Tanglewood Golf Course Review

The green on the third Hole at Tanglewood North
The green on the third Hole at Tanglewood North

Tanglewood Golf Course (North and South)

South Lyon, Michigan
Grade: B-
Teachers’ Comments: The North was better than the south, both in design and conditions. Management packed both ends of the course.

As with a couple of previous reviews, I’ll get a major complaint out up front. On the day I played, my partner and I teed off at 7:35 am and made the turn in just over an hour. There was a group ahead of us who were moving just as swiftly. When we arrived at the par three eleventh, however, we discovered that management had packed the back nine with a half dozen groups. Worse, these groups were mind-numbingly slow and appallingly bad. Each of the four members of the two groups immediately ahead of us took no less than seven shots to reach the green on the par three. When we called the clubhouse to ask for a ranger to try to speed things up, we were told that it was our fault because we had “played too fast” on the front nine.

We played the front nine in just over an hour. The back nine took just over three. After the thirteenth hole, my partner quit. He was quickly replaced by another player who also was held up in the clubhouse-created nightmare. Others were backed up behind us.

There’s no excuse for this snafu.  Tanglewood’s management snuck those groups out on the back nine knowing how slow they were (I am convinced that these were regular groups) and knowing that several groups of dewsweepers would be making the turn before they cleared out. Dewsweepers are generally serious golfers who play quickly. Tanglewood didn’t care. They already had our money.

From a course perspective, Tanglewood is a 27 hole parklands style housing development course. On the day I visited, I played the North and South nines.

Designed by William Newcomb, Tanglewood has a nice collection of holes. On the two nines, there are three doglegs left and three right. There are some good strategic holes, and a few where it is just bombs away. Water is in play on thirteen of the holes on the North-South combination. Except for around the greens, sand doesn’t present a particular hazard.

The North layout is flat, and open, with just enough trees to prevent someone from calling it a “links” course. The South is a bit tighter and slightly more hilly, but presents just one shot that would require a club change.

For a development course, Tanglewood’s routing is better than most. The homes on the North and South nines are for the most part on the periphery. With the back-and-forth alignment of the holes, this means that quite a few have no bordering homes at all.

From the tips, the North Course stretches to 3, 426 yards plays to a 74.4 /138. The South Course comes in at 3, 596 and a 74.4/135. The North’s middle tees are 2, 909 and 69.1/118. The South’s middle tees are a 2, 963 and 69.2/118.

A view from the 192 yard back tees at the par 3 sixth at Tanglewood North
A view from the 192 yard back tees at the par 3 sixth at Tanglewood North

My favorite hole at Tanglewood was the par three sixth. The hole has two distinct sets of tee boxes. The more difficult tees require a 192 yard carry over a pond to a green with a walled front. The middle tees, however (see photo below), are set off the the side, where there is a fairway to save shots that fall short (so long as you play to the right side of the green.) The forward tees have an even better fairway angle.

It’s a nice design.

Tanglewood North's sixth hole from the 159 yard white tees.
Tanglewood North’s sixth hole from the 159 yard white tees.

Conditions on the day I played were mixed. The North Course was pristine. Fairways were like carpets, and the greens flawless. The South was a major step down. There was damage to fairways and soggy areas with standing water. The South felt more like a mid range muni than a premium course. When I played, two holes on the South course were undergoing major renovations, and work on several more seemed aimed at installing conduit.

Tanglewood charges $45 on weekdays with a cart, and $54 on the weekend.

The Tanglewood Golf Course review was first published September 3, 2015

More photos follow:

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