HEATHER HILLS GOLF CLUB (810-798-3971)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Heather Hills Golf Club in Romeo near 38 Mile Road and Van Dyke, is a course unique in a couple of ways. The first impression is that this course is incredibly hilly - rolling hill
after rolling hill. The fairways, if not wide, are at least fair. Many are defined by mature trees, though some are relatively open, with young pines stationed right and left. A creek runs
through the property, bisecting in varying degrees, seven of the 18 holes. Five ponds are strategically placed to challenge your shot making ability. The difficulty in scoring well on
Heather Hills lies in the slope of the course itself. Unless you are extremely accurate off the tee, you will undoubtedly be faced with several sidehill, downhill and uphill lies. This
will be true for your fairway shots, approaches, pitches and chips. Many of the fairways dip like a subtle roller coaster - from an elevated tee down to the fairway and back up again
to the green. A good percentage of the greens are elevated. And the putting surfaces can be challenging, especially when they are running fast. On the day of our review, most of
the pin placements were up front. With the majority of the greens sloped from back to front, it is a good idea to be below the hole when putting. The consistently rolling layout is
different from most courses in the metro area, providing panoramic views that are aesthetically pleasing.
A second, and more profound characteristic of Heather Hills is that there is not a single bunker on the course. It is the first and only championship layout I have observed, that
does not feature sand traps. Initially, I missed the contrast that sand provides in the make-up and physical persona of a golf course. Eventually, I realized that the course was
beautiful in itself - and that the rolling hills, elevated greens, ponds and winding brook provided enough contrast to make this course interesting. The slope rating of 118 (tops)
seems a bit low, as this design will challenge you to shoot your handicap. The front nine is about 100 yards shorter than the back, but contains more of the higher handicapped
holes. Total yardage measures from between 5177 to 6408 yards, with 3 sets of tees to choose from.
The opening hole is a downhill dogleg right, with a tree and pond preventing you from cutting too much off the hole. A creek runs across the fairway about 40 yards in front of the
green, which makes this a considerable risk to reach in regulation. A pretty par 3 awaits you on the second. It plays easy, as long as you stay below the hole. An wide open par 4
to an uphill green is followed by 3 fairly long par fours (398 - 411 yards). The 4th and 5th are very similar, with rolling fairways running beside one another in opposite directions.
The sixth is a bit more challenging, with bush to the left and an extremely uphill green. You get some relief on the seventh , a short downhill par three. The easiest green of the
front nine awaits you on the eighth, which plays uphill and longer than the card indicates. The final hole of the front also plays uphill, especially on the approach. This is the most
severely sloped putting surface on the course, with a great deal of roll from back to front.
The back nine opens with a shot from an elevated tee to a landing area that is quite wide and forgiving. You will have a decision to make on your next shot, as the creek runs
across the fairway in front of the elevated green 80 yards away. Play it right and this is a good birdie opportunity. There is a large tree on the right, partially shielding the green on
the par 3 eleventh, which plays downhill. This is the third par three that plays 150 yards or less. Number 12 is the shortest par four, a downhill 333 yarder that requires an accurate
tee shot to a narrow fairway. The approach leaves you little room for error. The uphill par three 14th (use 1 extra club) is followed by the #1 handicapped hole on the course. Your
tee shot off an elevated tee will have to clear the creek and pond in the middle of the fairway. The rest of this 424 yard hole plays increasingly uphill. Par is a great score here. The
16th is one of the prettiest holes on the course - a downhill tee shot followed by an approach to a green guarded by trees to the sides and the creek in front. .Seventeen is a short
par five that plays very long - as it is uphill all the way. This stretch (holes 15 through 17) is the toughest trio of holes in the layout. The finishing hole starts off uphill, but levels off
and doglegs to the left on the approach. A good finish is very possible.
Heather Hills runs a good ship, with ample facilities for leagues, banquets and outings. Their regular season rate of $25 weekdays and $30 weekends ($20 extra for shared cart)
is a great bargain. Special senior and junior fees are even better. The course is adequately marked with small marker flags for pin placements and stakes for 100/150/200 yards
in the fairways. There is a medium size putting green and grass & mat driving rage (irons only) on property. It is about a 45 -60 minute drive from Detroit. Call for directions.
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.