Links At Crystal Lake Golf Course Review
The Links At Crystal Lake
Teacher’s Comments: Short and shabby
Before making a tee time at The Links at Crystal Lake, it is important to know what you are getting into. At 5, 587 yards from the tips and a par of 70, the Links at Crystal Lake is just on the outside edge of the executive course category.
Six of the ten par fours are 326 yards or shorter. Two of those are well under 300 yards. It does have a pair of par fives that average 508 yards, but in a way that just serves to inflate the statistics.
On some level, a shorter course is enjoyable. I’m not a long hitter, and it is fun to occasionally play a hole where I can go driver-wedge, or mid-iron-short-iron. It is also the sort of place that could appeal to beginners, juniors and seniors.
Longer hitters — or those looking for a full course experience — should book a time elsewhere.
Links of Crystal Lake is a parklands style course routed through the lake’s watershed. The former Pontiac Municipal Golf Course, it technically dates to 1923, but was redesigned in 1995 by Dr. Michael Hurdzan.
The course is divided into four segments, separated by roads or housing. The first five holes are across a road from the clubhouse, in the southeast quadrant, looping around a housing development and a lake.
Six (and nine) are a block away on a little patch of course surrounded by a Lowe’s, a youth center and Fairfax Ave./Golf Drive. To get to seven and eight, players must go through a culvert under Golf Drive. Those two holes are marshy and quite unlike others on the course.
From the eighth green to the ninth tee requires another trip through the culvert. Ten begins a block away on the other side of the road to the east of the clubhouse. The remaining holes skirt the edge of Crystal Lake and wrap around an apartment complex.
My favorite hole was the 385 yard par 4 fourth. It’s a downhill shot from the tees with a narrow windows between lines of trees. From there, it opens up, but a pond on the right is lurking to trap short slicers. A good drive will get the ball to the bottom of the hill, with just a short iron to go. The green is set against a hill, with a trap to the right.
It is probably no coincidence that my favorite hole on this relatively easy course is also the number one handicap hole.
As noted above, The Links At Crystal Lake is on the short side. From the tips, it goes to just 5, 587 yards and plays to a 66.8/120.
This is one of the few courses where I won’t tell you to “play it forward.”
Conditions on the day I played were not good. Portions of the fairway had significant damage. Overgrown brush interfered with lines. The worst, though, were the heaps of goose droppings on tee boxes, fairways and greens. The fifteenth tee box was so thoroughly covered that I could not see any way to tee it up without getting my spikes completely clogged in poo. I ultimately decided to walk around and just drop my ball in a likely spot in the fairway.
The USGA needs to institute a free drop rule for tee boxes buried in poo.
In the final analysis, there is a place in the golf world for courses like the Links at Crystal Lake.
The Links At Crystal Lake Golf Course Review was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on February 3, 2022 from notes and photos taken on a round played in the summer of 2021.
A course tour of The Links of Crystal Lake follows: