The Cattails Golf Club ( 248-486-8777)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Located on Nine Mile Road, a couple miles west of Beck Road in South Lyon, the Cattails Golf club provides another niche in the belt - of fine, quality golf
championship courses available for public play in West Metro Detroit. With so many courses in the area, one would expect to encounter a similarity in
topography and layout. This is not necessarily true. Each has its own distinguishing characteristics, and the Cattails is no exception. What you will find
here is an abundance of wetlands and marsh, so much so that you will encounter these hazards in some shape or form on nearly every hole. In addition to
the challenges they create, the natural areas are also a habitat for an abundance of wildlife, from rabbits to birds - and especially the majestic Blue Heron.
Though tightly wound, the layout encompasses rolling hills, wetlands and woods, without intrusion from residential properties.
Once familiar with the course, most users find the design player-friendly. The four sets of tees measure 6436, 6009, 5470 and 4974 yards. Slope ratings
vary from 131 to 118. Though not long, the Cattails provides a challenge from the back tees, as a premium is placed on accuracy off the tee and on the
approaches to the large, mildly undulating greens. Carries over marshlands are not exceptionally long except for a few instances, and are very
manageable from the blue and white tees. Seniors, beginners and ladies playing from the front tees catch quite a break in distance on the more demanding holes.
The conditioning is upscale from tee to green, with fairly quick putting surfaces and finely sculpted fairways and tee boxes. 150 yard stakes help with ball
positioning, and some sprinkler heads and cart paths are marked. A great amenity is the Uplink GPS that is standard on each cart. We find this particular
brand to be the best around, with accurate yardage measured directly to the pin from anywhere on a particular hole. The depth of the green is indicated,
along with distances to hazards - which helps tremendously with club selection and ultimately in the pace of play. The hole diagrams are helpful, and
provide all the info necessary to play efficiently. This is of great assistance, especially to players visiting the course for the first time. The clubhouse is also
upscale, with a complete pro shop, dining area and lounge, and amenities for up to 175 guests (with additional seating for 50 more under an attached
outdoor patio) for outings, banquets or special events.
The first two holes are quite playable, presenting the opportunity to get off to a good start. Number one looks intimidating from the tees, but actually is a
very short and playable par five. There is much room to the right side. A fairway wood or long iron hit to the landing area short left, or a long drive past the
initial hazard on the right, will set up an easy one or two shot approach - and a good birdie possibility. The second is a short par four with a hazard
immediately in front of the tees, which should not come into play. This is followed by a more difficult par four, with a narrow fairway bounded by marsh right
and OB left. Sloping mounds on both sides of the green call for a high and soft approach. The long par five 4th has plenty of room off the tee, though a
narrow strip of wetlands crosses the fairway about 260 yards from the green. Two accurate shots should set up an easy wedge or short iron to a uniform
putting surface. The same narrow marsh crosses the fairway near the 150 yard marker on the par four 5th. The safe play is to lay up prior to the marsh,
and play a fairway wood or long iron to the green that plays slightly uphill. You can choose to carry the corner of a marsh, or bail out to the left on the par
3 sixth. Either way, this is a fairly easy hole, though only 10 yards of fairway separates the green from the wetlands on the right. There is more room (40
yards) between the hazard and putting surface on the second per three in a row, which features a green sloped back to front. Next up is a short par four,
with lots of room left off the tee. Wetlands and a pond on the right need to be avoided. The closing hole of the front presents quite a decision off the tee.
You can aim just left of the 150 yard stake, which leaves an open approach over a thick marsh, or bend a shot to the right and play it safely to the green
from that side of the split fairway. Wetlands in the center are formidable, and not easily avoided. If you have not played here before - it is best to drive up
and have a look at what you are getting into. Tough hole!
The back nine opens up with a short dogleg right par five. Don't attempt to cut this one, as trees on that side and marsh come quickly into play. Aim for the
left side of the fairway, and be ready to grip it and rip it over the huge wetland area that fronts the sloping green. This is the most challenging carry on the
course. Eleven is an easy par three with a short carry and 50 yards of room between the green and hazard. This precedes the # 1 handicapped hole on
the course, the mid-length par four 12th. Bend a long shot to the right or lay up towards the 150 left for the best approach to the elevated green. You will
need 1 club more to reach on the tight par three 13th, which is followed by a dogleg left par four. Lay up short on the right side, or bend a long one to the
left along the tree line for the best angle to the green. Fifteen is tricky. There is a hidden pond on the left - anything hit towards the trees on that side is
wet. A solid drive will easily go through the fairway unless it bends gently right to left. A lay up on this short par four is our best advice. A fairway wood or
long iron is also recommended off the tee on 16, as the water is very reachable. Anything on the fairway here will present a reasonably easy approach.
The par five 17th is open off the tee, but narrows considerably on the next two shots. The green here is plateaued and slopes down on 3 sides. The
finishing hole is a dogleg left par four with the most generous fairway of the layout. An easy start, and an easy ending to an enjoyable round.
What is lacking in length is made up in tight fairways with a great variety of shot selections available. You can run it up to some of the putting surfaces,
while others require a soft touch to hold the green. There is not an abundance of bunkers, but wetland areas and green-side mounding provides
considerable challenge for the average golfer's short game. This is not a big hitter's course - but will be especially appreciated by good iron players and
those who like to think their way through on every shot. The exceptional conditioning and friendly atmosphere make a round here even more enjoyable.
For more information visit the Two Guys Who Golf information page for this course by clicking here.