Michigan's Gateway Courses to Indiana
There are a number of Michigan courses which provide a gateway to those Indiana and Kentucky golf courses that Michigan snowbirds venture to during early spring or late fall. They offer a nice place to stop and play a round before heading south.
Blackberry Patch G.C.
PGA professional Bob Magness has a new practice facility to bring golfers to his property this year. The area is 300 yards long, has a large bent grass tee area, five target greens, a short-game area with green, bunker and fairway and a 5,000 square-foot putting area.
Blackberry Patch, designed by Ernie Schrock, opened in 1998. The course endorses the Audubon philosophy and has become a friendly preserve protecting natural habitat. You will be using six winding bridges which guide you from hole to hole where much of the natural wildlife makes its home.
Magness, a Ferris State University graduate, worked at Egypt Valley and Klinger CC before being appointed to Blackberry Patch. Magness indicated that while 75 percent of their clientele comes from Indiana, they still get some serious play from Jackson, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
Located in Coldwater; contacts: www.blackberrypatchgolf.com or (517) 238-8686.
Bill Shelton, host of the new Internet television show, MichiganGolfer.TV, was recently interviewing Raymond Hearn, the noted architect, for an upcoming show. Ray was discussing Island Hills, one of his early successes, when he told a story about two United Airline pilots who played the course. They were drawn to the course after having flown over it and noticing the massive waste bunker on the par-5, sixth hole. It was the largest bunker they had seen and just had to play the course. (You can check out that bunker at their website.)
All of this, of course, is music to the ears of Lori and Tom Templin, the owners of Island Hills. They have worked the golf shows hard to invite people to play their course. Their efforts have paid off, as Island Hills has become a must-play for those who want to experience the best in Michigan golf.
Located in Centreville; contacts: islandhillsgolf.com or (616) 467-7261.
Spruce Ridge GC and Resort
Spruce Ridge is a pleasant golf course nestled in the farming community of Dowagiac. Golfers will find a user-friendly course with rolling hills and tree-lined fairways. It offers affordable golf and has a nice practice area to loosen up those winter muscles. Spruce Ridge is used extensively for Rick Davenport's Academy Golf School.
Located in Dowagiac; contact: (616) 782-5827.
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