Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review

Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review the fourth hole
The fourth at Chestnut Valley is a 500 yard par 5.

Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review

Chestnut Valley Golf Course
Grade: B+
Teachers’ Comments: Fun and well kept, but not particularly memorable.

Chestnut Valley is a pleasant, if not particularly memorable Northern Michigan course. It checks a lot of the “Up North” boxes: isolated, wooded holes, wide fairways, and a couple of holes with significant elevation changes.

As with many Michigan courses, the two nines have distinct characters. The front nine at Chestnut Valley is entirely wooded, with wide fairways and little danger — just six bunkers and one place where water might threaten a shot. Tee to green, the holes are usually uninterrupted. Chestnut Valley’s front nine is more than 400 yards longer than the back, though, with three par fives.

The back nine at Chestnut Valley is more open, and although shorter, more treacherous. It has sixteen bunkers and two spots where water might threaten. It also has four carries — three off the tee and one on the approach.

Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review The eleventh hole
The eleventh at Chestnut Valley is a 135 yard par 3.

From the back tees, Chestnut valley extends to 6, 503 yards. There also is a tee at 6, 007, and another at 5, 166. At its longest, it has a slope of 125 and a 71.8 rating. The middle tees are in at 118/69.5. From the forward tees, its’ a 118/69.5.

The bogey golfer should score well here. Chestnut Valley is not a difficult course. Greens also honest, and not tricked up.

Chestnut Valley was designed by Michigan PGA Professional Larry Mancour, whom — it is said — can often be found on the premises. Mancour is a significant figure in Michigan golf. A member of the Michigan Golf Hal;l of Fame, he ompeted on the PGA Tour and Senior (now Champions) Tour and six times qualified for and played in both the national PGA and Senior PGA Championships. He won several state titles, including the Michigan PGA Professional Championship, the Senior PGA and Senior Open plus the Northern Michigan Open.

Mancour also is listed as the architect of Dunmaglas, near Charlevoix; Sugarbush in Davison; Grand Blanc Golf Club, and Lake Tahoe Golf Course in California.

Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review the twelfth hole
The twelfth at Chestnut Valley is a 325 yard par 4.

My favorite hole at Chestnut Valley was the par 4 twelfth. The hole is short — at 325 yards from the tips — but difficult. The pond is just a mental obstacle, but a fairway bunker on the right threatens the open approach to the green. The left side is safe from the bunker, but will force a shot over a large berm that obscures the view of the green.

It’s a pick your poison kind of hole.

Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review the sixteenth hole
The sixteenth at Chestnut Valley is a severely downhill 525 yard par 5.

As is usual for a Northern Michigan course, Chestnut Valley has a couple of holes with significant elevation changes, most notably the sixteenth.

Conditions on the day I played were very good. The greens were in great shape, as were the fairways and tee boxes.

All that said, with so many other good options in Northern Michigan, there isn’t enough at Chestnut Valley to get me to return. At $69 a round, there also are better bargains. Black Lake, for example, which is in the conversation for the best course in Michigan, charges $60.

Another minus: although it is in fact walkable, the course is carts only.

The Chestnut Valley Golf Course Review was first published July 14, 2020 from notes and photos taken on a round played in June 2020. Follow the link for all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course Reviews.

A photo tour of Chestnut Valley follows

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