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Lynx of Allegan
by Tom Cleary

Much has been said and written lately about the explosion of new course construction in west Michigan. And while the Grand Rapids area is a big part of that with new courses coming from the likes of Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones and Ray Hearn, not to be overlooked is what's happening a little farther south. Just a short drive from Kalamazoo, the Lynx of Allegan opens in 1998 on some lovely ground along the Kalamazoo River.

Local attorney Martin Reed is the leader of the group which built the course designed by the father and son team of Charlie and John Scott. The Scotts are perhaps southwest Michigan's most prominent golf family, having operated the tremendously popular Gull Lake View golf properties for years. Charlie, a former construction superintendent for the internationally-renowned Wadsworth Construction Company, has done substantial design work in the area for years, not only at the Gull Lake View courses, but also at places like Lake Doster and Shagbark in Plainwell, and Clearbrook in Saugatuck. This is his second collaboration with his son, who says the Lynx of Allegan stands as one of the nicest sites the family has been associated with.

"I think this will be a place where people will come to forget about their problems at work or their mortgage at home, or whatever problems they might have," says John. "It's a very peaceful place that's away from traffic and congestion." John and his father felt the topography of the area lent itself to their efforts. "We've got very nice elevation changes, a beautiful river and lots of other nice characteristics at the Lynx of Allegan," he emphasizes. "There's several spots where the river is really something to see."

One of those spots would be at the par-three fourteenth. It's a medium-length hole that runs downhill to a green site which sits at the bend of the river. Often on par-threes water is either too intimidating for average players or so far removed from the hole it becomes a non-factor. But at the Lynx of Allegan the fourteenth seems to strike a perfect balance. The water is close enough to play to be both esthetically pleasing and a little dangerous.

The Scotts followed their signature par-three with a brutish but scenic par-five which also runs along the river. At first glance, it seems the landing area and fairway on the fifteenth are almost a rumor, but John Scott says that's just an illusion. "We looked at the hole a lot of times and wondered if it were wide enough," he offers. "But when you go out to where most drives will land and measure, you see there's plenty of room. It's definitely going to be a hole with character."

Another hole which will etch a memory into the minds of many is the downhill par-four tenth. From an elevated tee you feel like you can almost reach out and touch the green. Here, though, the fairway is certainly narrow enough to give pause to the big hitters who will risk using their drivers. There's room on the right, but enjoy it while you can_the saplings there will grow like weeds, and ten years from now a pushed tee ball on ten will almost certainly spell bogey or worse.

While the Lynx of Allegan is just a little off the beaten path, it's very easily accessible from both the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo metropolitan areas. Says Martin Reed, "We think people will find the drive from both places worth it when they get here." Reed also sees Michiana and Chicago-area golfers as part of his target audience. "We know a lot of people from those places travel to northern Michigan often to play at places like the Boyne courses or the other resorts up there. What we'd like to do is become a place where they can stop either on the way up or the way back for a round they'll find both rewarding and relaxing." For more information, call 616-694-5969.

Michigan Golfer April/May 1998 Issue Page ][ Michigan Golfer Home Page

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