By: Jeff Lesson
Private club golf used to be reserved for only the very wealthy. Ok fine. It still can be expensive. But due to the oversupply of great golf courses combined with a sluggish economy, it has become much more affordable.
Some country clubs have either reduced or completely eliminated the initiation fee. Many simply need more dues paying members in order to survive.
There is even more competition from the plethora of outstanding upscale public courses in Michigan. Add to that a shrinking base of avid golfers- down five percent per the National Golf Foundation-it could soon be a survival of the fittest.
BEST OF THE BEST
1. Oakland Hills (South)
Classic Donald Ross design steeped in tradition from hosting 16 Major Championships.
2. Indianwood (Old)
The most unique track in Oakland County with its beautiful rolling Scottish like fairways and heather. Also host to this year’s US Senior Open July 9-15.
3. Franklin Hills
Another special Ross gem that includes a reachable four par. The original Franklin Country Club used the course known now as “Rogell” in Detroit.
4. Orchard Lake
Two time host to the Michigan Open about to undergo a nearly $3,000,000 upgrade. PGA Head Professional Brian Dice and Superintendent Aaron McMaster are both aiming for “Augusta” like conditions.
While technically in Wayne County just across eight mile, this tradition rich and spectacularly conditioned course is just too good to ignore.
6. The Wyndgate
Stunning brick pavers and immaculate conditioning, combined with the best clubhouse and overall facilities make this one a keeper.
One of Toledo based designer Arthur Hills strongest tests, complete with a great stretch of finishing holes.
8. Red Run
Tradition laced facility with some of the best greens in the state.
Always well conditioned, traditional layout that can hold its own with some of the best.
10. Bloomfield Hills
It is the only club in the Top Ten I have yet to play. But its designer- the late Robert Trent Jones Sr.-once told me it was his favorite Michigan design.
VALUE PLAYS -COUNTRY CLUB QUALITY GOLF WITHOUT THE COUNTRY CLUB PRICES
Wabeek, Edgewood, Paint Creek, Plum Hollow
FAVE NON OAKLAND COUNTY CLUB
Barton Hills- You just gotta play it. It is THAT good!
FOR UP TO HALF OFF OR MORE AT GREAT COURSES VISIT LESSONONGOLF.COM!
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