honey barbecue ribs, pecan-crusted walleye, and hand-tossed pizza on a spacious deck or beside a roaring fireplace. In 2009, The Grand Rapids Press praised the Grille’s “friendly service and good food,” such as the “tender and moist” pork chops.
Players send their golf balls around severe dogleg turns, past six water hazards, and between waylaying fairway bunkers as they test their skills on North Kent Golf Course’s 18-hole, par 70 course. Very few trees gather around the fairway edges, leaving mostly wide-open expanses into which golfers can pummel tee shots. The course shares acreage with a lighted, all-grass driving range, giving a close approximation of course conditions for lessons with PGA instructors and an area to test out experimental irons made out of oversize soup ladles.