Hickory Sticks Golf Course Closed

Hickory Sticks golf course near Ann Arbor has closed. I was never a big fan, but it was a favorite among many area golfers.

It’s presumably a victim of the economic downturn.

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5 thoughts on “Hickory Sticks Golf Course Closed”

  1. This reminded me to check on the status of Bear Trace Chickasaw.  The (less than 10 year old) Jack Nicklaus Signature course was given one more year by the state of Tennessee two years ago.  It has been in question until the state decided to close it in February this year, and then gave a couple monthly extentions.

    Well a check to tngolftrail.com shows no reference to the course.  Once five courses in the Bear Trace (all Jack designed courses attached to state parks) – the courses were put away from the metro areas, but unlike the RTJ- Alabama, there has been little to no marketing, and also it was just 18 holes in scattered parks – the RTJ has at least two courses per location and markets it as a destination.  The Bear Trace just doesn’t work that way.

    The first Bear Trace course was cut off from the rest when it was less than five years old.  Ross Creek Landing http://www.rosscreeklandinggolfclub.com/ went from state to private ownership and has been the Golfweek #1 Public course every year since it was constructed.

    Bear Trace Chickasaw, also has been named a Golf Digest best public course, and it is spectacular.  Placed in a rural area for politcal reasons, it has floundered as Ross Creek has.  Luckily, I found that they are still in business – hopefully they can make it work – but it is going to be a struggle.  They converted to private ownership last month and while they don’t have a website up, their phone number still works (888-944-2327).

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  2. Hickory Sticks was never high on my list of courses to visit.  Nonetheless, I played there a number of times, mostly early or late in the season.  It was a long way from any major road and, as the Golf Blogger correctly pointed out in his review several years ago, the set-up was a bit funky.  With so many better layouts available for a similar cost and a lot less driving, HS was probably doomed from the start.  While it is always possible someone may step in and keep the course open, based on its location and design, in a year or two it will be 100 acres of grassland and weeds. 

    My guess is that a few other places in Washtenaw County may hit the dust in the coming years.  Rolling Meadows and Salem Hills may be next.  With the closing of Hydromatic, Ypsilanti Township may be hard pressed to keep Green Oaks going.  We already know that the City of Ann Arbor is hot-to-trot to turn our two courses into natural areas or dog parks.

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  3. Don’t say that about Green Oaks! I have grown to love that course. I agree about Salem Hills, though. An out-of-the-way, lower end course. Rustic Glenn also is out in the sticks, and of a relatively lower quality. But maybe the closing of Hickory Sticks will divert all of those golfers to other venues and help prop them up.

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  4. I play regularly at Rustic Glen in Saline.  I love the course and for the price I feel it’s a steal.  I was sad to hear about Hickory Sticks but I never really enjoyed that course anyways.  The thing I love about Rustic Glen is that it is a family owned course and the staff there is very friendly.  They treat you like a friend and not just another golfer.  It is also fun to watch the course change as it seems like they are always improving things, which is always re-assuring to see in a tough economy.

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