Revisiting Antrim Dells

Revisiting Antrim Dells

I had a delightful afternoon today playing a round at Antrim Dells in Northern Michigan.

My last visit to Antrim Dells was in 2017. It was a very nice course then, and has only improved in the interim. Director of Golf Dave Hill, PGA, has overseen a great deal of strategic tree cutting and trimming that has made the fairways more fair and opened new angles to the greens. Another welcome change is the growth of areas of tall fescue in places that once were mostly exposed sandy soil; these offer visual interest, and nicely frame some of the holes.

The back nine is a particularly lovely woodlands routing. The front nine is a more open parklands. I played decently, but more importantly, it was a wonderful walk, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low sixties. On this day, Dave Hill had me start on the back nine to avoid some groups going off the front; I then looped back to the front behind a couple of other groups. They moved quickly; I saw them only in the distance after the second hole. In finished the round in three and a half hours; that is quite good on a weekend in a golf resort area.

Overall, the condition of the fairways and greens were excellent. The additional light from the cutting of trees has encouraged healthy fairways (and very thick rough). I thought the greens were rolling particularly well; I had the speed down, but had a lot of near misses in misjudging the bends.

Afterwards, I sat on the clubhouse’s porch, enjoying the view of Grand Traverse Bay, a bourbon and conversation with Dave Hill about Michigan golf.

One thing of note I learned that will be of interest to those who spend time in Northern Michigan for golf: The First Tee of Northern Michigan sells “Player Cards” for $149, which offer significant discounts at thirty nine different courses. Rounds at the listed courses are $39 Monday through Thursday after 10 am and $49 after noon on weekends. Some restrictions may apply, of course, (such as the one round per course rule) but you could make your money back after just a few rounds.

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