Ann Arbor Country Club Review
Teacher’s Comments: This course has seen better days, but for the price, it is a bargain.
Ann Arbor Country Club has had a bit of a checkered history of late. The former country club teetered on bankruptcy in 2010, went public and now is working on a comeback. They’ve upgraded the restaurant facilities for 2013, and news and promise a better golfing experience.
Built in 1926, the course is short by today’s standards. From the back tees, it extends to 6,147 and plays to a 71.1/131. The middle tees measure 6,145 and play to a 68.8/128. I think it is harder than the numbers suggest. Many of the holes are tight—bordered by impenetrable undergrowth, stream or residences. The greens are small and often uphill. This is target golf.
Conditions on the several occasions that I’ve played have been just ok. Greens and tee boxes were in playable condition. and the fairways grown in. There was quite a bit of clover, if that sort of thing bothers you (it doesn’t me). Also, the woods just off many fairways are jungle-like in their density. A ball that crosses the line is not likely ever to be seen again.
Ann Arbor Country Club has some routing problems that surely didn’t exist when it was first built. The first crosses to the side of the driving range. Passing between the fourth and fifth requires travelling along a stretch of public road, as does returning to the clubhouse after eighteen. Other road crossings also are required. Finally, in a couple of places, houses encroach a little too close to the course for my tastes.
This is all clearly the result of poor planning in the clubs’ distant past, when adjacent land was sold to various developers. The plot between four and five was sold off so someone could have a lofty peninsula overlooking several golf course holes. The crossing roads were permitted so that more course homes could be sold.
I’d be interested in seeing a plan of the original course. The front nine strikes me as mostly original, but I can’t say the same about much of the back. There is a marked contrast between the first nine, and holes 12 – 18 in both look and feel.
Ann Arbor Country Club’s management knows that it doesn’t have a premium course any more.Weekend prices are $30 with a cart; $22 walking. That’s well in line with the bargain priced courses in the area.
Speed of play has been good on my visits. Walking is allowed, but there are a couple of hills that will leave you gasping for air.
Unless the club makes a serious effort to improve conditions, I can’t recommend the course as a destination for the wandering bogey golfer. For the local looking for a bargain, however, I think it is just fine.