Hickory Creek Golf Course
Canton Township, Michigan
Teacher’s Comments: A likable course that’s popular with leagues. A few boring and short holes mar an otherwise interesting test.
I last played Hickory Creek some ten years ago and remember not being impressed. Conditions were not good, and overall, it reminded me of a cow pasture.
But over the years, I’d heard a lot of good things about the course—especially from people I knew who play in leagues there.
So in the interest of reviewing every course in Washtenaw County, I returned recently for a replay. And to my delight, I found that the course was much improved.
The course measures 6292 from the blues, with a slope of 131 and a course rating of 70.4 That tells you that there’s some trouble lurking on this layout.
Conditions now are overall pretty good. There are more than a few soggy spots, but that’s to be expected on a course with as much water as this one. Tee boxes were in good shape, as were the greens. The fairways were all grown in. There is some weediness, but in my mind, that’s ok as long as it grows evenly and is cut neatly.
The course also has stepped away from its cow pasture look. For example, the first two holes which ten years ago simply played out across a field now have trees and other plantings. In another ten years, the cow pasture look will be completely gone.
Like many area courses, Hickory Creek has two relatively different nines. With the exception of the first two holes, the front nine weaves in and out of wooded areas; the back nine is a more prairie style course (links style, if you will). Both nines have significant water hazards—mostly from a creek (Hickory Creek?) which winds through the property.
My favorite hole was the third (photo, top), which is a downhill par 4 measuring 358 yards. It bends slightly left and then ends with a green that’s set against a pond. The tee shot is tight. The green has got kind of a Pete Dye at Sawgrass look, for any shot left simply drops into the pond.
The eighth is either a love-it-or-hate-it hole with a stand of trees in the middle of the fairway blocking a direct shot at the green. I liked it because it brings the big hitters back to my level. A big hitting colleague hates it, though.
I liked Hickory Creek—and can see why the leagues like it. I would return, but will be looking for a coupon before I do.
The Hickory Creek Golf Course Review was first published August 8, 206.
More photos of Hickory Creek follow: