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Michigan Golf Course Review

Rattle Run Golf Club

Rattle Run Golf Club is St. Clair, Michigan (just minutes off the I-94 freeway off the St. Clair exit) presents one of the most diversified and challenging layouts in the entire Metro -Detroit area. Once listed in the Top 75 Golf Courses You Can Play in America (Golf Digest), this traditional design has garnered new respect - as it was chosen as the # 8 Best Upscale Course in the Metro area by the Detroit Free Press in 2002!  From the clubhouse, one is impressed with the rolling terrain and views of the first, ninth, tenth and eighteenth holes. The difficulty of the layout is defined by tree lined fairways with doglegs left and right, sprinkled with just enough water hazards and bunkers to challenge the best of players. A slope rating of 140 from the gold tees attests to the level of play required to navigate Rattle Run from the 6865 yard championship tees.

Rattle Run Golf Club
Rattle Run Golf Club

Beginning and mid range players should heed our recommendation and play from the white tee boxes which are still quite a challenge from 6014 yards (129 slope). The blues play tough from 6495 - and forward tee players catch quite a break from the red tees (5031 and 117 slope). Whichever tees you choose, all players will be surprised to find a layout that resembles a Northern Michigan course - so close to Metro Detroit. This is a great layout on a fine piece of golf property - and available for a very reasonable price ($30 weekdays and under $40 weekends with cart!). Conditioning at Rattle Run has received mixed reviews in the past several years - sometimes due to the overrun of the Bell River during tumultuous rain storms extensive drainage work was completed in the Spring of 2010 to help eliminate this past problem. The twoguyswhogolf absolutely love the challenge and beauty of this layout! 

A plus at Rattle Run is that there are no homes or residential communities intruding upon the land, which creates a feeling of seclusion and helps to reinforce the "up north" feel.  The fact that nearly every fairway is lined with mature hardwoods and pines also adds to the aesthetics, though golfers will discover that this aspect also provides the course's greatest challenge. Accurate placement in the fairways off the tee is vital to scoring well here.

Rattle Run Golf Club
Rattle Run Golf Club

The front side actually opens with a couple of generous fairways on holes one and three. The first is a 3 shot par five, except for the longest of hitters. A pond 40 yards in front of the green creates the need for a lay up from most golfers on the second shot. With some playing experience here, this opening hole becomes one of the rounds better birdie/par opportunities. Number two demands an accurate tee shot to the left side of the fairway, as trees along the right protect the entrance to the green from that side. The third is listed as the number one handicap - but in our estimation is not even in the top five. There is plenty of room on the fairway and the approach is quite simple. The par 4 fourth narrows as you approach the putting surface, with trees all around. A pretty par three follows, and demands a high arcing wedge or short iron that lands softly on the mid-size putting surface. Anything short or right of the green is wet. The sixth and seventh are holes that most golfers will remember.  An extremely accurate tee shot to a narrow fairway bordered by trees is necessary on 6. The best case scenario is to land one near the opening prior to the dogleg. From there you will be able to see the flag, with an approach that plays considerably uphill. There is more room than it appears along the left side - anything right is trouble. Again - this is a hole that can be navigated for a good score with prior course knowledge. For first time players here, this one may drive you crazy. Seven looks simple enough, until you reach the green. .DO NOT land your approach pass the flag. The recommended play hear is to land your second shot just short of the green, then chip up short of the pin. Anything past the pin creates the possibility of a 3 or 4 putt on this putting surface that is sloped severely from back to front. Par it and get out of town! A tricky dogleg is next. Hit it straight and long and there is a good chance it will go through the fairway. A tee shot that bends long and right over the tree line should create a good birdie opportunity. A short fade (for right hand hitters) will not clear the trees here. The finishing hole on the front is a simple par three and another good birdie or par hole.

Rattle Run Golf Club
Rattle Run Golf Club

The back side opens with an interesting par four, with a partly blind approach to a green perched on a hill with trees on both sides. A lay-up just left of the fairway bunker is recommended off the tee, as a creek/natural area sits just in front of the hill. The eleventh is a par five that plays as a 3 shot hole. Two accurate woods will leave you with a reasonable short or mid iron over a water hazard that cuts across the fairway just in front of the green. After a simple par three, you are confronted with what we feel is the toughest par on the course. 13 bends left, but demands as long tee shot to the center or right center of the fairway. Anything left will leave you with an approach blocked by trees on that side. This is a difficult dogleg to cut...The 14th is a par three that plays long, and is followed by a 518 yard par five. Two accurate shots placed practically anywhere in the fairway will leave an easy approach and present a good scoring opportunity. You will have to earn your pars on the three remaining holes, which form arguably the toughest stretch on the course. The 16th bends left and plays to a green which slopes off significantly on the right, and is bordered by trees left. A lay up just left of the fairway trap is recommended off the tee on 17. The approach here is downhill, and is quite blind except from the left side of the fairway. The green slopes significantly from right to left. Number 18 is a tough closing hole, as it doglegs left along a tree line with a creek running along the right side. An accurate drive must land in the clearing or bend around the tree line left for a good look at the green. The approach is slightly uphill with a pond short and long on the right side. Error left if you must...

Rattle Run Golf Club
Rattle Run Golf Club

A unique feature at Rattle Run is the 19th hole which can serve to settle side bets or break up ties. Other features here include the clubhouse with comfortable seating for lunch, snacks and beverages, and an outdoor pavilion for golf outings and events. A grass driving range and ample putting green are also on property. On course, you will find the layout adequately marked, with yardage plates measured to the center of the green at 100/150/200 yards, and red, white and blue flags to indicate the day's pin placement. Play Rattle Run for the challenge and beauty in a secluded setting. Great layout - great rates!

Rattle Run Golf Club

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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