Richmond Forest Golf Course Review

A view of the green on the first at Richmond Forest

Richmond Forest Golf Course Review

Richmond Forest Golf Course
Lenox, Michigan
Grade: C+
Teacher’s Comments: A very enjoyable front nine combined with a somewhat less interesting back.

For all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course reviews, follow the link.

Richmond Forest has two fairly distinct nines.

The front is open, with a linksy style as it works around five sizable ponds. Fairways are wide, with some interesting mounding. Scattered young trees separate the holes, but it would be an unlucky shot indeed that stymies a player.

The fifteenth at Richmond Forest is a 384 yard par 4

The back nine feels much more tight. Thick stands of trees constrict the fairways on eight of the holes on that side. On those holes, players are either threading a needle off the tee, or sending an approach shot down a tree tunnel to the green. The middle of the holes are open, but with the exception of the par five twelfth, there’s no “open to open” shot.

The entirety of Richmond Forest is very flat, with the only elevation changes coming from mounded greens and tee boxes.

Both nines have some very interesting greens complexes. These are for the most part raised to offer a little bit of elevation to an otherwise very flat layout. Mounding on the edges of the greens and some steep sided bunkers threaten even the slightest miss. The putting surfaces themselves feature sweeping curves.

I really liked them.

Richmond Forest was designed by Bruce Matthews III and opened in 1994. Matthews III, who has more than a hundred new and renovated courses to his credit is part of what likely is Michigan’s first family of course designers. His Grandfather W. Bruce Matthews, father Bruce Matthews II and Uncle Jerry Matthews all are names that Michigan golfers will recognize.

The third at Richmond Forest is a 521 yard par 5

My favorite hole was the double dogleg third. This 521 yard par five begins with two ponds running along the right side, then turns right to create an isthmus between the second and third ponds. It finishes with a pond on the left.

A view from the fairway on Richmond Forest’s third

What I like about the third is that it offers multiple opportunities for risk-reward shots. Taking on the ponds on the tee shot, second or approach can significantly shorten the hole and offer better angles. The question is “how much.”

The par five third at Richmond Forest.

Richmond Forest is a par 72 that stretches to a maximum of 6, 701.

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GOLD (w)72.21265503
Richmond Forest Yardages, Slope and Rating

Conditions on the day I played were different for the two nines. I found the front nine in good shape and the back nine a little less so. I think the trees on the back nine screen the fairways in a lot of places and make it more difficult for grass to grow. The back nine was also a bit soggy compared to the front. Both sides had some patches of bare dirt, though.

I enjoyed my round at Richmond Forest — particularly the front nine. I wish, however, that the architects had seem fit to continue the more open theme on the back nine that they initiated on the front.

The Richmond Forest Golf Course Review was first published February 21, 2023 from notes and photos taken on a round played in the summer of 2022. For all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course reviews, follow the link.

A photo tour of Richmond Forest follows:

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