The Timbers Golf Course Review
The Timbers Golf Course
Teachers’ Comments: Marsh and woodlands on flat terrain, with an Up North vibe. Enjoyable
Note: I discovered this unpublished review from several years back in the archives. I decided to run it as written. Feel free to leave updates in the comments.
The Timbers is a pleasant woodlands-and-marsh course located near Frankenmuth and the Birch Run Outlet Malls.
If I had to make a guess, I would have credited design of the course to Bruce Matthews or Arthur Hills — two designers who have mastered the marsh and woodlands terrain of Michigan. Instead, it is credited to the relatively unknown Lorrie Viola.
When the course opened, it was the first in Michigan by a woman architect.
The Timbers bills itself as an “upscale, resort style course.” In my mind, a resort course is a design that won’t beat you up. Resort courses have clear strategies, receptive fairways and greens that behave as expected. Resort courses let golfers play well without first accumulating a store of local knowledge. No one wants to go to a resort just to lose a dozen balls and record 50 putts on their way to career high.
By that measure, I think The Timbers succeeds. For the most part, what you see is what you get. It didn’t have any of those “I wish I’d known” moments either in the fairway or on the greens.
That’s not to say that The Timbers lacks challenge challenge. Viola uses the marshes skillfully to pinch or interrupt fairways. The tree-lined fairways make the Timbers seem tighter than it is.
Aside from the very flat terrain, The Timbers has a distinct “Up North” vibe. Most of the holes are isolated, and tree lined. It is a good place to lose yourself for a few hours.
The back tees at the Timbers measure 6, 631 yards and play to a 72.7/133. Tees at 6, 147 yard have a rating and slope of 69.8/129. A little further up are tees at 6, 634 that are at a 69.4/121.
Conditions on the day I played were good for a public course in late season that obviously gets a lot of play.
A big negative on that day, however, was that pace of play was painfully slow. It was a six hour slog.
A photo tour of The Timbers follows: