Fenton Farms Golf Course Review
Fenton Farms Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: A friendly, old school course.
Fenton Farms, in Fenton, Michigan, bills itself as “The Friendly Place.” I think it lives up to its billing. The staff was probably the most genuinely nice I have encountered. The course also is friendly and the bogey golfer should score well there.
Fenton Farms is delightfully old school with nine of the holes running closely parallel to each other (although not in succession). The other nine (again, not in succession) run around the perimeter of those interior nine. Light rows of trees separate the holes, but should you find yourself on another fairway off a wayward tee shot, getting back on track doesn’t pose an insurmountable problem.
The club dates to the 1930s, when it was created by a local farmer. At one point (under another name), it was owned by the well-known Michigan golf professional Walter Burkemo, winner of the 1953 PGA Championship. Detroit Lion Alex Karas was a part owner in the 1970s, which apparently led to a reputation for parties involving Lions football players. Renovations and new ownership in the 1990s brought Fenton Farms to its current layout.
From the back tees, Fenton Farms stretches to 6, 596 yards and plays to a 71.7/125. The middle tees come in at 6, 297 and play to a 69.9/122. The forward tees are at 5, 848 and play to a 68.4/115.
My favorite hole was the sixth. A short par 4, it requires a precisely placed tee shot between a row of trees on the left and the bunker to the right. From the middle tees, the hole measures just 338 yards, so a club other than a driver may be a good option.
However, this is complicated by the fact that the green is small and the grass round it kept deliberately long. A shot into the green must fly high and land softly.
It’s a strategic conundrum. A safe play off the tee leaves a troublesome second. To get a safer second, on the other hand, requires a more troublesome tee shot.
Most of the holes at Fenton Farms — and particularly those on the interior — are straight tee-to-green shots with little elevation change or trouble. The holes on the exterior, however, are a little different in character. A couple include shots over swamps; others are cut through more wooded terrain or have some more interesting elevation changes. The sixth is one of the perimeter holes.
Conditions on the day I played were adequate. Greens were in good shape, as were the tee boxes. The fairways were a mixed bag. Some were in excellent shape; others were in turn, dry and sparse, or soggy. Overall, conditions were about what you’d find at your average muni.
I enjoyed my round at Fenton Farms. It is not calling me to return, but if it were my neighborhood course, I’d be happy to play there on a regular basis.
The Fenton Farms Golf Course Review was first published May 14, 2019 from notes and photos taken on a round played August 22, 2019.
A photo tour of Fenton Farms follows: