Teacher’s Comments: A good course marred by a few bad holes.
Located just a mile from Michigan State University, College Fields is a very nice course that’s about four holes short of being excellent.
College Fields is a prairie course (and I mean that in the best possible way), mostly flat and open, playing through or past the occasional stands of trees and marsh. Bogey golfers—and especially the less accurate will score well here. Danger comes mostly from mounding and bunkers. On a windy day, it’ll play link a links course.
However, with the exception of just one hole on the back nine, golfers are never in real danger of losing a ball in trees or water. If the bogey golfer plays from the correct tees, he will score well.
From the back tees, College Fields measures 6,482 yards and plays to a 72/136. From the middle tees, it’s a 5,941 that plays at 68.4/129.
The greens are on the large side, and are very puttable. I don’t think golfers will find a lot of tricky reads to struggle over here.
Most of the holes are fun, but a couple really stand out in my mind. I loved the eighth, an uphill par four measuring 346 from the whites.
I also liked College Fields’ par three seventeenth, which involves a 203 yard downhill shot. I don’t normally like such long threes, but this one is visually comfortable, and has so much fairway in front of the green that I thought it fun.
The ninth and eighteenth share a double wide fairway. Interesting.
There were for me, however, a few jarring holes. The tee shot for the fourth plays under major power lines. Ugly and distracting. There is plenty of land available in that corner of the course, but from aerial photos, it is clear that all that extra space is reserved for a housing community. Ruin a hole. Sell a house.
Another that seemed out of place was the thirteenth. Unlike the course’s other wide, generous layout, this one is tight and nasty. I bogeyed it, but did not enjoy the trip.
The par 3 fifteenth is awkwardly placed—almost amateurish.
Seven plays right up to a scraggly old house and yard where I was distracted while putting by a crew of guys banging away on an old junker truck in the back yard.
It is difficult to comment on conditions at College Fields, because I played there late in the season, long after most sensible golfers had hung up their cleats. Still, for a November day, it was on good shape. If you extrapolate that to high season, I expect that you’ll find everything first rate.
A big point in favor of College Fields is that they encourage walking. There are just a couple of uphill spots where you’ll find the going difficult and even those are not particularly tough.
Peak greens fees rates are pretty good: $55 with a cart and $39 walking. Midweek, you can play for as low as $29 and $19. Play and walk on a midweek afternoon, and you’ll be rewarded.
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