Northern Michigan Golf In May

Fourteen at Indian River is a 423 yard par 4.

Northern Michigan Golf In May

I recently played what was for me a rare round of golf in Northern Michigan in May.

May usually finds my time consumed by a giant pile of end-of-semester work at school, but on this occasion, family circumstances took me North. Seeing a break in the predicted rains for the weekend, I snuck in eighteen at Indian River Golf Club.

It was glorious. As expected, the air was cool, but with sunny skies, I played comfortably in shorts and a light vest.

Indian River is one of my favorite courses in the state — a hidden gem that I hesitate to promote for fear of it being overrun. The original nine holes are a Wilfrid Reid design dating to 1924. That makes this year the club’s 100th anniversary. Indian River expanded to twelve holes in 1960, and to eighteen in 1986.

In spite of the relative modernity of some of the holes, the entire layout has a classic feel that I appreciate. Wide fairways, open front greens with threatening bunkering and slopes left right and rear and interesting elevation changes make it quite a challenge. It also, I think, plays longer than the scorecard shows.

I have few reference points for conditions in Northern Michigan in May, but I thought Indian River was very pleasant. Tee to green, it was all very playable, if a little wet due to heavy rains in the preceding days.

My play was nothing to brag about. My drives were all mysteriously very short, but my short game was dead on. In the end, I played my usual bogey golf.

I hope to get in more Northern Michigan spring golf in the future. I love playing when the weather is cool.


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