Cracklewood Golf Course Review

Cracklewood Golf Course Review; Ten at Cracklewood is a 544 yard par 5.
Cracklewood Golf Course Review; Ten at Cracklewood is a 544 yard par 5.

Cracklewood Golf Course Review

Cracklewood Golf Course
Macomb, Michigan
Grade: C
Teachers’ Comments: Rather ordinary. A mix of styles lacking a memorable moment.

Cracklewood lives up to its name if you think of the sound of balls hitting trees. An often very tight course, it challenges golfers to keep the ball in play.

A Jerry Matthews design, Cracklewood is obviously popular with the locals. It was absolutely packed on the day I played. In fact — and I don’t know how Cracklewood managed to do this — they had booked six golfers for my tee time. Trying to sort out the madness, the starter sent me out early with a group of three.

And speaking of madness — in the middle of the summer of COVID — the clubhouse restaurant was packed, with nary a mask in sight. I might have been the only mask wearer there.

But back to the course.

While the bulk of the course is tightly wooded, several holes on the exterior of the property break free. Holes five through nine are more “linksy” in style, while sixteen and seventeen are light parklands.

The woodlands holes are — as previously mentioned — tight. Unlike some course where a routing through trees feels like a walk through a cathedral, Cracklewood often felt claustrophobic.

Cracklewood is nearly entirely flat, and relies on twelve doglegs (of varying degrees) to offer decisions and challenge. I noted only a couple of fairway bunkers. Green side bunkers left the fronts open for an approach. The greens themselves were moderately sized and relatively flat.

Overall, though, Cracklewood was pretty ordinary. I would struggle to identify either a signature, or an exciting hole.

From the back tees, Cracklewood stretches to 6, 556 yards, where it plays to a 70.4/122. A little more forward, it come in at 6, 126 and plays at 68.6/119. There also are tees at 5, 509 (68.1/117) and 4764 (67.3/112)

My favorite hole was the par four ninth — which is NOT one of the tree lined passages.

This 374 yard par four is a mostly open dogleg left, with a pond on the interior angle. A big hitter could, I suppose, cut off a bit of the corner, but mortals just need to decide how close to play to the water. The closer the line, the shorter the shot into the green.

The green is protected by bunkers, but there is an open path through the front. That makes a long, rolling shot into the green possible.

I like this sort of risk-reward design.

Conditions on the day I played were not particularly good. There was extensive damage to fairways, which were bare in some places and full of standing water in others. The water had been there for a while, for the surrounding grass was rotting. Greens were better, but not great.

As a whole, the course felt a bit shabby.

While Cracklewood quite obviously has its local fans, I can’t recommend going out of your way to play.

The Cracklewood Golf Course review is based on notes and photos taken on a round played August 4, 2020. For all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course reviews, click on the link.

A photo tour of Cracklewood follows:

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