THE FORTRESS GOLF CLUB (989-652-0460)
Michigan Golf Course Review - A U-tube video is available at the bottom of this review.
Located just south of downtown Frankenmuth - one of Michigan's premier resort towns, the Fortress offers as fine a golfing experience that one will find in Mid-Michigan. 6800
yards of championship play are encompassed in this 18-hole Dick Nugent design, which features large, high quality, undulating greens and challenging bunkering.
Characteristics of golf's early Scottish origins are reflected in the fescue covered mounding and numerous ridges found near many of the bent grass green complexes, which
average 7,500 square feet. With abundant mature trees and numerous water hazards, the Fortress offers a fruitful variety of traditional and links style holes, with top notch
conditioning from tee to green.
On property are a spacious practice facility with target oriented grass range, putting green and a short game area for chipping and bunker practice. PGA professional and golf
director Erich Kuhlman is available for private and group lessons. The pro shop at the Fortress features a full line of sportswear, crested goods, golf shoes and accessories,
along with the latest equipment. There is a full service bar and dining area for deli sandwiches that can sit 50 people, and an outdoor pavilion can accommodate as many as 250
for special events and tournaments.
The golf club is part of a resort complex in sprawling Frankenmuth, that includes opportunities for eating, sleeping and shopping. Zehnders Restaurant is world renowned as
America's largest family restaurant, and unquestionably offers the finest dining out of all the eateries in Frankenmuth. A great variety of cuisine is available - but the Bavarian style
chicken dinners are what made this place famous. We had the opportunity to visit the Marketplace and were especially impressed with the humungous bakery. A stop for Sunday
brunch is also highly recommended. We found that for $14.95, this was as good a buffet one can expect to find. Great variety and quality of food at a fair price - and perfect after a
Sunday round of golf!
The Z Chef's Cafe offers soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza and full dinners on other days. Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark offers 146 deluxe accommodations
including 70 suites. All guest rooms include refrigerator, microwave and flat screen tv's. The indoor waterpark has over 30,000 square-feet of aquatic fun including two four story
tube slides, lazy river and a 400 gallon dumping bucket. Of course, shopping opportunities are abundant throughout Frankenmuth including the wonderland of Christmas
shopping we know as Bronners.
There is much to do in Frankenmuth - a great place for a family or couples getaway, and a perfect location for golf enthusiasts. The Fortress is the top course in the area - just
minutes form the hustle and bustle of town. On course amenities include ball and club washes on the fleet of finely maintained electric carts. 150-yard stakes are visible in the
fairways, and cart paths are also marked at 100/150/200. Pin placement sheets provide info on the day's hole locations. There are restrooms in the clubhouse, and also at the
halfway point on each of the nines.
The opening hole is a fair one, a reasonable length par five that plays along an undulating fairway with an approach that plays uphill. Number two is a pretty par three, which
demands a tee shot over a ravine. There is about 15 yards of room between the green and no mans land, but the slope in front is quite severe making this all carry. The third is a
long par four with an open fairway and a tight approach between trees on the right and mounds and bunkering left. This number two handicap is followed by the most score-able
three hole stretch of the layout. Number four is a short par three that is pretty much all carry, and precedes a very open and short par four (353 from the tips). A tee shot to the left
center of the fairway on six will leave a good angle for approaching the tight green complex. The par four seventh, though long (437 from the tips), is also a reasonable scoring
hole. Length off the tee will come in handy on eight, which features beautiful landscaping behind an undulating putting complex. The closing hole of the front plays long again (453
from the tips and 437 from the mid tees) as it approaches the clubhouse. A well struck driver will be necessary if you are to score well on these 3 finishing holes.
The back nine begins with the seventh handicap - and provides another opportunity to get off to a good start. The fairway on 11 is generous, but the approach narrows
considerably, with bunkers and mounding all around the green. A simple par three on 12 is followed by the course's number 1 handicap. This 443 yard par four is tough off the tee
, with water on both sides of the fairway and rolling mounds and sand traps greenside. Fourteen is a mid range par five, and the fifteenth presents one of the most challenging
tee shots of the layout. Trees define a narrow opening that leads to an ample fairway, which bends slightly left. Golfers should hope to score well on the initial six, as the three
finishing holes present some challenge. A tight fairway on 16 leads to a green complex over a narrow ravine, just 50 yards out - beautiful hole to look at - tough to score on. It
does not get any easier on the par three seventeenth - which demands a carry over water to an undulating green - with little room for error behind. There is some bail our room
right, but this is one of the most challenging iron shots of the day. You will need a long drive down the center of the fairway on the dogleg left par five closing hole. Only the longest
hitters will gain an advantage cutting the dogleg. The approach is fairly easy - but plays uphill.
Golfers will be impressed with the manicured fairways, tees and greens at the Fortress along with the good variety, great layout - and friendly service. A round here in June, July
and August Monday-Thursday is $55, including cart. They also have a midweek foursome special for $50 per person, which also includes a cart. Make sure you look into the eat
and play package 18 holes, cart and a family style chicken dinner at Zehnder's for $73 per person in June, July and August (Monday-Thursday) highly recommended a true value.
The 3 sets of tees measure 6813, 6271 and 4837 yards, with slopes ranging from 138-124. Most golfers will choose the middle (maroon tees), which even with 3 par fours over
400 yards, are very playable. Enjoy the day and take in the surroundings.
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.