Playing Stoatin Brae With Twitter Friends

Playing Stoatin Brae With Twitter Friends
The tenth at Stoatin Brae, in Augusta, Michigan

Playing Stoatin Brae With Twitter Friends

There should be a law against tweeting about politics. It is not a good look for our government whether coming from the left, right or middle.

Golf Twitter, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. Today, I had the opportunity to get out to play with a couple of people I have known via Twitter for several years, but had never met. In spite of a heat index of 100+, it turned out to be a fine day, and I hope to have the chance to play with those gentlemen again soon.

The outing was organized by @jvcolangelo and included @ChickenPinter and @bpgehle (as well as yours, truly, @golfbloggercom.

The par three seventh at Stoatin Brae. The only trees on the course are on the perimeter.

This was my third trip to Stoatin Brae, and my opinion has not changed. It’s in the conversation for one of the top ten public courses in Michigan (Stoatin Brae Review 2018 ; Stoatin Brae Review 2017). Built by Tom Doak’s Renaissance Design Group, Stoatin Brae occupies a treeless plain on a hill that’s the highest point in Kalamazoo County. In Gaelic, Stoatin Brae means “Grand Hill.” I hesitate to call it a “links course,” because there’s no water. It does, however, have relatively hard and flat ground, and constant winds.

If you’ve never played a links course, Stoatin Brae is a nice way to get a taste. If you have played a links course, the design will seem familiar.

The eighteenth at Stoatin Brae.

I noticed two changes this season. First, a couple of areas where ball seemed to go automatically to die in the thick prairie grasses have been cut back (for example, right on the first). Second, the grass was longer, and I did not get nearly as much roll as I remembered. The first obviously was deliberate. I am not sure about the second. It is possible that all of the rain we have been experiencing has just created that situation. It is also possible that the previous very hard-and-fast ground was just frustrating guests. With faster fairways, more balls are going to disappear in the prairie grasses.

It is notable that the pro shop was selling Pinnacle balls and advertising that they were cheap enough that it wouldn’t matter if you lost them.

If you’re looking for a place to take a group and play several rounds of golf, Gull Lake View has you covered. The resort has six courses and plenty of accommodations. It’s a stone’s throw from Battle Creek Airport and a short drive from Detroit or Chicago.

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2 thoughts on “Playing Stoatin Brae With Twitter Friends”

  1. My experience with links courses in Ireland and Scotland is that often one has the ability to find one’s ball in the heather as well as hit it back into play. My problem with so called links courses in the USA is typically the “heather” is so dense and lush that one has little chance of finding the ball much less gouging it back into play. I suppose somewhere outside the UK there is a links style course that matches what is found in the UK. I have yet to find it in Michigan.

    • I’ve not played in either Ireland or Scotland, but from what I see on tv, that seems to be the case. That’s why I prefer to call them “prairie courses.”

      Sans water, I think Erin Hills might qualify. I was in a lot of weeds there, but usually found my ball. I also think that the courses at Bandon Dunes might qualify. But maybe not. I have no frame of reference.

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