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Lake Forest Golf Club (734-994-8580)

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Michigan Golf Course Review

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

Lake Forest Golf Club in Ann Arbor is a 18-hole championship golf course conveniently located 1.5 miles South of I-94 Exit 175 (Ann Arbor-Saline Road) and minutes from downtown Ann Arbor. Complimenting the golf course is a top of the line practice complex, with an extensive range, short game area and putting green. The newly restored clubhouse has a complete bar and grille menu - a large banquet area is available for outings and events - an outdoor deck and patio area offer scenic views of the 9th and 18th greens as they run parallel and feature similarly interesting closing holes for both the front and back nines.

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

Lake Forest is a wonderfully conditioned course, with sculpted tee boxes, medium to large bent grass greens, and bluegrass fairways unlike any we have seen. The fairway turf is thick and tight (for bluegrass) , affording good lies as the ball sits up nicely. The topography is fairly flat, with gentle contours and undulations. This is a course that an average golfer should be able to score fairly well on, with a top slope rating of 135. The Blues will be the tees of choice for most golfers here, and measure 6265, with the whites checking in at 5933, the fronts at 5413, and the tips at 6660. There is a nice mix of wide-open and tight holes. Deep, thick heather and fescue line many of the fairways, and water is a formidable hazard on 9 holes, with narrow creeks coming into play on 4 others. The key here is to land it on the fairways, and to pay attention to the information provided for on the scorecards. Hole diagrams and tips on how to play each hole quite accurate and warrant consideration, especially for first time players. This is the type of course that would seem to be much easier the second or third time around.

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

150-yard stakes are visible on all the par fours and fives, and the Kirby system is in place, with yardage plates on the fairways every 25 yards from 200 to 75 yards in.  A free APP for the Iphone and Android phones can be downloaded from the corresponding stores - the app offers instant GPS, electronic scoring, ability to make tee times, and much more.  Small markers on the flag sticks indicate front, middle or back hole locations. Ball and club washers on the carts are an added amenity.

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The opening hole is a fair one - a mid-range par five with a generous fairway and an obvious water hazard along the right side. Two accurately hit woods should set up a good birdie/par opportunity. The second is a downhill par three that plays all of the yardage advertised. This is followed by a challenging par four, with bunkers protecting the fairway and green. There is plenty of room right here. The next 3-hole sequence is one of the easiest on the course. These 3 short par fours require accuracy over distance, beginning with a fairly straight 350 yards hole that features a two-tiered green. Number 5 is a dogleg right, that can almost be driven by long hitters who forsake the fairway and take aim right at the flag. The same is true of the dogleg left 6th, which plays just 318 from the blues. The rough and bunkers guarding against such drives are not overly penal. Those laying up accurately on 5 and 6 with long irons or fairway woods, should be rewarded with easy approaches. The seventh is fairly straight but features a tight approach to a deep, narrow green. This precedes a challenging par three that can be extremely tough if the pin placement is on the left side. The tee shot must carry a tall tree to reach the center. A safer play is to aim for the right side of the putting surface, where there is more room for error. Nine is the number one handicap, and is especially tough if the wind is up. Your drive must reach the fairway, avoiding the heather left and water hazard right. After a fairly open second shot, a careful approach is necessary. A water hazard juts out in front of the green on the left, and is not easily discernible from the fairway. This is definitely a three-shot par five.

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The back-side opens with a par four that pays easily, as long as you keep the ball below the hole on the approach. This is followed by a mid-range par five that is tight off the tee, and narrows considerably all the way to the green. There is a small slope in front, creating the need for a high, soft landing wedge to create a good birdie/par opportunity.   Number 12 is a tricky hole. Your tee shot is best placed near the 150 stake. Anything hit over 200 yards will definitely carry the fairway and reach some un-playable rough. The approach is nearly blind, depending on the pin placement - and plays over wetlands. There is very little room to the left side of the green. Another easy 3-hole stretch follows. A simple (125 yards from the blues) par three precedes the short par four 14th, and the number 18 handicapped hole on the course. There is definitely room for driver here, which should set up a short iron downhill approach. Fifteen is extremely tight. A fairway wood or long iron is recommended off the tee, and the approach to a green that sits on a hill demands some accuracy. The length demanded on the long par four 16th is compounded by it's uphill nature off the tee. There is a creek in front of the green, which slopes noticeably from back to front. Seventeen is the longest and most difficult of the par threes, and is followed by a formidable closing hole. Number 18 is a true 3-shot par five that demands two shots over a creek. Water on the right creates the need for an accurate approach to this beautifully sculpted green. If the prevailing wind is strong, this hole plays even tougher.

Lake Forest Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The wind is a key factor at Lake Forest. The front nine holes and back nine holes offer two different golf experiences - the course winds through 170 acres featuring a links style course on the front nine and a woodlands and wetlands on the back nine holes. Significant population of trees line the fairways in the middle of the round on both the front and back. Lake Forest is consistently recognized for offering an excellent experience both on the golf course and in their charming club house. We found our round completely enjoyable!

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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