The article pretty much captures my feeling about my home course:
“I just fell in love with the place,” Retzer says. “It’s a beautiful course on a beautiful piece of land and I love the classic golf architecture style. It has elevated greens, a lot of interesting elevation changes and is a beautiful old-school course design. It’s also a pretty tough walk, but I walk it every time.”
Retzer has written about Washtenaw, shared photos and information on social media and his website, researched the club as a self-described history lover and was a member for a few years when it was a longtime private facility. He can be easily described as the writer in residence of Washtenaw.
“Washtenaw, I feel exudes history,” he says. “It is so charming. I walk it and I find myself thinking about people playing on this very spot 100 years ago. In 2020 it was the 100th year since it was expanded to 18 holes. I like to stop at places on the course and think that somebody was playing golf right here 100 years ago.”
Washtenaw is in the middle of a long-term restoration under the supervision of noted golf architect Ray Hearn. The goal is to bring back many of the shot values that existed in the original design before the slow march of time altered them. While the project won’t be as dramatic as Oakland Hills’ restoration of its south course, players should see improvement every year they visit.
I have played and reviewed 238 different courses in Michigan, and place Washtenaw among the top public courses on that list. I’ll also opine that among the classic (1895 – 1940) public courses I have played, Washtenaw is perhaps matched only by Belvedere — and that’s semi-private.
If you’re a fan of classic golf courses,