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From Our Editors
Fellows Creek Golf Course goes above and beyond the typical 18-hole course, and not just because it actually has 27 holes. For starters, it was designed by renowned architect and native Michigander W. Bruce Matthews and his son, Jerry, the brains behind such sites as the Cadillac and Grand Haven country clubs. It's also an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, a designation only awarded to those courses with excellent track records of environmental conservation and wildlife protection. And though the three 9-hole sides share a par of 36, each boasts distinctive features.
South Nine: This side stands out for its more significant elevation changes, a fact that comes into stark relief when comparing two of its par 3s. The fifth hole measures just 147 yards from the back tees, but the tee shot is entirely downhill. The ninth hole, meanwhile, is just the opposite. It's longer—at 208 yards from the back tee— and entirely uphill, making it much harder to somersault to the green.
East Nine: This nine has the longest hole anywhere on the course: the 542-yard par 5 sixth hole. Both this hole and the other par 5, the 512-yard No. 3, appear to be excellent scoring opportunities, but things might not shake out quite that simply. Each requires a good tee shot and a guts-and-glory gamble on the second shot, or else players will settle for par or worse. And that's before players get to hole No. 7 which, at a mighty 223 yards, is the longest par 3 on the course.
West Nine: The east nine may have the longest individual par 3 and par 5, but the west nine is the longest side overall. Things start off with a bang on the long par 5 first hole, and then relent somewhat on the driveable par 4 second hole. In holes 4 through 7, players face a pair of long par 3s, a par 4 reaching nearly 500 yards, and a par 5 lined with dense forest and plenty of mounding and bunkering.