CHESTNUT VALLEY GOLF COURSE (231-526-9100)
Michigan golf course review
Chestnut Valley in Harbor Springs is a Larry Mancour design that has been awarded 4 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play. Opened for public play in 1994, this northern Michigan layout is a classic course that is carved through hardwood forests over a rolling terrain. Though hilly and undulating with trees often situated on both sides of the fairways,
Chestnut Valley provides ample landing areas and mostly level lies making it a fair course for all levels of players. Bunkering is scarce and water comes into play on just three
holes, but smaller, traditional green complexes present some tricky undulations that will challenge the short game of most golfers. Generally speaking, there is very little room for
error behind the putting surfaces, as most of the greens are backed into the fringe of mature forests.
This is true particularly on the front side, which plays considerably longer than the back (3463 versus 3043 yards). The round opens with the longest par four on the courses (468
yards), but features just two par fours in total that stretch past 400 yards. The blue tees are playable for the average golfer, with the exception of perhaps the opening hole and
number 13. The total yardage from these back tees is 6506 yards with a slope of 123. The white tees measure 6007/117 slope and the forward (red) tees play to 5166 yards/118
slope. A viable alternative for the mid to high handicapper is to play the white tees on the front, and the blues on the backside, creating a distance of 6305 yards. The last nine
holes open up just a little bit, and it may be my imagination but the putting surfaces also seem to be just a little larger, and present a bit more room for error. The two most
interesting holes on the course are also featured on the back - holes number 12 and 15 - one with a water hazard in the center of an uphill fairway, and the other with strategic
bunkers sandwiched between a grass gully that fronts the putting surface.
The clubhouse at Chesnut Valley includes a small pro shop and a wonderful restaurant/lounge that is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week in season. The outdoor patio is
situated in a hillside position that affords wonderful golf course views, and together with the indoor seating arrangement, provides facilities that can accommodate large groups
for outings and special events. Practice facilities include an ample putting green and a grass range. There also is a 19th hole - which can be used in a warm up or to settle ties of
friendly matches. The course is well marked with color coded blocks on the fairways at 100, 150 and 200 yards, plus stakes at the 150 and 100 yard areas. Some sprinkler heads
are measured to the center of the green, and small flags indicate front, middle and back pin placements.
A beautiful log home community surrounds the course, with build sites and lots still available. For more information and for a link to the Chestnut Valley website, visit our detailed
golf course page for the property by clicking here.