Designed by Tom Bendenlow and opened in 1925, Maple Brook Golf Course's 9-hole emerald circuit bobs and weaves over gently rolling, tree-lined terrain. Formerly known as Charlotte Country Club, the course shares its bucolic landscape with a driving range, a pro shop, and a lounge with a full bar, where guests can unwind after a day scuba diving for lost golf balls.
From the first drive on the 457-yard par-5 1st hole to the final putt on the 570-yard par 5 18th hole, golfers are constantly challenged with an array of obstacles that form two distinct layouts on the front and back nine. The front nine resembles a traditional links-style course, with open expanses, deep pot bunkers, and ponds that come into play. Golfers must pivot their strategies at the turn, as forested terrain surrounds the back nine and presents tighter lies that demand more conservative shots. Greens average 5,000 square feet across, presenting large targets for iron approaches as well as dance floors for celebratory soul trains.
Course at a Glance:
Branson Bay Golf Course is a tale of two halves. The front nine of the 18-hole, par 72 course is built on lowland, sending golfers through gentle rolling terrain. Past the halfway mark, however, mature hardwood trees rise into sight and present a whole new set of challenges. As in a list of people's favorite life-sustaining liquids, water makes frequent appearances, coming into play on nearly half the holes. To warm up for the course's lineup of tests, players can get some swings in at on-site practice areas, including a driving range and bunker and putting zones.
The central hub of The First Tee of Mid-Michigan, Sycamore Driving Range & Learning Center gives players the resources they need to build all elements of the golf game. At the driving range, range balls take flight from hitting bays before collecting around targets stationed throughout the landing zone. A putting green and short-game area invite golfers to work on finesse techniques, such as chipping or cleaning their balls with a feather duster.
Tucked away in the shadows of pines and hardwoods that were planted in the late 1940s, Timber Ridge Golf Club's 6,585-yard course roams through dense tree lines, rolling hills, and native marshland to form a scenic, challenging layout. The Club's new golf carts come equipped with internal GPS systems, which tell players the distance they must hit the ball to clear water hazards, the yardage at which a dog-leg fairway begins to curve around the trees, and the whereabouts of every squirrel that has a golf-ball burglary on its record. The 18th hole brings rounds to a dramatic end, as golfers must dial in their approach shot to a green guarded by water on the left side and bunkers to the right.
Golfers can improve their skills with lessons from Class A instructor Greg Beavers, who became the club's head golf pro after a stint at Walt Disney World Golf. In addition, players can fine-tune their swings at the grass-tee driving range or master short-game strokes at the chipping and putting greens. After rounds, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and cold drinks from a full-service bar await at Rubey's Grill.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-72 course
Length of 6,585 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 73.0 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 144 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
A 63-hole golf complex carved through rolling, water-kissed terrain, Hawk Hollow features several sprawling venues for golfers of all stripes to hunt for birdies. The club's signature course, Eagle Eye, showcases 7,323 yards of fairways and greens sculpted with consultation from course architecture guru Pete Dye. Water comes into play on 14 holes, including the par-three 17th, which features an island green that—like peace between two feuding couples—can only be reached by bridge.
With 27 championship-length holes, the Hawk Hollow course itself lets players select which sets of nines to combine for a full 18-hole round, and two more executive courses—the par-36 Woodside and the links-style Falcon—round out the club's diverse range of courses. The emerald grounds also encompass the Little Hawk Putting Course, a circuit of bent-grass greens carved through sand traps and mounds shrouded in thick rough.