Hickory Hollow Golf Course Review
Hickory Hollow Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: A bogey golfer friendly course with an extremely pleasant and helpful management.
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Hickory Hollow is a parklands style course routed across land sculpted by the North Branch of the Clinton River and something called the Hart Drain. The holes closest to the clubhouse cross a relatively narrow depression caused by the Hart Drain. At the back of the property, eight holes are in a valley leading to the Clinton River.
The plateau between the Hart and Clinton is open, with a scattering of trees separating the holes. The lowlands at the back are tighter, and more forested.
Hickory Hollow has three doglegs; the remainder of the holes are more or less straight. Water comes into play at some level on eleven of the holes. Most of the holes are from the back-and-forth school of course design.
Overall, Hickory Hollow’s design is welcoming and friendly for the bogey golfer. There’s a lot of forgiveness for the “hit it as far as you can; find it and hit it again” crowd.
My favorite hole was the first (which I played as the tenth). It’s a straight par 4 that begins on one side of the Hart Drain, with an uphill shot to the course’s plateau. From there, the first bends to the left to the green, which is flat and saucer shaped, with a flat bunker on the front left.
This is a shot placement hole. The right side is longer, but offers a more open approach. The left might be shorter, but brings the bunker into play.
Another interesting hole was the sixteenth. That par five starts in the river basin, playing straight out and flat for the first two thirds. The last third tips to the left, with an uphill shot out of the basin between two large trees to a green perched on the hill.
There are a lot of ways to get into trouble on that approach.
From the back tees, Hickory Hollow measures 6, 411 yards and plays to a 69.7/118. The middle tees are in at 6, 167 and a 68.6/115. This is a course on which the bogey golfer can have a good round.
Management at Hickory Hollow was very friendly and helpful. I showed up without a tee time in early afternoon, having spent my morning at the nearby Bee Tee, the renamed Burning Tree Country Club. The pro sent me off the back nine to avoid a league on the front, and then was waiting for me when I finished to pair me up with a group of three guys who she said were all “really friendly regulars.” She was correct. They were welcoming and enjoyable to play alongside.
Conditions on the day I played were a mixed bag. Some areas were in great shape; others not so much. The lower areas near the Clinton River were dank; the plateau above ranged from lush to dry. Overall, though, it was good enough.
Hickory Hollow was quite busy when I played. By the time I left in late afternoon, the parking lot was packed. Considering that it is directly adjacent to the 27-hole Sycamore Hills Golf Club, a city block away from Bee Tee and around the corner from Bello Woods, that is significant. It seems to be a local favorite.
The Hickory Hollow Golf Course Review was first published March 2, 2023 from notes and photos taken on a round played in the summer of 2022. For all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course reviews, follow the link.
A photo tour of Hickory Hollow follows.