KIMBERLEY OAKS GOLF CLUB (989-865-8261)
Michigan Golf Course Review
We took a step back in time on May 14,2005 - when we visited Kimberley Oaks Golf Club in St. Charles. Weekend rates with cart top out at $40 in 2005! This is a 3-1/2 star (Golf
Digest Places to Play) course which features an extremely interesting design and fine conditioning from tee to green. Walking is allowed at any time! What's more - the setting is
wonderfully secluded, with just a smackling of homes and no future residential developments in the planning - kind of how golf used to be. An extra perk - breakfast can be
ordered ALL DAY at Kimberley Oaks...on this rainy day, I took advantage of this feature, which is not available at too many restaurants anywhere, anymore...
There is water in play on 11 holes - and bunkering is understated, with only a dozen or so sand traps along the track. The challenge is in the form of doglegs, bending in either
direction that require precision and the correct length to navigate the turns. This is not exactly target golf - as driver is certainly a vital component to scoring well here. In many
instances, a long tee shot is necessary to set up for a clear approach. The terrain is gently rolling with a few elevated tees playing to valley fairways with plenty of trees. The rule of
thumb in the design is this - if the hole layout is straightforward, the fairway will be tight and tree lined. On the many doglegs, there is room for error but placement to the side of the
landing zone will yield better results. Some of the doglegs are tough to cut...
The putting surfaces are medium is size and mild in undulation, affording good opportunities to score if one can land in regulation. Recoveries from slightly offline approaches
are possible as there is generally not too much trouble greenside, with some exceptions. The green complex on number two demands an accurate approach, as the fairway all
but disappears with a pond situated immediately to the right front. This is a reasonably short par five however, so setting up for a three shot approach is a wise move. The par
three third also demands an accurate shot as water is in play short left and right. The toughest hole however is the par four 14th - which plays 478 yards from the back tees!
Kimberley Oaks gets high marks for providing easily ascertained yardages from tee to green. Golfers can determine the hole locations on each green from the color coded flags
which indicate front, middle and back pin placements. On course yardage markers include blocks posted every 25 yards (with front, middle and back of the green measurements)
fron 200 to 75 yards in. There are also indicators on the cart paths - and appreciated feature. Four sets of tees play to yardages and slopes measuring 6589/134, 6299/133,
5441/117 and 5005/115. With the huge difference in distance between the 2 and third tee areas, most golfers will choose to play from the blacks - which with a 133 slope will
make this a challenging day.
This is a course that we can highly recommend - both for value and for a quality golf experience. The drive from I-75 through Chesaning (Clio/Montrose exit) and to St Charles
takes a good-1/2 hour plus - but keep in mind that rates including cart are only $35 weekdays and $40 weekends - prime time in 2005. The service is friendly, and dining here is
highly recommended. The menu is varied, and the seating in the well-appointed restaurant and lounge is comfortable. This is a great place for weddings, outings and special
events - as this spacious facility provides a dance floor, and window seating nice views of the golf course.
For more info including a direct link to their website, visit our page for Kimberley Oaks by clicking here.