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
The 9-hole, par 36 layout of The Falcon Golf Course introduces players to a links-style design characterized by rolling terrain and pesky knee-high grasses outlining the fairways. As a shorter sibling to the flagship courses at Hawk Hollow, the course allows beginners to experience the hallmarks of a Scottish-style course?few trees, deep bunkers, and deep rough?without subjecting them to extreme length or geese that honk in Scottish accents. More seasoned golfers, meanwhile, can use the course as an opportunity to hone short game skills across four par-fours and five par-threes, while taking care to avoid the water hazards that come into play on six holes. The course also plays host to rounds of FootGolf?a combination of soccer and golf in which players maneuver soccer balls into 21" cups.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par-36 course * Length of 1,330 yards from the farthest tees * Three tee options