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The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton (810-229-9581 ext. 231)

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Michigan Golf Course Review

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton in Brighton, Michigan is one of the latest upscale courses to open in the Metro Detroit area, and offers an outstanding round of golf. The journey to the first tee leads players up the Mt. Brighton ski hill, from where the initial tee boxes are situated. The elevation from the tips measures 180 feet to the fairway below, offering gorgeous views of the layout and surrounding countryside.  Bruce Matthews has designed some wonderful courses in Michigan, and The Golf Club at Mt Brighton may be his most unique. The numerous white sand bunkers are aesthetically pleasing, and along with the spring fed ponds, acres of wetlands and majestic oak trees, make Mt. Brighton a visually stunning layout. Water comes into play on nine holes, though the expanse of these hazards makes it seem like they are always present. Finely sculpted fairways and tee boxes add to the allure, and the bent grass greens were in great shape for a new course.

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course
The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

The Kirby marking system is in place on the fairways, and color-coded flags indicate the day's pin placement. GAM's are located on all the white tee boxes, which measure nearly 6200 yards from the tips. The championship (blue) tees play at over 6700 yards and the fronts 4762. An additional set of tees, measuring a player-friendly 5474 yards , and will help beginners and seniors to play a more relaxing round. The Jackal will challenge the best golfers, with a slope rating of 139 from the back tees. Wetlands, water hazards and doglegs to either side provide an opportunity to demonstrate shot-making ability, and will require the use of every club in your bag. There is room on many holes to use the driver, but generally speaking, placement is more important than distance on this course. The White tees are very fair for the average golfer (slope of 132) , with only 2 par fours at over 400 yards in length. The gold tees provide a break in distance, and help especially on the holes featuring water hazards.

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course
The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

The front nine is significantly shorter than the back - but opens with four tight, challenging holes. The opener plays off the top of the skill hill, and bends sharply to the right. The approach is uphill to a challenging green, sloped back to front. Try to keep it below the pin here. The second also doglegs sharply right.  There is nothing but trouble left of the fairway bunker, and trees on the right make a cut difficult. The safest play is the center of the fairway. The long par four 3rd is the number 1 handicap, and is extremely tight off the tee. Trees lining both sides call for an accurate shot off the tee, which must come to a stop prior to the marsh that dissects the fairway 165 yards from the green. There is only about 10 yards of room for a playable lie past the marsh. The fourth is also an extremely tight driving hole, and presents a even more narrow second shot. Aim to be just short of the fairway bunker on the right, as a marsh comes into play quickly on the left. If you are on the fairway, the approach here is an easy one. The number 3 handicapped fifth completes the most challenging three-hole sequence on the course. It is fairly open off the tee, but water on three sides of the green makes for a demanding approach. Par is great on all 3 of these holes. There is water and bunkers short right, but plenty of bail out room left on the beautiful par 3 sixth.  This is followed by a 350 yard par four that plays about 50 yards longer due to it's steeply uphill nature. Avoid the chair lifts, as all the cables and equipment are in play here. Number eight is a beauty. From an elevated tee you must bend a tee shot left to right to a narrow fairway protected by bunkers all around.  There is sufficient room to lay up in the middle - or big hitters can cut the corner and hope for a favorable lie between the mounds. Nothing more than wedge or short iron will be necessary to reach the putting surface. The finishing hole on the front plays downhill, requiring one or two clubs less to reach the green. It is a relatively easy par three from all but the back tees, which measure a whopping 257 yards!

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course
The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

The back nine plays approximately 200 yards longer than the front, with water coming into play on the first three. The tenth features a mounded fairway that slopes towards the hazard on the right. An accurate lay up will leave most golfers with an easy approach and a good birdie opportunity. Number 11 is gorgeous - a par three from an elevated tee, with water and a wooden bridge forming a frame-able backdrop. It plays into the prevailing wind, which somewhat negates the downhill effect off the tee. Twelve is the number two handicap, and plays tougher when the wind is up. You will have to crank it from all but the front tees to clear the hazard. The narrow fairway and tight opening to the green make this one of the most challenging shots of the round. The par five thirteenth can be reached in two by long hitters, but the accuracy demanded off the tee makes this a 3-shot hole for most golfers. Aim for the left fairway bunker, and be mindful of the marsh 130 yards out. Pay attention the pin placement as a ridged putting surface will make long lag putts a challenge. A tee shot hit long on the left side is the best play on number 14, as a tree on the right blocks approaches from that side. The green here slopes off dramatically on all sides. The 15th is narrow off the tee, with a tight uphill approach. This precedes a challenging par five that features a tree in the center of the fairway. The pond to the left of the tight green complex makes this a three shot hole.  The par three 17th plays uphill to a triple-tiered green. Land on the correct portion and this is the best birdie opportunity of the day.  There is ample room off the tee on the closing hole, but the approach is nearly all carry over water. There is some bail out room on the right side of the fairway. Reaching in two is a nice accomplishment, and par is a good finish here.

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course
The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

Unless you are accurate off the tee, be prepared to lose a few balls here. Knowledge of the layout is a big advantage. My playing partner and I agreed that we will have to make a return trip, armed with more course knowledge. With our busy review schedule, we do not often get the opportunity to play the same course twice. The environment, conditioning and challenging layout at the Jackal are such that we would love to play this course again. We found the yardage guide with hole diagrams (on each cart) to be extremely useful.  The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton also has a bent grass practice range and putting green, and a full service clubhouse with pro shop, bar and grill, and banquet/outing facilities that can accommodate 200 people. Seasonal memberships and prepaid golf coupons are available. 

The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton - Michigan golf course

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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