Pilgrim's Run Golf Club (888-533-7742)
Michigan Golf Course Review
A couple things stand out on my repeat visit to Pilgrim's Run. As the photos below indicate, This is one incredibly beautiful golf course. The clubhouse and pro shop are great,
and the practice facilities are amongst the best on-course facilities in the state. What really separates Pilgrim's Run from layouts now being built - is the seclusion. There are no
residential properties along the course, and golfers will find a peaceful existence along this gorgeous track that features outstanding conditioning and service. Wonderful terrain,
great shot opportunities - and very competitive rates - we highly recommend a round here - worth the easy 30 minute drive from Grand Rapids!
What an awesome golf experience! Approaching the secluded property of Pilgrim's Run, one cannot help but be impressed by the aesthetically pleasing clubhouse, expansive
and well conditioned practice area, and the rolling topography of one of Michigan's premier golf courses. It's location has positive implications for golfers. Because it is removed
from the metro area, the property is in a gorgeous natural setting, free of commercial development and residential buildings. Pilgrim's Run is not overly booked during the
shoulder seasons (spring and fall) and the prime time greens fees (cart included) top out at $65. If it were closer to the city, the price to play a course of this quality would cost $10
- 20 more!
After paying your green fees, you will find a complimentary bucket of range balls waiting for you in your cart. The expansive range features both mat and grass tee areas with
numerous target greens, and a large practice bunker. The putting green is enormous, and gives you a good read of the speed and quality of the putting surfaces you will
encounter on the course. There are red, white and blue yardage stakes on the fairways, and markers on the flag sticks to indicate pin placement. The clubhouse is spacious and
elegantly appointed. While the facilities and amenities are top notch, what is appreciated the most at Pilgrim's Run is the experience of peace and tranquility. Sharing the course
with the deer, hawk, heron (and an eagle that I spotted near the 16th green) and other wildlife - this was one of the most serene and peaceful rounds of golf that I have ever had
the pleasure to play.
A tip to first time visitors - pay close attention to the pin placements. Many of the greens are ridged or double/triple tiered. There are relatively flat areas on each section, which
make birdies/pars very possible - as long as you reach the correct portion of the putting surface.
The opening par five features a serpentine design, snaking right then left before approaching the green, which is well guarded by bunkers. Long hitters can cut it right for a chance
to reach in two. Others should keep it on the fairway left, to avoid the deep depression fronting the green on the right. Aim to the middle left on the par 4 second, and you may get a
nice roll leaving you with a wedge approach. Anything hitting the bank to the right will roll towards the center of the green. Hole # 3 is the number 1 handicap, with a narrow fairway
and an extremely undulating green. Long is better on the par 3 fourth. Anything short will roll down the deep depression guarding the green. You can cut off some distance on
number 5, which doglegs left. The approach here is more uphill than it seems. The sixth is one of the prettiest holes of the layout. Avoid the fairway bunker right center, and take an
extra club on your second shot and approach, as it plays uphill all the way. The seventh is a beautiful par three from an elevated tee. There is a marsh left and bunker right, but as
with all the par threes at Pilgrim's Run, this is a good birdie hole. The dogleg left eighth features a roller coaster fairway and an undulating green. Cut the dogleg and avoid the
deep fairway bunker and you will have a very reasonable approach. The finishing hole on the front features 7 bunkers on the right side, leading all the way to the clubhouse. The
initial nine is the shorter of the two, presenting an opportunity to get off to a good start.
The backside is long and challenging from the tips (3656 yards), but very playable form the white tees (2938). Dissect the two oak trees off the tee and be sure to aim for the flag
as the ridged green will make lag putts difficult. This is the shortest par four and the easiest hole on the course. The mid-range par 5 eleventh makes it two very playable holes in
a row. Stay left off the tee, avoid the considerable fairway bunkers and you should have a good shot at par or better. Be sure to be near the flag on your approach on 12, as the
putting surface is extremely undulating. What follows is a spectacular par five that plays downhill off the tee and uphill on the approach. The green slopes from back to front and
bunkers 20 and 40 yards out create the need for an accurate approach. A wide open par four precedes another gorgeous par 3 that features a dramatic, triple tiered lofted green.
The 16th presents one of the more challenging tee shots. There are bunkers and woods left, and a water hazard that extends all the way to the green on the right. The challenge
on the short par 4 seventeenth is in the form of a narrow fairway with deep pot bunkers on either side, and a green that slopes from right to left. The closing hole is a breathtaking
par four, with a considerable risk/reward option. Long hitters may elect to go for the green. There is 20 yards or so of fairway in front of the green - but the downhill slope leads
towards the hazard. A better bet is to aim over the 150 stake and play a safe approach to the elevated green, taking the water and deep depression out of play.
Though played on the morning after an all day rain, the course was in great shape. Set in seclusion amongst mature pines and hardwoods, on a beautifully hilly/rolling terrain,
Pilgrim's Run is an interesting, challenging yet fair test of golf. With the terrific value, it is on our "Must Play" list of Michigan courses! Well worth the trip and extremely highly
recommended - truly representative of the quality and value of golf available in Michigan.
Check out the Two Guys Who Golf detailed information page on this course (which includes a link to the course's web site if available) - click here.