Rammler Golf Course Review
Rammler Golf Course
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Teacher’s Comments: A classic course that could use some TLC.
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Rammler is a classic parklands layout dating to 1929. The course is routed through and around a branch of the Clinton River, although the water only really comes into play on four holes.
The course lists no architect and a search for in old newspaper archives has failed. The earliest reference I found is an ad in the July 26, 1930 Detroit Free Press. The ad claims that Rammler is the “Newest, snappiest and sportiest course in the Detroit District for the Public Golfer.”
At one point, I thought Rammler might be the renamed Clinton Valley Country Club, but it turns out the two were open concurrently. The Clinton Valley Country Club closed in 1943. Rammler remains.
Regardless of its provenance, Rammler has all the hallmarks of a classic course. It plays along and across the Clinton River in ways that reminds me of Atlas Valley (a Tom Bendelow design), of Western CC (Donald Ross) and of Flushing Valley (Wilfried Reid).
Most of the course is played on the plateau above the river’s gorge. Water really only comes into play on four holes. The landscape carved out by the river offers some one and two club elevation changes.
An aerial view of Rammler
Rammler has a nice mix of tight and open holes. Mature trees shade much of the landscape. The greens are fairly flat, and the bunkers not particularly threatening.
A par 71, Rammler stretches to 6, 305 at its tips.
My favorite hole at Rammler was the 498-yard par 5 seventh. A tight opening shot opens for the second, so it’s basically grip-it-and-rip it at that point. The approach shot, on the other hand, dives downhill into the river valley, making it all about judgment of height and distance.
Conditions on the day I played were spotty. Fairways were unevenly covered; there were bare spots in places and lush green stuff in others. Fairways also ranged from rock hard to soggy. Many of the trees could use a trim and the shaggy edges needed attention.
This old course deserves better. If I found the conditions better, this course would improve its grade.
In spite of conditions, Rammler was a good value for the money. I paid just over $20 to walk on a weekday morning.
Rammler also has a nine-hole par three at the facility. I did not play it, but there were a number of folk out obviously working on their game.
In the end, I can’t recommend at trip to Rammler. If it is in your neighborhood, however, I can completely understand how it would be a regular visit.
A photo tour of Rammler Golf Course follows: