Giant Oak Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: A perfectly adequate parkland course.
Giant Oak Golf Course, in Temperance, Michigan, is a well kept and mature, if unremarkable course.
Giant Oak primarily consists of straight-ish holes running in parallel. A light sprinkling of trees creates separation between the fairways, but are not dense enough to prevent a player from advancing the ball with a low punch after a wild tee shot. Giant Oak has just twenty sand traps, and and elevation changes are minimal.
Architect Arthur Hills managed to keep the course interesting by incorporating a long marsh/pond/creek/drainage basin that runs from one corner of the course diagonally to the other. Nine of the holes run along the water feature or across it. The basin is lined by tall, mature trees which help to define those holes and provide visual interest. The fairways along that stretch slope gently down toward the water, which, along with the gentle turns and large adjacent trees, force choices off the tee.
Two other holes run on either side of a separate marshy area in second section. One last small isolated pond is located on the par 3 third.
Still, with all that water, only six holes offer a real chance of losing a ball. And because of that, there really aren’t enough interesting decisions. Most of the course is just a matter of hit it as far as you can off the tee, then hit it again at the green.
Giant Oak stretches to 6,415 from the tips and plays to a 69.9/120. From those tees, there are two four hundred-plus yard par 4s, and par 3s of 226 and 204. Those are going to offer trouble to a lot of bogey golfers. From the middle tees, it measures 5,975 and plays to a 67.8/116. All of the par fours are easily reachable in two from these tees, and just one of the threes is over 200 yards. Play the whites to maximize fun.
Conditions on the day I visited were enjoyable. Greens, fairways and tee boxes all were in good shape. The edges of the fairways were kept neat, and most of the leaves swept from the fairways (although on this very windy day, they kept sweeping back across in waves. I could tell they had not been left to sit, however.). The entire course was tidy and well cared for.
If Giant Oak was in my home town, I would be happy to play several times a week.
More photos follow:
The Giant Oak Golf Course Review was originally published Nov. 12, 2014