Timber Trace (734-878-1800)
Michigan Golf Course Review
Timber Trace Golf Club in Pinckney has been recognized as Livingston County's premier championship layout. Set amongst pines and hardwoods, with rolling fairways and
superb conditioning, this course provides an "up north" feel. An exclusive 650-acre residential development (Putnam Meadows) surrounds the property, without intruding onto the
course itself. The facilities at Timber Trace leave nothing to be desired. The clubhouse features a small but functional pro shop and dining area with outdoor terrace. A large
putting green is conveniently located next to the first tee, and a practice area with sand bunker and chipping green provides a great space to work on your short game. The range
features both grass and mat tee areas with ample targets for a quick warm up or for lessons.
Once out on the course, you will find there are ample drinking water stations, an amenity often overlooked by many Metro area courses. The carts have yardage/hole diagram
booklets, which are of great use, especially to first time visitors. The course is well marked, with stakes on the fairways measured at 200, 150 and 100 yards from the center of the
greens. Pin placement information for the consistent, mildly undulating putting surfaces, which are of medium size and speed, is also provided for on the charts on each cart. You
will encounter mostly open fairways, with a rolling topography that usually leaves you with an even lie for approaches. Tall grasses help to define the rough, and the 72 sand
bunkers scattered throughout the layout are well sculpted. A three foot fringe surrounding the greens allows for shot selections ranging from long lag putts to chipping with long
irons and fairway woods. A unique feature at Timber Trace is the 5 minute drive through the Lake Wallaby Natural Area, between the 12th green and thirteenth tee. Beautiful views
of the lake and forest, along with extravagant homes that dot the hillsides are appreciated, and fit in nicely with the round of golf.
The opening hole is a challenging one, with a fairly wide open tee shot followed by a tight approach. The green is elevated and is well protected by a bunker complex on the right
side. The safest play is to approach from the left. Number two is a beauty. You will have to carry a valley off the tee, but will find lots of room and downhill shots all the way to the
flag. The third is an easy mid-range par three with bunkers right and left of the large putting surface. On the par 4 fourth, you will encounter lots of room off the tee, but the green is
tucked away amongst pine trees and bunkers. There is a fairway bunker short right and long left on number 5. The approach plays to an elevated green, and anything long find the
drop off behind the green. Short is better here. The next hole doglegs left, but there is no need to try to cut it. Aim for the 150 and take an extra club to reach the putting surface that
is slightly uphill. There is a deep bunker left and grass swales in front of the green on the par 3 seventh., but this is a relatively easy hole. Number 8 has plenty of room off the tee,
and doglegs left on the approach. A bunker complex left dissuades aiming shots to that side. The finishing hole plays relatively easily, as long as you avoid the right greenside
bunker. None of the holes on the front are intimidating off the tee, as they are all of reasonable length, with ample landing areas. Your driver should be put to good use.
The back opens with the number one handicap. Distance and accuracy are required off the tee, and the approach will require your best effort. This is one of the prettiest holes on
the course. If you make a mistake, hopefully it will be to the right. This is followed by a short and easy par four. You can almost drive the green, but a more sensible shot is a lay
-up to the 100 yard stake. The narrow green is well bunkered, with long rough awaiting if you hit a flyer. A high soft approach is necessary here. Twelve is the toughest of the par
three. It will play long as it is a bit uphill. Sit back and enjoy the scenery on your 5 minute ride through the lake Wallaby Natural Area. The next 4 holes are quite open, similar to the
designs on many of the areas links layouts. Thirteen is a reasonable par 4. Avoid the bunkers 50 yards out, and land your approach softly as this green here is also narrow.
Fourteen presents much room off the tee, and all the way to the green A few bunkers along the way are the only hazards here. Aim to the left side of the fairway on 15, or it will play
very long. Your second shot is downhill, while the approach is considerably uphill. You will come back up the hill on the tee shot on 16. The green is long and undulating, with lots
of room left on the approach. A pretty par three awaits on the seventeenth. There are deep bunkers front and back , but as is the case with all 4 par threes at Timber Trace, you
have a reasonable chance to score par or better here. Aim for the 150 stake in the middle right of the fairway on the finishing hole. This is a dogleg left with a downhill approach to
a deep green that slopes back to front.
Timber Trace is an incredibly fun round of golf. You will not get beat up by tight fairways and a myriad of hazards. At 7020 yards from the tips, avid golfers will be amply challenged.
At 6180 from the mid tees (there are 5 sets of tees) , it is very fair for the average player. Numerous bunkers, doglegs and tricky green complexes keep it interesting - and the many
tall pines throughout the course give it a distinguished look. With incredibly reasonable green fees all week long, this is one of the best values in Michigan. Highly recommended!
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.