STONEBRIDGE GOLF CLUB (734-429-8383)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Stonebridge Golf Club in Ann Arbor has been honored by writers of the Detroit Free press as one of Metropolitan Detroit's TOP TEN GOLF COURSES that are open for public play.
This Arthur Hills design meanders through an upscale residential community - featuring beautiful homes situated far enough away so as not to intrude upon the layout. Amenities
here are almost too many to mention. The bent grass fairways, tees and greens are wonderfully manicured, and the strategically placed fairway and green-side bunkers are filled
with aesthetically pleasing soft, white silica sand. Shrubs and flower beds scattered throughout the community make the course even more beautiful, and the many ponds, creeks
and natural areas promote a good deal of wildlife. Golfers will be pleasantly surprised with the variety in design - with holes beginning in residential communities expanding into
lush natural environments.
The practice facility includes a huge grass range with target areas, and an adjacent short game area with sand bunker. Near the clubhouse is an incredibly expansive putting
green, with 2 more sand traps and a chipping/pitching green - all in great condition. In our books this is as good of a on-property golf course practice facility that can be found in
the metro area. The clubhouse is also top notch, with locker rooms that include showers, and outing/banquet facilities that can accommodate up to 200 people. The
restaurant/lounge provides comfortable inside seating and serves lunch and dinner items (great cheeseburgers). Outdoors there is a beautiful and spacious patio that features
it's own bar, in a great golf environment. Obviously, Stonebridge is not satisfied with a top-ten ranking - as current and future plans call for continued improvements to the course
An appreciated amenity is the golf course hole-diagram booklets positioned on each golf cart. There are 100/150/200 yardage plates in the fairways and some sprinkler heads
are marked. The three rotating pin placements are indicated by cards posted inside the carts. Mounding is a big feature here, with many of the putting complexes accentuated and
protected by elaborate hills and green-side swales. The entire course is well maintained, and the greens are medium to large in size and quite fast. On the front side, the putting
surfaces are not especially undulating, but the back side will require golfers to aim for the flag, as many greens are double tiered, ridged or noticeably layered, and generally
tougher to get to.
Stonebridge features 4 sets of tee boxes, with the tips measuring 6932 yards and sloping out at 136. The white tees play to 6481 (132 slope), the yellows 6044 (125 slope) and
the forward tees measure 5176 with a 122 slope. The yardage is spread out quite evenly throughout the balanced layout, which features 2 par threes and 2 par fives on each nine.
The white tees at 6481 yards is a considerable distance for average golfers to manage. We opted to mix and match - playing the long par fours and threes from the yellows, and
all else from the whites.
The opening hole will get your attention. This 428 yard par four doglegs right and can be cut off the tee - with a long approach demanding a carry over a river. The second also
turns slightly right and invites a slight cut, and is followed by a par five that turns 90 degrees past a significant water hazard. With all three of these initial holes - a left to right shot
shape can be of benefit. Long hitters can cut off significant distance on number three by aiming between the fairway trap and tree line - affording an opportunity to go for the green
in two. Be aware of a narrow creek however, that crosses about 50 yards out. A tee shot to the center of the green is the safest play on the par three 4th, which presents a little bit
of bail out room left, taking the lake out of play. The par five 5th ends a 3-hole stretch of what is perhaps the easiest on the course - the 13th, 15th and 17th handicaps. Avoid being
long left on 6, which is an extremely tight par three, particularly from the 2 back tees. The par four 7th is a beautiful dogleg left that is difficult to cut due to a long, narrow bunker that
is hidden by bush along the left side. Eight bends in the opposite direction and invites a tee shot hit along the right tree line. This is the first of several noticeable undulating
putting surfaces. The closing hole is straight and simple - and a good scoring hole.
A tee shot to the left center of the fairway sets up for a nice approach to a tight green complex on the dogleg right tenth. Eleven is one of the most interesting holes of the layout -
creating two distinct options off the tee. A lay up to the right side short of the white (113 yards) sign will leave an approach over a marsh and pond, and a drive hit long left will also
find an approach over the pond, but will take the marsh out of play. This hole looks tough but is playable. Pay attention to the pin placement on the par three 12th, which plays all
of the advertised distance. Thirteen is the number two handicap and is a true grip it and rip it hole. From the tips, this par four measures 471 yards (435 from the whites and 401
from the yellow tees). Manage to land on the correct portion of the greens and holes 14-16 are score-able. The fourteenth invites a tee shot over the right edge of the pond in front
of the tee area - with another water hazard coming into play on the left about 150 away. A lay up to about 130 away on the left center of the fairway is the best play on the beautiful
par 4 fifteenth. With water in front, back and right, this is one of the most demanding approaches on the back side. After negotiating a long par three, players from the two back tee
boxes will find that a considerable carry over a lake awaits on the par five 17th. A good poke is required to reach the top shelf of the fairway. The green complex turns left and uphill
between rolling mounds with a lone bunker in front - making this a 3-shot hole for most golfers. Eighteen doglegs right, with a shot to the left side the recommended play except
for the longest of hitters. A creek crossing about 25 yards out makes this another challenging approach.
A round of golf here is highly recommended. Come early to take advantage of some of the best practice facilities available. Buckets of balls are reasonable priced, and the short
game and putting areas near the clubhouse are complimentary. Top Ten ? Yes - both in course layout/facilities - and in value! It is just 5 minutes off I-94 - Take the State Street
exit off I-94 and head south to Ellsworth - turn right to Lohr road - and turn left on Lohr - then follow the signs as the entrance to the community is off Lohr.
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.