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Michigan Golf Course Review

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

Located in the I-94 corridor on 24 Mile Road just east of Romeo Plank Road, Cracklewood is 3-star course, set amidst over a dozen 2 to 31/2 star layouts (Golf Digest Places to Play) that lie within a 10 mile radius.  Golfers in the Macomb area are blessed to have such a variety of designs to choose from, in what is undoubtedly the most concentrated section of golf courses in the state. What's more, many of them allow unrestricted walking. With competition so keen in recent years, it is paramount that properties spend the bucks to update facilities and care for their golf courses. Cracklewood has done its fair share in this area. In the past few years Cracklewood has done much to renovate the golf course, adding soft sand bunkers and mounding while improving hole designs, as well as building a new clubhouse with restaurant and lounge that can comfortably accommodate huge outings and special events (200 + people). These improvements have been functional as well as aesthetic.

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The Jerry Matthews designed golf course is a sporty layout with a variety of holes - 13 of them featuring tree-lined fairways that truly help the course to deserve it's name. Frequent doglegs demand precise shot placement, and ponds, traps and mounding provide enough challenge without making the layout too difficult - it tops out at a 122-slope rating. The three sets of tees play from 4764 to 6538 yards, with the whites measuring a reasonable 6113. The bent grass greens are of medium size and speed and mildly undulating, providing a good challenge while rewarding well-hit approaches. With a good yardage marking system (yardage markers on the fairways with sprinkler heads measured to the center of the greens, which have pin placement indicators on the flagsticks), it is easy to understand why Cracklewood is a local favorite for leagues and outings.

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The yardage on the front and back nines is equally dispersed, with 2 long par fives (531-556 yards) accompanied by 2 mid-length par threes and 5 par fours on each side. None of the par fours measures over 400 yards. The opening hole is a good challenge - a dogleg right that is difficult to cut.  Aim for the left center of the fairway here. Number two bends in the opposite direction, and is also best played to the wide side. After an easy par three you are confronted with the #1 handicap - a par five that plays 538 from the blues and 519 from the mid tees. Keep it on the fairway and the approach is quite simple here. Five is a short par four that bends left, with a pond in play about 160 out. An undulating green and a water hazard that juts out across the fairway 20 yards away provides the challenge on the wide open par 4 sixth. Another water hazard warrants your attention on the par five 7th, which presents much room off the tee, and also bends slightly left. This pond, about 30 yards out, is not visible until you are a wedge away. There is more water short right on the par three eighth, and another hazard is even more pronounced on the finishing hole of the front. Number nine bends to the left over the pond, with bunkers on both sides of the putting surface. A layup to the left will leave a short or mid iron approach, but the safest play is to the right side, taking the water out of play. This stretch of 5 straight holes with water hazards looks tough on paper, but is quite navigatable for those with prior course knowledge.

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

The back side-opens with a similar design as hole # 1, though this time it is a par five. Long hitters can cut off some distance by aiming over the tree line right. Eleven is very tight off the tee but opens on the approach. A water hazard left and steep drop off right demand some accuracy around the green. 12 is short but also very tight. A layup just left of the cart path will leave you in good position here. A pair of doglegs follow, with 13 bending left and 14 angling back towards the right. Be careful hit to drive through the fairway on the 14th, which is quite easily done with driver. There is trouble left on 15, but this par three is quite open with lots of room long. There also is plenty of room for error on number 16, which is the last par four of the day. The 18th handicap follows - a mid-length par three that plays easier than it appears from the tee. The end of the round comes in the form of another par five, with a right to left design. This is one of the tightest holes on the course, with a creek traversing the fairway nearly 290 yards from the green. If your shot shape favors a right to left direction, you will love Cracklewood, as it features 8 holes that bend in that direction.

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course
Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

With prices fixed at around 35 to 40 dollars with cart during the regular 2002 season, this is a good value. Practice facilities include a spacious putting green and driving range.  For the adventurous, Cracklewood is one of many courses in the area that is open year round, weather permitting. Off-season pricing affords great rates! Call for details and to make sure the course is open.

Cracklewood Golf Club - Michigan Golf Course

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.

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