Quail Ridge Golf Club (616-676-2000)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Quail Ridge is a Raymond Hearn designed 18-hole championship course featuring upscale conditioning and amenities. The course traverses 300 acres, with a nice combination
of links style and tree lined holes, most with generous fairways. Rolling hills, water and bunkers come into play, but with 5 sets of tees measuring from 4709 to 6883 yards, all
golfers will be able to play to their skill level. We found the layout to be fun and fair, as the ample landing areas reward good shots with level lies and provide safe avenues to the
large, undulating greens. There is enough trouble to make one think, and to lay up when necessary, when navigating the numerous marsh areas and sand traps. During our early
morning round the course was shimmering from the rays of the sun, and the surrounding views of the many natural areas were outstanding.
The is not a whole lot of water, but the high fescue rough that lines many of the fairways is hazardous enough. Quail Ridge receives good grades for their marking system, with
yardage plates on the fairways at 200/150/100 and 250 yards for par fives. Sprinkler heads are also measured to the center of the green. The pin placement system features color
-coded flags, with red and white indicating front, black and gold center, and blue and white the back portion of the green. There are no excuses or hidden demon holes here. What
you see is what you get.
On property is a spacious putting/chipping green, and a large grass range with target areas. The clubhouse features a complete pro shop, lounge and dining area, which is well
equipped for banquets and outings of various sizes. The $45 weekday green fee ($55 on weekends) includes cart, making this one of the top values in the Grand Rapids area.
Most golfers will play from the white tees, which measure 6114 yards, with a 119 slope. The Back tees rate 127 and the Blues cover 6500 yards with a 123 slope rating. If the red
tees are too short at 4709, seniors, juniors and ladies may choose the intermediate gold tees at 5453.
The opening hole bends left but is wide open. This is a good beginning hole, allowing the opportunity for a good score right out of the gate. The second is a short uphill par four,
making it two easy holes in a row. Go for the flag here, as the green is two-tiered and undulating. This is a good warm up for the tough par five that follows. There is plenty of room
off the tee, but a marsh cuts through the fairway and bunkers line the right side on the approach, making this a 3 shot hole for most golfers. Number 4 is a pretty par three, that
plays from an elevated tee. Hit the correct club and this is an easy par/birdie. The fifth has room left off the tee, but the second shot must carry a marsh 30 yards out, for those
attempting to reach in two. The prudent move is to lay up with a long iron and approach with a wedge for an reasonable chance at par. This is the number one handicap! A lay up
off the tee is recommended on six, as there are traps long right, and a marsh lines the left side of the fairway. The uphill approach demands 1 more club. Number seven is also a
recommended lay up - aim for the large pole (easy to see) at the end of the fairway. Past it is trouble. The hole turns sharply right and plays downhill with a water hazard guarding
the right side. Long hitters who know the course, may be able to shape one off the tee, right to the green. With the water hazard on that side, this is a risky play however. Play your
tee shot to the left center of the fairway on eight, and the approach will be quite simple. This is one of the prettiest holes on the course, and precedes the long par three finishing
hole of the front. A humoungous green, that slopes back to front, is featured here. The tee shot will play all of the distance measured.
The back-side opens with an interesting dogleg left par five. Anything hit to the right will go through the fairway. Aim just right of the left fairway bunker for the most advantageous
positioning. The four bunkers short of the green provide encouragement for playing this as a 3 shot hole. Eleven presents plenty of room to the right side ff the tee, though it is
tempting o play as close to the water as possible to cut some length. Anything on the fairway will set up an easy approach. Number 12 is very tight, with a huge marsh left, and
high grasses right of the narrow fairway that slopes towards the hazard. There is no room to be long on the approach. Number thirteen features an extremely tight tree lined
fairway, that narrows even more on the approach - tough hole for the # 10 handicap. A shot placed between the fairway bunker and the tree, on the 90 degree dogleg left par four
14th will set up a good birdie opportunity. This is followed by a long par three (248 from the tips, 198 from whites) that plays slightly uphill. A fairway wood (or even driver) will be
necessary here, depending on the wind and pin placement. Number 16 is aptly the number 16th handicap - a short dogleg left par four that plays 1 club uphill on the approach.
The putting surface on 17 is sloped right to left and is double tiered, so pay close attention to the pin placement on this par three that also plays 1 club more. The finishing hole
features a raised fairway with plenty of open fairway. This hole plays long, and will require an accurate approach, with bunkers and long grasses situated near the green.
Quail Ridge opened in 1999, and has matured nicely, offering some of the best playing conditions in Western Michigan. There is a nice flow to the layout, with the tougher
handicapped holes interspersed amongst the more playable ones. The lack of residential development creates a secluded setting, conducive to wildlife. As indicated by the slope
ratings (109-127), this is a user-friendly layout that can be enjoyed by all golfers. At this price, Quail ridge is highly recommended!
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.