The Legacy At Hastings Golf Course Review
The Legacy At Hastings Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: Fun, but a couple of weird holes and uneven conditions.
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The Legacy at Hastings is the new name for the old Hastings Country Club, a course which opened in 1921 and was for most of its life a private affair. It opened to the public in 2011 with its purchase by Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Lynn Janson and his wife Norma.
Janson owned the course until 2017, when it was purchased by local business leaders. The name — The Legacy At Hastings — is a nod to the determination of its current ownership to bequeath the course to future generations of the community.
Hastings Legacy is routed across several hills and valleys, creating a course that is always rising and falling. It is hard to characterize otherwise, as the holes shimmy between wide open spaces, parklands with light lines of trees and thicker woodlands.
My lasting impression is of steep downhill and uphill shots, occasionally, I thought, to the detriment of the overall play.
I have not been able to find the name of an original architect for Hastings Country Club, but it hails from that “golden age” of Michigan golf. Courses that opened the same year (1921) were Barton Hills, Kent, and Rogell (Donald Ross), Pine Lake (Willie Park, Jr.). If Hastings had a famous designer, I am sure it would be mentioned on the website, but it is “of an age.” At any rate, Hastings Legacy was renovated by Bruce Matthews III in 1986.
The occasional weirdness at Hastings Legacy is a function of the hills and tight spaces and is exemplified by the uphill par 3 that finishes a round. The green isn’t visible from the tee box and shots that are long end up in the parking lot (ask me how I know).
I can’t imagine having to face that shot at the end of every round. It is a strange way to finish, and feels as though they ran out of room.
The fourteenth is a short (330 yard) up-and-down par four that also felt a bit odd. The first shot plummets to a narrow ledge backed by a pond. From there, the next shot must carry the creek upward to a green perched on a hill on the other side. It’s two iron shots, like a pair of par threes.
My favorite hole at The Legacy At Hastings was the par 4 sixteenth. The tightish tee shot must carry over a depression to a crest on the far side. From there, the hole bends right, running along a ridge line. It opens up for the roll out of the tee shot and even more so on the approach. The hole falls a bit before rising again to the flat green, which is perched on a knob at the top of the next hill.
Hastings Legacy is a par 72 which from the back tees extends to 6, 477 yards. It is a friendly course for the bogey golfer.
Conditions on the day I played were uneven, and in some places struggling. For every nice tee box, stretch of fairway and green, I found another that needed help. Crews were working on a couple of broken sprinkler heads, with large holes being dug.
There also were a couple of places in which wide swaths of the fairway had been chewed up, as if by a vast herd of rodents digging for grubs.
The Legacy at Hastings is truly a community affair. On my round, I was surprised to find that a gentleman with a bag over his shoulder and a dog alongside had suddenly caught up to me (I play very quickly; NO ONE catches me on foot). I offered the chance to play through, but he declined. He explained that had just hopped on for three or four holes because his dog needed the exercise. That put me in mind of St. Andrews’ Old Course, where the community walks their dogs and on Sunday.
I enjoyed my round at the Legacy At Hastings, but in the end cannot recommend a special trip to play. If you live in the area, however, give it a chance. People in the community are lucky to have The Legacy in their backyard.
The Legacy At Hastings Golf Course Review was first published March 2, 2023 on GolfBlogger.Com 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 the Legacy at Hastings follows: