Antrim Dells Golf Course Review
Antrim Dells Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: Friendly, well-kept and pretty.
Antrim Dells is a very pleasant and well-kept course located in Atwood, Michigan between Charlevoix and Traverse City. A Jerry Matthews design dating to 1971, the course now is part of the A-Ga-Ming Casino collection of courses, which also includes the Sundance and Torch courses. Antrim Dells can legitimately claim to be a “chamionship course,” having hosted the Michigan Amateur.
Antrim Dells consists of two largely distinct nines, which are separated by a ridge occupied by the clubhouse. From that ridge, you have a spectacular view of Grand Traverse Bay, off Lake Michigan. After your round, get a meal in the restaurant, relax and take in the view.
The front nine is a relatively open parklands layout, with just a few trees here and there separating holes. This nine is also relatively flat, with the exception of a steep downhill shot from the ridge on the first, and a steep shot back uphill on the approach on nine.
The back nine, on the other hand, tightens up and plays through forested terrain. The terrain is rolling, but was steep only in two spots: the downhill shot on ten, and climbing back up to the clubhouse ridge. I particularly liked the stretch from thirteen to sixteen, which is comprised of two par fours sandwiched between two threes.
In spite of Antrim Dells’ championship pedigree, neither nine is going to beat up the bogey golfer. I ran into a bit of trouble on seventeen when I lost a ball in the woods, but otherwise, I was satisfied with my workman like effort.
From the back tees, Antrim Dells stretches to 6,606 yards and plays to a 72.1/125. The middle tees are in at 6, 198 and play to a 66.8/120. It is a very playable course, and I think that a bogey golfer could generally handle either of the regular tee settings.
My favorite hole on the front nine was the par 4 fourth. Measuring 370 yards from the tips, the hole plays slightly upill, then turns left back down to the green. A large tree on the left prevents players from cutting the inside corner. The fairway and rough slopes from right to left, bringing wide tee shots back to the center. The slightly elevated green is protected by bunkers to the left and right.
On the back nine, I liked the par three thirteenth. While I don’t normally single out par threes, I thought this one was visually very pleasing. With the water in front, the strip of fairway rising to the elevated green and the trees framing the sides and rear, I found it quite memorable
Conditions on the day I played were superb — among the best I found in the summer of 2017.
Worth of special mention is the attention I received from the course’s co-owner and manager, David Hill. When I made the turn on ten, he noticed that I was backed up behind a couple of groups and waiting quit a long time (I didn’t realize he was the co-owner until I talked to him after the round). Hill had me hop on his cart (I was walking, naturally), and drove me over to the twelfth, where I was able to get ahead of the crowd. I played through to 18, then went back and played ten and eleven. As I was there incognito and playing on my own dime, I wasn’t receiving any special treatment as The GolfBlogger. I was just a guy whose round he wanted to make more enjoyable.
Antrim Dells is a little out of the way — south of the cluster of courses near Charlevoix and Petosky, and north of Traverse City. There are a lot of interesting and quirky art shops, country stores, resale shops and fruit stands along Highway 31, though, so you could make a nice day of it. Head out to Antrim Dells … play some golf … have a meal and do a little shopping on the way back in the direction from whence you came.
The Antrim Dells Golf Course Review was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on September 6, 2017, based on a round played in August 2017.
A photo tour of Antrim Dells follows: