ST. IVES GOLF CLUB (231-972-4837)
Michigan Golf Course Review
St. Ives Golf Club is a unique golf facilty that earned Michigan's #1 Golf Resort (Golf World – Readers Choice 2010) Other awards include " Top 50 Golf
Resorts in the U.S. (Golf World – Readers Choice 2010)", "Silver Medal Winner-Premier Resorts 2010-The Best Destination in Golf (Golf Magazine 2010)"
, "Top 100 Golf Facilities for Women (Golf for Women 1999, 2000, 2002) and "Top 100 Golf shops" (Golf World Business 1999,2000,2002) and the
elusive 5-Star rating from Golf Digest Places to Play in 2000/2001 - one of only 15 courses in the country to be honored as such. The course is one of two
on property, with the other being Tullymore – voted Top 15 Greatest Public & Resort Courses in America (Golf Digest 2007-2010)! This one-two punch is
perhaps the best that can be found in the Midwest. Each course has its own grass range and large practice green. For more info on the St Ives Golf
Resort and for golf package and accommodation's pricing, click here to view the Two Guys Who Golf informational St Ives page with photos, text and web
links to St Ives own site.
It is worth it to arrive early and take in the atmosphere at this revered golf club, which includes a clubhouse that provides a beautiful pro shop,
restaurant/lounge with outdoor patio, banquet and conference facilities. The range at St Ives is spacious, as is the beautiful practice green that rests
within arm's length of the outdoor terrace.
The golf course presents outstanding panoramic views, with the features changing it seems, every few holes. Numbers 3 through 7 for instance feature
elevated tee areas playing to fairways resting in valley floors amongst mature hardwoods and pines, with raised greens waiting at the end of each hole.
The 14th through 17th holes are situated amongst lakes and natural areas that are teaming with wildlife, with wide sweeping vistas available at every tee
and green and gorgeous residential properties dotting the landscape. Throughout the layout, one will encounter outstanding conditioning from tee to
green, with lushly landscaped fairways and tee boxes, and large undulating putting surfaces that putt quick and true. Beginning with the first hole, you will
need your "A" game to beat your handicap here.
As one would expect from a world class golf course, and also evidenced by the award bestowed on St Ives as women friendly, the layout provides four sets
of tees that are thoughtfully designed to facilitate the games of a wide range of abilities. The black tees measure 6247 yards and slope out at 140,
creating a challenging and memorable experience for top notch golfers. The blues measure 6207 and play to a formidable 131 slope, while the white tees
have a 124 slope and 5707 yards of distance. Average golfers and especially high handicappers not used to elevation changes and sloping fairways may
opt for the white tees, which present no par fours longer than 394 yards. The gold tees are a reasonable 4821 yards with a 120 slope. No matter which
tee you choose, we expect you will be pretty much blown away by this incredible golfing environment.
On course golfers will find St Ives wonderfully marked, with the Kirby yardage system in place (measurements every 25 yards for 200 in - 250 on par fives)
, and with tee boxes that are also measured to the center of the green. Hole diagrams are posted at each tee area, and yardage diagram books are
available and are recommended. Pin placement sheets are provided for on each cart, which also include a weather guard to shield clubs during inclement conditions.
Warm up and be prepared for the opening hole, one of the most beautiful (and also one of the most challenging) beginning holes in Michigan golf.
Repeat visitors will be aware of the ridge that drops down past the 175 yard marker. Off the tee golfers will have the choice of laying up as close to the
end of the fairway as possible, or driving through to the lower level near the 100 yard marker. The latter play is not recommended, but men will be men.
Land in between and you may find a horrendous downhill lie. The approach is to a gorgeous green complex flanked by bunkers and trees, with a natural
area short left. The par three 2nd must carry this marsh, though there is ample room all around the green. Number three plays from an elevated tee with
the left center providing an advantageous landing area for the uphill approach. The par five 4th turns sharply left near the 250 yard marker and is best
played as a three shot hole by most golfers. Five bends in the opposite direction and demands that the tee shot on this short but tight four par lands within
the 100 yard area. Anything short will be blocked by trees on the uphill approach. One of the most score-able holes on the course follows. Avoid the line
of bunkers on the right and the par four sixth presents a good birdie opportunity. Tee shots landing at the 200 or 250 yard markers will find the
preferred landing areas off the tee on the par five 7th, which presents a challenging fairway complex featuring three separate levels. Prior course
knowledge comes in handy here. Long is better than short on the par three 8th, which demands a carry over a natural area, with some room to the left
and behind the green. The finishing hole on the front looks daunting from the tee areas, as the narrow twisting fairway leaves little room for error. A shot
placed to the 150 area right of center is the safe play, although long hitters may be tempted to navigate the marsh and play for birdie.
The back side opens with a downhill par four that doglegs left with a wetland on that side preventing most golfers from trying to cut the corner. Eleven is a
pretty par five that is tight off the tee, but opens up from 150 yards in, as it plays to an elevated green complex flanked by sand bunkers. The fairway is
narrow and the green is also raised on 12, which precedes a beautiful par three fronted by a pond that comes into play just short of the green. Wetlands
and lakes come into play on the next several holes, beginning with a long par four that presents a water hazard along the left off the tee, and a marsh that
comes into play past the 150 yard marker. A considerable carry over another natural area is called for on 15, with the 100-125 area just right of the tall
oak the preferred spot. The views from this area are spectacular. The 16th green is bordered by water in front and back, creating the need for accurate
club selection. There is some bail out room to the left of this gorgeous par three. The tee shot on 17 is a bit intimidating, as trees flank the left side and
water is waiting to the right. There is more room left of center than appears however, and this is where we recommend you place your tee shot. If you
cannot hit it there, simply walk past the tree line and take a free drop on us...There is plenty of room to be long on the approach, and a pitch or chip from
the hillside is better than attempting an up and down from the water hazard. Stay out of the back yards however - as these folks are paying pretty good
money to enjoy some of the most spectacular vistas available in Michigan golf. The tight, tree lined fairway on 18 invites a tee shot to the 170 yard area,
or past the 150 marker along this tiered terrain. From 130 yards you will be playing uphill along a snake-like path - with a picturesque view from behind the green.
Well - lots of photos here... sorry but we could not help ourselves. This is a gorgeous golf course that is immaculately conditioned, with upscale amenities
and that truly make this property deserving of a five star rating. How a 5-star course loses-1/2 a star over a short period is a mystery to us, but anyone
who plays here is in for a spectacular golfing experience. . For information on the resort courses click on the link provided in the opening paragraph of this review, and click here for an informational page (with web link to the Resorts site) for the St Ives Golf Club. This property is well worth the drive - and with
the opportunity to also play Tullymore (special rates to play both courses in the same day are available) and to experience the upscale resort make this
one of Michigan's premier golf destinations!