At The Ilich Sports Entertainment Outing At Sharf Golf Course

At The Ilich Sports Entertainment Outing At Sharf Golf Course

My good friend John has suites at Detroit Red Wings and Tigers games and thus was invited to the annual Ilich Sports Entertainment golf outing at Oakland University’s R & S Sharf Golf Course.

I had the good fortune to be invited to accompany him.

For those outside Michigan, the Ilich Family made their fortune with Little Caesar’s Pizza and expanded to an entertainment empire that includes the Fox Theatre, the Red Wings, Tigers and other chunks of downtown Detroit.

The Sharf golf course is one of two owned by Oakland University. Both the university and the courses are built on the 1,500 acre estate of auto pioneer John Dodge. The property — along with $2 million — was donated in 1957 to create Oakland University by Dodge’s widow, Matilda and her second husband, lumber baron Alfred Wilson.

The Sharf course was funded by Stephan and Rita Sharf, longtime Oakland University supporters. It was designed by Rick Smith and opened in 2000.

I had not played Sharf (or the adjacent Katke-Cousins course) before and was surprised by the topography. It is hillier and much more expansive than I could have anticipated. Indeed, it might be the closest to an “Up North” golf course that I have played in the Metro Detroit area.

With the exception of a somewhat pedestrian first, Sharf offers a round of interesting and challenging holes. The slope and rating for the 6,000 yard tees are 136/71.8 and 141/73.1 for the 6, 200 tees. It is a real test.

As we played a scramble — and I never play well in scrambles — I would very much like to return and see how I can work my way around on my own ball. I hit a lot of shots on the round that had me thinking “If I were playing my own ball, I wouldn’t be disappointed with that outcome.” Unfortunately, on outings, those outcomes don’t contribute much to the group.

The day was fabulous, though, and John and I had a couple of very friendly partners who were polite enough not to snort at my miscues.

I’ll have a full write-up on Sharf at some point in the future.


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