South Lyon, Michigan
Teachers’ Comments: True “Up North” feel in Southeastern Michigan.
While many courses in Southeastern Michigan lay claim to an “Up North” feel, Moose Ridge is one of the few that pulls it off from the first hole to the last. This Raymond Hearn design takes full advantage of the hilly, wooded terrain to create what may be the area’s most interesting course.
Moose Ridge is a shot-maker’s and thinker’s course. Its hallmark is, I think, are three relatively short par 4s that will quickly run up your score if you’re not careful. The first is one of those opens the course (photo above). From an elevated tee, you must fire a shot down into a valley between two fairway bunkers, and then up again to a tricky green. The whole affair measures just 292/355 (whites/black). The seventh is another elevated shot to a bunker-infested valley that measures 278/318. Finally, the tenth requires a tee shot across a marsh to a twisting, turning fairway. It measures 285/343. The distances on these probably are designed to lull you into a false sense of confidence. If you’re not thinking, you’ll get a double or worse on a hole that should play out in par.
Moose Ridge is not all short, though. The fourth is a massive 562/630 yard par 5 that wraps around a lake and finishes in a small, tucked green. I would stunned if anyone has ever made it home in two from the back. The second is a 389/425 yard par 4 that finishes with a shot up a ninety foot hill to a green on the plateau.
Then there’s the evil par 3 ninth. It’s a 178/193 yard shot to a narrow green that’s flanked right by a wooded hill heading up and left by a wooded hill going down. I’ve played this course a half a dozen times and have never made par on this hole.
Overall, Moose Ridge comes in at 76,892 yards from the blacks, where it plays to a 73.2/138. From the white tees, it’s 6,100 and a 69.7/128.
Best advice for this course: Play from the proper tees. You will have no fun if you let your ego get hold of your brains.
Conditions on the several occasions that I have visited have been good, with the exception of a few areas where shade from the trees makes it difficult to grow grass.
In spite of the rolling terrain, Moose Ridge is walkable. I don’t think they encourage it, but I’ve never been denied the opportunity. Be prepared for a workout.
Pace of play has always been reasonable. My sense is that they allow a few extra minute between tee times than is usual on public courses.
Greens fees are on the high side for the area, where decent golf can usually be had for under $30 (walking). Moose Ridge is in the $50 – $60 range, depending upon the day of the week and time of day. Spring and fall rates tend to be very reasonable, though.
In addition to the excellent course, there’s an equally excellent practice facility. The clubhouse, built in a rustic style is huge and with great views of the course would be a terrific place for a large event.
Try as I might, I can’t find anything wrong with this course. It’s one of my absolute favorites, and I make an effort to go at least once every year. I especially love to play in the fall.
More photos follow: