SYCAMORE HILLS Golf Club (586-598-9500)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Located on North Ave (an extension of Grosbeck Hwy) past 21 Mile Road, Sycamore Hills offers 27 holes of Jerry Matthews designed championship golf. Sitting in the midst of
one of the hottest golf beds in Michigan, Sycamore Hills features great variety in the three layouts. With slope ratings ranging from 117 to 132, and distances from 4933 - 6400
yards, all three designs will test your skill, yet will allow even novice golfers to enjoy their round. Priced between upscale and moderate ( $50 plus or minus, for 18 with cart),
Sycamore Hills is consistently well-groomed, with bent grass fairways and greens. What's more - it is open year round, weather permitting. We had the experience of playing on
New Years Eve a couple years ago, in 10 degree weather - at a great price. Covered carts are available, and provide an effective shield from the wind and inclement weather. No
need to stop playing when good quality courses like these remain open...
Our review includes the West and North nines, played early in the morning on a late summer day . The West is our favorite layout of the three. It opens with a dogleg left par four.
As with many of the greens on this layout, tricky undulations and manicured green-side bunkers are prominent on # 1. The par three second always gives me a rough time. At 201
yards from the Blues, it plays even longer as it is uphill (1 club longer). There is more room for error than it seems, but this is still a difficult par. Water left and right will guide your
shots all the way to the green on number 3 - not much room for error here. The fourth is a picture hole. This par three has a water hazard along the left and bunkers on both sides
of the green. Next is a short par five. A couple of two hundred-yard shots down the center of the fairway will leave a tight, wedge approach and a good birdie opportunity. The best
birdie hole is number 6 however. At just 294 yards from the tips, all you have to do is land on the middle right of the fairway for an easy approach. Bend it left and you will struggle
for par. The seventh is another short par four, with a dogleg right on the approach. Long hitters who hit left to right can bend it around the first group of trees for a short wedge
approach. Otherwise, the best play is to land it just short of the bunkers on the left. After these two very score-able par fours, you will be confronted with the most challenging hole
on the West. At 418 yards from the Blues, number 8 presents a narrow fairway with trees on both sides. An accurate approach is necessary, as a deep ravine and a branch of the
Clinton River just beyond the signature Sycamore Tree, await anything bending right. The ninth is a reasonable par four. Miss the fairway bunker left and you should have a pretty
clear approach to the green complex fronting the clubhouse. Stay left of center as the lake to the right, short of the green, stretches menacingly towards the fairway.
The North course is also a lot of fun to play. The dogleg left opener can be cut a little, as long as you pay attention to the trap on that side. I love starting here, as this is an easy par
- possible birdie. The water hazard long left on number two is very reachable. Playing at just over 300 yards, a 200 yard lay-up is prudent move here. The par 5 third is one of the
toughest holes at Sycamore Hills - especially from the tips. A long tee shot must be followed by an accurately hit long iron or fairway wood, leaving a wedge/short iron approach.
The green is undulating and sloped back to front. A mid range par three is next, and is quite score-able as long as you don't shank one into the water on the right. The shortest par
four on the North follows. At 278 from the Blues, you will have the option of bending your tee shot over the treeline right, or laying up in front of the trap on the left. Either way, a birdie
is possible here. Hopefully, you mastered these two, as now you play the # 3 and # 1 handicap back to back. Stay left center off the tee on number seven, unless you are a very
long hitter. Anything hit too close to the water on the right, will gravitate towards that side. The approach has quite a bit of room. Placement off the tee is the most important
consideration here. The long par five 7th demands a long, straight tee shot. Dependant upon your driving distance and fairway placement, you will either hit over the river on your
second, or lay-up before it. Either way, this is a three-shot hole. A water hazard long left on the approach to the green is not entirely visible, and errant shots to that side are usually
trouble. Eight is an easy par three. Water left will only come into play on very poorly hit shots - and who hits those? The closing hole is a mid-range par four, favoring a right to left
shot shape. A fairway trap left and bunkers on both side of the green provide the challenge here.
The South nine is also interesting, with various shots over sections of the Clinton River, and gentle, rolling terrain. It is also the most challenging. Sycamore Hills, famous for
outings and weddings, is even morepopular since their newly completed additions and renovation of their beautiful banquet facility. Also on property are a large putting green and
ample driving range. The clubhouse/pro shop is fully stocked, and an adjacent lounge/restaurant are put to good use. Good quality, nice variety - great location!
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.