Glenhurst Golf Course Review
Glenhust Golf Course
Teachers’ Comments: An enjoyable Old School experience, but short and with uneven maintenance. Priced right.
Dating to 1932, Glenhurst is a delightful little Old School course, with closely packed, tree lined fairways. A creek, and the accompanying valley/flood plain that runs diagonally across the property creates some interesting elevation changes and hazards on parts of nine of the holes. A couple of dozen bunkers are scattered about, mostly located on fairways. Glenhurst is shortish and not particularly difficult, but I found it enjoyable and relaxing.
Glenhurst reminded me quite a bit of another Detroit area course from the same period: New Rogell (née Rogell née Redford Golf and Country Club née Phoenix Country Club). That course, a Donald Ross design, has sadly closed, but Glenhurst has the same spirit, and on several holes, the same look. If you had told me that Glenhurst was a long-lost Donald Ross that had been modified several times over the years, I would not have argued. The remnants of New Rogell are just three miles from Glenhurst Golf Course.
Glenhurst was constructed on an 80-acre family farm that had been owned by the Paulger family since 1854. With farming no longer profitable in 1932, the family decided to construct a golf course. That seems to me a bold move at the height of the Depression. Over the years, the course has been redesigned three times, and twenty-two acres added to the original tract. Glenhurst was bought by Redford Township in 1989, but a member of the original family still manages and operates the facility.
From the tips, Glenhurst measures 5, 655 yards and plays to a 67.3/120. The middle tees are in at 5, 212 and a 65.4/114. This is a course that should produce good scores for the bogey golfer — even from the back tees.
My favorite hole was the par 4 eleventh. Measuring 311 from the tips, the tee shot is a straightforward affair. As the fairway approaches the green however, it dips down into a creek valley. The elevated green is protected left and right by trees. Distance and placement off the tee is the key. A longer tee shot gives a player the opportunity to hit a shorter, higher shot, but potentially from a downhill lie (never a good thing, and especially with a wedge.) A shorter tee shot produces a more level lie, but potentially at the cost of not being able to hold the green with a flatter approach shot.
Another fun hole was the par five third. From the tee, the fairway dips down into the creek valley, which runs across the fairway at an angle about 200 yards out. Willows on either side will catch wayward shots. From the creek bottom, the fairway climbs back up to the elevated green. Mounding on either side of the fairways gives the hole a sort of tunnel like effect. The green is elevated with a bunker to the rear.
Conditions on the day I played were uneven. Some of the fairways, greens and tee boxes were in really good shape. Others were not. As you might expect from an older and relatively inexpensive daily fee, Glenhurst’s fairways and rough are as much weed as they were cultivated grass. However, the fairways were for the most part filled in, and the weeds carefully cut. For $20 a round, I care not whether I’m hitting off weeds or grass, as long as it is cut and not exposed dirt.
Which brings me the price. I played on a weekday morning and paid just $20 to walk. Non-residents pay $30 to ride, which is still a good deal. On the weekend, prices rise to $27 walking and $39 riding. Glenhurst will rent you a set of clubs for just $8.
Glenhurst’s clubhouse has a full bar and a large menu of diner-style food: breakfast, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, grilled cheese, chicken sandwiches, sliders, wingdings and so on. The back porch looks pleasant.
Given Glenhurst’s very playable course and its capable clubhouse, I think that it would be a great place for a good sized golf outing. Players would be able to get around the course without the traffic jams outings create on bigger, more difficult layouts, and the clubhouse would be a great place to hang out afterwards.
I would be very happy to call Glenhust my home course if I lived in the area. It’s fun and playable. While it’s no destination golf course, it’s worth a return trip.
The Glenhurst Golf Course Review was first published January 17, 2018 from notes taken on a round in August 2017.
A photo tour of Glenhurst Golf Course follows. Click on the photos to embiggen.
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