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:
Brookside Golf & Grill's PGA professional Marty Carmichael takes golfers of all stripes under his wing and helps them improve through guided practice and a little help from video technology. As players unload strokes ranging from full-power pummels off the tee to knockdown wedge shots onto the green, Marty makes real-time adjustments to mechanics and offers his recommendations for strategic thinking. Meanwhile, a video recorder captures all the action, allowing the student to see his own bad-swing habits—something that is difficult to fully grasp during the backswing itself, when eyes are closed tight to keep eyeballs from falling out.
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. The course shares acreage with an all-grass driving range, giving a close approximation of course conditions for lessons and an area to test out experimental irons made out of oversize soup ladles.
NRA-certified pistol instructor Steve Washington, a veteran of the US Army and National Guard, has taught gun handling and safety techniques to military and law-enforcement personnel for more than 20 years. In 2011, he partnered up with retired Michigan State Trooper Charles Hockey to open Protection Tactics, LLC, bringing their combined firearms expertise to locals. Instead of having students come to them, the duo travels to communities around Michigan to conduct courses such as the Basic Pistol class, which instills pistol and ammunition knowledge and instructs one- and two-handed firing stances. Additionally, Steve and Charles host Bullets, BBQ & Brews events where qualified participants try out various firearm models on paper targets that regret not taking a job as a page in a book.
Short game and putting skills will likely determine golfers' fate at Braeside Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course that bounds over mounds and through 6,638 yards of West Michigan countryside. The pro shop touts the course's par-threes as some of the most difficult in the area, and it's easy to tell why: from the tips, the shortest of the four holes stands at 164 yards, with the other three measure in at 196, 186, and 217 yards. At those distances, even the most accurate golfers can fail to hold the green, leaving a tricky chip and putt in order to get up-and-down for par. Easier scoring opportunities await at the course's par-fives, which long hitters and players with gravity-resistant golf balls can reach in two. With four tee options, the course presents approachable challenges for golfers across the handicap spectrum.