Playing Hickory Hills and Highland Hills

Playing Hickory Hills and Highland Hills

In recent days, I added two new courses to my “collection” of more than 250 Michigan golf courses played. (Read all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course Reviews).

Hickory Hills in Jackson is a thirty-six hole facility, with the nines named after the colors of Michigan’s two large state schools: Maize and Blue; Green and White.

I played the Maize and Blue, largely because it was described to me as a woodlands course, and I thought it might be cooler. I had my choice of nines, as I arrived just before noon; the morning foursomes had gone and the leagues had not yet arrived.

The Maize and Blue reminded me quite a bit of “Up North” golf courses. Tree lined fairways gave a sense of isolation, and there was quite a bit of elevation change. The fairways were very generous, though; even with my hook, I didn’t lose a single ball to the woods.

Michigan has been in a bit of a drought, so it is not surprising that large swaths of the course were brown. I didn’t find my ball resting on any bare spots, but some of grass was a bit crispy.

The greens were in good shape, if somewhat slow. My guess is that they’re not cutting them too close to help keep them alive.

I am definitely returning at some point to play the other eighteen.

Highland Hills in Highland is like so many Michigan courses in that it has two fairly distinct nines.

The front nine is a relatively flat, classic parklands course; the back nine is hilly and features quite a bit of water and marsh. I get the sense that the back nine was an afterthought. With the exception of two holes, I thought the back nine was a design mess. The front nine, on the other hand, was charming.

Conditions on the day were not good. The tee boxes are in terrible shape, and large portions of the fairways were bare. They were working on the irrigation system across much of the course, so I suspect the effects of the lack of rain have been exacerbated by malfunctioning sprinklers.

The greens were in good shape, though.

I’ll have full reviews on these later.


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