Sugarbush Golf Course Review

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
The fifteenth at Sugarbush is a 426 yard par 4.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review

Sugar Bush Golf Course
Davison, Michigan
Grade: C+
Teachers’ Comments: Long and tough.

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Sugarbush is a archetypal southeastern Michigan golf course, routed across relatively flat land through woods and around marsh. A tight course, with trees closely lining nearly every fairway, Sugarbush will test your skills — particularly off the tee.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
An aerial view of Sugarbush Golf Club

Tee shots are critical, because Sugarbush is long and difficult. From the tips, the course stretches out to 7, 283 yards and plays to a very tough 75.6/146. A little further up, the tees are at 6914 yards and play to a 73.8/142. Bogey golfers should move up quite a bit to at least the tees at 6, 502 that play at 71.9/139. Even that’s tough. You may quite seriously even consider moving up to the tees at 5, 823 which play to a 69.3/123.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
Sugar Bush’s second is a 464 yard par 4.

My favorite hole was the par 4 second. Coming in at 464 yards, it rises up from the tee box to a ridge flanked by mounding, where it plateaus for around a hundred yards.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
A view of the green on Sugar Bush’s second.

From the plateau on the second, the fairway heads downward, wraps around a marshy finger, then rises again to the green. It’s a roller coaster of a ride.

Even better, the second offers an interesting tactical choice. On the second shot, a golfer must decide whether to take on the swamp to the elevated green, or play to the left. The shot to the left won’t get wet, but will require a good pitch and putt to make par.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
Eighteen is a 422 yard par 4.

Another great hole was the par 4 eighteenth. Whereas nearly every other hole on the course demands you bang the ball as far as possible off the tee, eighteen requires some caution. A marsh separates the fairway from the green and a long tee shot could reach the cattails.

Unfortunately, pace of play at Sugar Bush was very slow. Groups on the day I played were stacked up on every hole. I think that much of that has to do with the course length. There are always going to be those players who decide to “see all of the course” and play from the back tees. On a course of this length, that means extra shots on every hole — and because you are hitting longer clubs, more shots off line. That slows things down, and groups then back up.

Sugarbush Golf Course Review
Seventeen at Sugar Bush is a 514 yard par 5.

Conditions on the day I played were average. The greens and tee boxes were in good shape. Fairways, however, were hit and miss. Overall, the whole course felt a bit shaggy around the edges.

In the, I enjoyed my round at Sugarbush, but it lacked a “hook” that would get me to return. If Sugarbush is your local daily fee option, it’s great. In fact, its business is a testimony to its popularity. But there are enough similar courses in southeast Michigan to keep it from standing out.

The Sugarbush Golf Course Review was first published February 27, 2020 from notes and photos taken on a round played July 19, 2019.

A Sugarbush photo tour follows:

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