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The Chief Golf Club (231-533-9000)

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Michigan Golf Course Review

The Chief Golf Club | Michigan golf course

Located in the heart of golf country in NW Michigan, The Chief provides some of the most spectacular scenery available to Midwest golfers. Dramatic elevation changes and rolling mounds with challenging green-side contours also make this course one of the toughest to score on. Architech John Robinson has designed a course that is truly unique, with holes and shot selections seldom seen, even on courses with similar topography. Golf director Dave Hill politely suggested that the white tees, at 6151 yards with a 139 slope rating, provide all the challenge one needs...He is absolutely right!

The Chief Golf Club | Michigan golf course
The Chief Golf Club | Michigan golf course

Regardless of your score, we think you will agree that this is one beautiful piece of golf property. Located just across the street from the entrance to the Summit at Shanty Creek, Chief Resort provides upscale amenities and service to all guests.. Practice facilities include a grass range, putting greens and sand practice area. There is a beautiful pro shop with men's and ladies' apparel, and a full service bar and grill. Outings and events of various sizes can be accommodated with their considerable facilities. The Chief has been mapped by Golf Logix and yardages can be accessed by their mobile application.

The Chief Golf Club
The Chief Golf Club

The course itself is well maintained from tee to green, with soft sand bunkers and firm, fast greens. One of the most challenging features on the Chief are the undulating mounds that can be found near many of the green complexes.  These are extremely hazardous, creating tough angles for pitches and chips. Good mid and short iron play are vital to scoring well here, as the approaches must be very accurate. Once on the putting surface, the undulations are quite manageable.

The Chief Golf Club
The Chief Golf Club

The opening hole, while short for a par four, is challenging nonetheless. You must avoid the fairway bunker and approach accurately - there is no room long. Mounds, bunkers and undulations around the green provide the challenge on the short par three second, which is pictured above. Number three is a short par five that is best approached from the left side. Considerable bunkering is found in the fairway and near the green. Do not attempt to cut the dogleg to the right on four - hit the fairway and you will be left with a beautiful downhill approach to a well-protected green. On the 5th, a tee shot over a marsh is followed by a lay-up to a wide landing area on this 3-shot par five. The approach must carry a narrow creek and marsh area - a very pretty hole!  The long par four sixth and the short par four 7th are two of the only "grip and rip it" holes on the course. Pay attention to the pin placement on seven, as the green is very long. A tough dogleg right par four follows, with the bend occurring past the 150-yard marker. The approach must carry a creek and small pond, with trouble also long - tough hole! There is some bail out room to the right on the tight par three finishing hole of the front. The pond 50 yards out should not come into play.

The Chief Golf Club
The Chief Golf Club

The tenth presents a challenging tee shot over a lush ravine to a narrow fairway. Approaches that are too long will be penalized with a drop off lurking behind the green. Eleven demands accuracy off the tee - and about 240 yards. Hit it too far and you will reach the drop off; too short and it will be difficult to carry the ravine on the second shot. This is one of the most difficult #6 handicaps in the state and is nearly impossible to reach in two - gorgeous golf hole to look at, but many will describe this hole with 4 letter words. Distance off the tee is important on 12, as a grass ravine must be carried. Catch the depression and a nice roll will be your reward. 

The Chief Golf Club

The thirteenth is a short par 4 with an easy downhill approach, and is followed by a very narrow par three, with sloping rough right and a pond 300 yards out.  The narrow fairway on 15 bends right on the approach making this a three shot par 5. The green is small and elevated - and perhaps the best conditioned putting surface on the course. Seventeen plays uphill and long for a par three, at 214 from the blues and 197 from the whites. The finishing hole is demanding off the tee, with water left and bunkers and mounds to the right. At 420 yards from the whites, this is the number two handicap on the course.

The Chief can be enjoyed by all golfers for its natural beauty and distinctive shot opportunities. Scratch golfers will find a formidable challenge, while mid to high handicappers will find consistent scoring to be quite a chore. Enjoy the scenery and great service. Like mountain golf? You will love this layout! A second 18-hole championship design is in its beginning stages.

Check out the Two Guys Who Golf detailed information page on this course (which includes a link to the course's website if available) - click here.

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