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Michigan Golf Course Review

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

Introduction - scroll down for the SERRADELLA REVIEW

The "Sunrise Side" of Michigan features some of the top golf tracts in the state - with the Gailes at Lakewood Shores at the top of the list. Lakewood Shores Resort in Oscoda - about a half hour north of Tawas, is one of Michigan's prime golf destinations, with 3 distinct championship courses plus an 18-hole par three on property. Hotel room and condo style accommodations compliment this great golf facility, which also boasts a full service clubhouse, driving range and two putting greens within the beautifully landscaped grounds.  Both fine and casual dining are available in the clubhouse restaurant, which is open year round.

All three courses (the Blackshire and Serradella are the other two) feature outstanding conditioning with some of the best putting surfaces in the state. The Blackshire is patterned after Pine Valley with expansive sand waste areas and large undulating greens, and the Serradella is a wonderful resort layout featuring superb landscaping, with thousands of perennials lining the fairways and tee boxes. The Gailes is a true Scottish Links design - and when the wind is blowing strongly off nearby Lake Huron, this " old world" golf experience is intensified. Each layout is marked with yardage blocks at 100, 150 and 200 yards - and has visible 150 yard stakes in targeted locations on the fairways. GAM's are located near the middle tee boxes, but there is no pin placement system in place at Lakewood Shores. This is by design rather than neglect, as the "powers that be" elect to pattern the golf experiences here after the time honored traditions, where golfers had to figure out the distance for themselves. This does not help half blind golfers like me.. .especially when trying to reach the flag on expansive greens that could mean a one or two club difference. The beauty of golfing at Lakewood Shores by far outweighs this mere inconvenience, however.

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort
Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

The Two Guys Who Golf highly recommend a stay here. Although the Gailes is by far the most recognizable name, the Blackshire and Serradella are worth the trip themselves. And where else can you step out your condo door and play as many holes as you like on a wonderfully designed par three course - free of charge? This is a great place to take the kids or a spouse who is just getting into the game...or a group of players with one thing in mind. The area is beautiful, the accommodations nice, and the golf and service are special. There are no swimming pools or health clubs - but this is a great place to concentrate on what we were all born to do - GOLF! To view our page for Lakewood Shores Resort for more information on this property click here.


Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort
Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

The Serradella is a true resort golf course - but one that packs some punch. The water hazards, particularly on numbers two, nine, twelve and eighteen can wreck havoc on your scorecard, turning an otherwise low score into a scramble to play to your handicap. There is a great variety of holes - those allowing for a grip it and rip it mentality, mixed with demanding doglegs that require careful club selection. Throughout the round one will find a tranquil, secluded environment that promotes nature and plentiful wildlife habitats. On various occasions (I once played 63 holes in one day here), I have observed herons, hawks, an eagle, deer and even witnessed two kids land a 32 inch northern pike out of the pond that fronts the 12th green. Oh yeah - and the flowers are everywhere - in thoughtfully manicured arrangements along the fairways and tees.

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort
Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

The course plays to 6806 yards from the blue tees (124 slope), with alternative sets at 6511 (whites with 121 slope) and at 5295 (reds with a 116 slope rating). The white tees are a challenge for mid and high handicappers at 6500 yards - but the distance is spread out pretty evenly with only 2 par fours of over 400 yards. First time players will be impressed by the conditioning of the greens, which are generally oversized with mild undulations. Regular visitors will come to expect the best here, especially after playing the Gailes and Blackshire courses. On the Serradella, there are very few fairway bunkers, but most of the raised green complexes are protected by one or two traps.

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort
Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

The opening hole bends to the left with a tee shot placed left of the 150 yard stake an ideal location. From here, the approach is a simple one. The par four second is a bit tougher, as the water hazard on the right which separates the Serradella from number 18 of the Gailes, has a way of drawing balls to that side. Left is out of bounds so the tee shot must be pretty accurate. From anywhere on the fairway, the approach is again quite simple. The third is a mid-length par three with bunkers short and small pines protecting the back. From here the layout ventures into some secluded, wooded terrain, beginning with a manageable par five on the fourth, and the tough par four 5th - the course's number one handicap. The sixth presents a wide fairway that narrows considerably past the 150 stake. Trees on both sides make it tough to reach in regulation from anywhere off the fairway. A lone bunker short right of the 7th green is the only obstacle to par or better on this straight forward par three, which precedes a very score-able par five. It is possible to reach the green in two, but this is a good birdie hole even if played cautiously. The finishing hole on the front demands an accurate tee shot to the 150 stake - anything past this marker will find the bush, or will be blocked by the pines trees on the left. The pond on the right comes into play about 220 out, for shots that stray too far to that side.

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort
Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

The ninth finishes if front of the clubhouse, making it easy to pick up a beverage or sandwich on the turn. Number ten doglegs left with a creek running past the tree line on that side. Just right of the 150 stake is the place to be. Eleven is a pretty par five that once again plays alongside a creek on the left. This hazard separates the Serradella from the beautiful Wee Links 18-hole par three course, which is situated in front of the resort accommodations. The approach narrows to a raised green - this is a good scoring hole.  Twelve is a beautiful par three over a water hazard that winds in front and along the left side of the back to front sloped putting complex. It is a good idea to stay below the hole here .  There are two sets of tee boxes on 13 - with the blues playing diagonally over a creek to a tight landing area. Players on the white and forward tees have a straight away shot off the tee, with the hazard along the right and tall pines lining the left side. With bunkers on both sides, this is one of the toughest green complexes on the course. Number 14 is, in our estimation, the toughest hole on the Serradella. With tall trees lining the left side, it is difficult to cut this dogleg left 452 yard par four (424 from the whites). A tee shot hit long down the middle or slightly right will leave a clear but long approach - tough to reach in regulation...Fifteen is an interesting par five that doglegs nearly 90 degrees to the right. A long and high shot bending around the tall pine that initiates the tree line on the right will set up for a good approach. Long hitters can really cut off some distance, creating the possibility of reaching in two. A safer play left of the pine makes this a 3 shot hole - but still score-able. It is easy to drive through the fairway left of center. The landscaping and perennials create a pretty setting around the 16th tee area - and as the 18th handicap this par three can be had. Number 17 doglegs left with the 150 stake defining a good target area. Bunkers on either side guard a huge, mildly undulating green - but this is also a good scoring hole. The design on 18 closely mirrors that of number nine - as a pond on the right helps to define the shot shape, which is left to right. Unlike nine however, there is some room past and right of the 150 stake. Long hitters can contemplate cutting some distance by aiming over the water's edge here. Another option is to lay up 50 yards in front of the water on the right and hit over the pines directly to the green. The best play however, is straight forward. An approach from the 150 is quite simple.

Serradella Golf Club at Lakewood Shores Resort

Golf on the Serradella is a wonderful resort experience. Great conditioning, beautiful greens, ample variety and gorgeous landscaping make this a memorable round. Many of the packages at Lakewood Shores include unlimited golf (walking - with one 18-hole cart round per day) on the Serradella from 1 PM on the day of arrival and including ALL DAY on the day of departure - a great deal, especially for those who prefer to walk. I have probably played more holes on the Serradella than on any other course in Michigan in the last 10 years - and know each hole by heart...It is difficult not to like this course, which is a great compliment to the other two unique layouts here - the Gailes and Blackshire. I cannot think of another Midwest golf resort with 3 courses that are so distinctively different. Fall and spring golf packages are tremendous values, and 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.

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