THORNAPPLE CREEK GOLF CLUB (269-344-0040)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Thornapple Creek Golf Club in Kalamazoo is a 3-1/2 star (Golf Digest) gem that was designed by Mike Shields in 1979. This gorgeous golfing environment features rolling hills, a
creek, ponds, lakes, hardwoods & pines plus breathtaking vistas.
Interestingly enough, there is generally ample landing areas off the tees on most holes, but from inside the 150 yard marker, a golfer will have to "have game' to score well. There
are some incredible golf holes here, as witnessed by the photos below - of a couple of the par threes at Thornapple Creek. The 136 yard third plays from an elevated tee over a
water hazard, to a plateau green complex guarded by a bunker in front and trees on either side - a pretty demanding tee shot here. The 17th features a lush setting with an
elongated tee box situated below a forested ridge, with a pond on the left creating the need for another extremely accurate shot off the tee.
The beautifully landscaped tee areas, manicured fairways and undulating but true-rolling putting surfaces combine to make one feel as though he/she is playing at a totally
upscale golf property. The experience we had at the clubhouse backs this up...this is an all-around upscale experience at bargain prices! The 7,000 square foot clubhouse
includes a pro shop, plus a restaurant/lounge that serves a variety of lunch and dinner items. Together with the spacious and well appointed outdoor patio, this facility can
accommodate large groups for golf outings and special functions. A fully equipped modern kitchen supports such functions. There also is a separate meeting area that can seat
up to 60 people downstairs. Additionally, the driving range that features grass teeing areas for over 25 golfers is located across the street. A chipping green, sand bunker, and
putting green round out the practice facilities. But back to the golf course...
Water plays an important role is the course's aesthetics - and also in one's ability to score well. Hazards come into play on 10 holes, including the initial five. Some tricky doglegs
also will challenge the abilities of novices and experienced players alike. The par five 13th requires an accurate lay up on the second shot, leaving an approach over water to a
sloped green guarded by a lone sand bunker. On 16 players will have to judge the downhill approach well, as a lake comes into play immediately past the putting surface -
anything long is gone here. Both of these par fives are best played as three shot holes - and photos of the approaches to both are featured above. There also are some interesting
fairways, defined by mounding and ample bunkering. The short par four 14th features an undulating fairway dotted with "land mine" bunkers situated near strategic landing zones,
and the short par four finishing hole while less endowed, also includes strategically placed sand traps on the fairway and greenside.
Our experience at Thornapple Creek left us feeling that golfers living in this area are extremely lucky...to be able to repeatedly play a course of this nature for $35 to $45. The layout
is not overly long - just 6579 yards with a 130 slope rating. Two alternate sets of tees measure 6112 yards (recommended for average golfers) with a 126 slope, and 4915 with a
slope of 113. With the tees moved up - this is a very player friendly course for ladies. Experienced players will be challenged by the variety of greens - some small, some large -
some crowned and some nearly flat, and by the frequent elevation changes from tee to green. The back nine is particularly rolling. Great prices, wonderful conditioning, and an
interesting layout - Thornapple Creek is highly recommended! For more info, visit our page for them on our web catalog of courses to play in Michigan by clicking here.