Copper Hills Golf Course Review
Copper Hills Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: A lot of clever holes, but confusing routing.
Located in Oxford, Michigan, Copper Hills features three nines: The Jungle, The Marsh, and The Hills. I played the Jungle/Marsh routing on my visit.
The Jungle seems to be the courses’ signature nine, as much of their advertising has touted it as “The Home of the Jungle.”
Copper Hills bills itself as a scenic, “Northern Michigan” style course, which is at least partially true. A great many of the holes have the characteristic tree lined isolation and significant elevation changes. Civilization, however, encroaches. Homes line more than a few holes, and the website boasts that the course is selling the second phase of the residential land, with forty-five additional home sites planned.
The best feature of Copper Hills is the collection of short(ish) par fours. The are such fun, and offer some nice strategic decisions.
The fourth (photo at top of the page) is a good example. Measuring 340 yards, it starts from an elevated tee, bends down and to the left and then rises up to the green. Placement off the tee is critical. Hit the ball too far and it’s in the woods. Too far left and you’re in the swamp. Too short and the uphill approach creates complications.
The Jungle sixth is another great example. This 333 yard par 4 is a sharp dogleg left from a elevated tee over a marsh. From the bend, it plunges sharply down to the green. Again, shot placement is key. If the shot is too wide, it rolls off the back of the fairway, never to be seen again. Too short and left, and you don’t have a good look at the green. Hit it just right, however, and your ball can conceivably reach the green in one.
But you have to hit it just right.
My favorite hole was the Marsh’s second. The tee shot — over a marsh — is at a nearly ninety degree angle to the fairway. The decision is how much of the marsh to take on. The closer you want to get to the hole, the longer you need to fly your shot.
From the back tees, the Jungle stretches to 3, 149 yards, while the Marsh comes in at 3, 344 yards. Together, they play to a 71.5/140 from the Championship tees. They’re a 69.7/135 from the Blue and 68.6/125 from the whites.
Conditions on the day I played were just ok. Greens were generally in good shape, but there was some curious rough and very weedy areas along the approaches. The entire course could have used a little TLC, but to be fair, it was generally a step above the munis I regularly play.
My biggest complaint with the course is the confusing routing. At various times, holes from all three courses converge. At others, you need to pass the tee boxes of one or both of the other courses to get to the next on your card. On two occasions — even with the signs — I arrived at the wrong tee and had to double back.
Another downside is that the don’t allow walking. That’s unfortunate, because it is in fact walkable. I’ve hiked far, far worse. The one thing that might make it trick is if — as I did in the cart — you made a navigation error in going from one hole to the next and had to double back on foot.
A final complaint: the cart I had was in appalling condition. I don’t know if this is typical, or if it was just bad luck on my part.
In all, though, Copper Hills was a fun golf course, and I would like to go back to give a shot at the Hill. Ideally, I’d like to play the Jungle – Hill combination.
The Copper Hills Golf Course Review was first published April 30, 2019 from notes and photos taken on round played in the summer of 2018. Read all of The GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course Reviews.
More photos of Copper Hills follow.