Bay Pointe Golf Club
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Teacher’s Comments: Fine conditions, lots of water, a little pricey for SE Michigan
In an oft-repeated tale in Michigan, Bay Pointe is a former country club now open to the general public. Their loss is the public’s gain. Bay Pointe is a well-kept, fun course that’s worth a trip from anywhere in SE Michigan.
I’ve played the course on a couple of occasion: the first, with a regular group; the second at an “outing.” It was fun both times.
Full disclosure. The head golf pro is the father of a former student of mine. And a couple of my best golfing friends practically live on the course. They have nothing but good things to say about it.
Bay Pointe dates to 1965, and was designed by Ernie Fuller. The Links of Pinewood in Walled Lake, Michigan, was another Fuller design. That closed in 2008. Fuller also developed the Edgewood Country Club in Oakland County.
Bay Pointe has two sets of tees. The Gold, which measure 6,231 yards, plays to a 70.1/122. The Silver come up significantly shorter at 4,906 and plays to a 64.4/103. Any way you slice it, this is a short course. Thus, it may not be suitable for many players.
The primary challenge of Bay Pointe is the water. By my count, there is water on fourteen holes. The most scenic holes on the course follow the shorelines of Lower and Middle Straits Lakes. Wett stuff is frankly everywhere, and a wayward ball is likely to die in a watery grave.
Sand, on the other hand, is not an issue. There are maybe a dozen traps on the entire course.
Conditions on the days I played were excellent. Greens and tee boxes were in top condition, as were the fairways. I think the quality of the fairways is a bit surprising, given the amount of surrounding water and the low lying areas. Indeed, I am certain that parts of the course are below lake level. That the superintendent is able to keep it all from being waterlogged is impressive.
Bay Pointe is run by Oak Management, which also manages the excellent Lyon Oaks. That likely has a lot to do with it.
The course’s topography is relatively flat and open. Fairways tend to be wide, and except where water threatens are not likely to excessively punish slightly wayward shots. The holes are close together.
But there a LOT of water holes.
My favorite hole was the tenth, a 512 yard par 5 with a dogleg left at about the point where a tee shot would land. From there, the second shot is to a small ridge. From there, it is downhill to a green tucked to the left of one of the many water hazards.
Prices are at the upper range for SE Michigan. It’s $59 on weekends with cart, and $44 on weekdays. There is no price differential between cart use and walking.
The bottom line for Bay Pointe is that it is very well kept, and fun, but short by today’s standards. Bogey golfers won’t mind the shorter course, but big hitters may be disappointed.