Earlier this week, I got out for a chilly early November round at The Grande, in Jackson, Michigan. The high for the day was 47F, but with the sun out, it felt much warmer. By the end of the round, I has shed my Galvin Green Dash Insula pullover in favor of a Bobby Jones XH2O vest. Keeping the core and head warm are the keys to comfort.
I was reminded as I played just how much I like The Grande. Raymond Hearn’s design is terrific. Every hole is interesting, taking full advantage of the varied terrain. Danger seemingly lurks around every corner, but there is always a safe way for a decent player to make bogey. A few of Hearn’s holes are downright creative, with features like split fairways. Of particular note are the teeboxes, which are often arranged so that they not only vary the length of a hole, but also its very look. The fairways at The Grande are wide — practically impossible to miss — and the greens enormous. The best advice is often to take an additional club on an approach, regardless of elevation.
Raymond Hearn is a familiar architect for Michigan golfers. Among his designs are Moose Ridge, Macatawa Legends, The Majestic at Lake Walden, Hemlock, Island Hills, and Royal Scot.
The Grande is a huge course. I walked more than seven miles that day over hilly terrain. It was quite the workout.
Along with The Medalist, and the Gull Lake View courses (Gull Lake View East and Gull Lake View West, Stonehedge North and Stonehedge South), The Grande is one of my favorite places to play in southeast Michigan in the fall. Cooler temperatures make the strenuous hike much more enjoyable, and the scenery is as fine as that of many courses in Northern Michigan.
More photos of The Grande follow: