Downing Farms Golf Course Review

Downing Farms Golf Course Review
The ninth at Downing Farms is a 480 yard par 4.

Downing Farms Golf Course Review

Downing Farms Golf Course
Northville, Michigan
Grade: D-
Teacher’s Comments: The course’s potential is brought low by awful conditions.

The shame of Downing Farms golf course is that while it has a couple of nicely designed holes, they are overshadowed by the generally terrible conditions. Bunkers are devoid of sand; tee boxes are a mess; greens are beat up; fairways were alternately shaggy, dried and rock hard or soggy. I don’t expect great conditions from an inexpensive course, but Downing Farms fails even my generally low bar for budget courses.

Why is there even a rake here?

Downing Farms also has a routing problem on the back nine. After finishing ten, there is no intuitive path to eleven. Following a path past ten lands players on the eighteenth tee. Instead, players need to double back, heading down some three quarters of the tenth fairway, past a tunnel under an embankment before taking a jog to the left to find the eleventh. A player just following the path likely will turn left through the tunnel and end up on the thirteenth, which lies on the other side. The thirteenth tee is a couple of hundred yards closer to the tenth green than to the eleventh.

The foursome ahead of me actually went through the tunnel after playing ten. I wonder how long it took them to realize their mistake. Probably two holes, since the twelfth is a par three and the fourteenth a par five. In any case, I never saw them again.

After playing eleven and twelve, the path takes players back along the side of ten to the tunnel to thirteen.

Very confusing.

Downing Farms is a par 71 that comes in at 5,866 yards from the back tees. It plays to a 72/122. There is no need for the bogey golfer to move up.

Fourteen at Downing Farms is a 480 yard par 5.

All of that said, Downing Farms does have a couple of interesting holes. The best, I think, is the par five fourteenth. Measuring 480 yards, it starts with a downhill shot to a fairway interrupted by a creek. From there, it heads back uphill to the green. Large mounds and theoretical sand traps guard the left side. Trees hug the right side. If this hole were well maintained, with actual sand in the bunkers and grass in the fairways, it would be a great challenge.

A view from the fairway on Downing Farms’ par five fourteenth.

I also liked the seventeenth, a par four which sweeps right and downhill to a green located on the edge of a large swamp. The tee shot placement determines how much of the swamp comes into play.

The seventeenth at Downing Farms is a 272 yard par 4.

Ultimately, though, there is nothing at Downing Farms to get me to return. There is too much decent golf in the area to spend four hours here, even considering the price.

The Downing Farms Golf Course Review was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on October 4, 2017 based on a round played in August 2017.

More photos and a course tour of Downing Farms golf course follow:


2 thoughts on “Downing Farms Golf Course Review”

  1. While they have let the sand traps grow in completely now, it seems that over the last few years the fairways are in much better shape and 99.9% weed free, the greens could be a little faster, but are also in good shape and beat up. Most tee boxes are much better now with the exception of the ones where they get a lot of shade. I saw they were for sale around 4-5 years ago and now it is not.


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