Thornapple Creek Golf Course Review

A view of the green on Thornapple Creek's par 5 ninth.
A view of the green on Thornapple Creek’s par 5 ninth.

Thornapple Creek
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Grade: B
Teacher’s Comments: A nice parklands course.

A pretty parklands course, Thornapple Creek offers a nice variety of challenging holes. Elevation changes, water, doglegs and some tricky greens create a challenge for the bogey golfer. That the course is devoid of housing developments or other distractions makes for a pleasant, golf-focused round.

However, Thornapple Creek got off to a disappointing start. Holes two and four apparently are so soggy that the course constructed boardwalks along the sides of the fairways. Carts can’t leave the boardwalk. To get to the ball (assuming it is in the fairway), a player has to step off the boardwalk and cross over to its location. I’d be surprised if people have not tripped, fallen, and hurt themselves with this arrangement.

After the four flat, low-lying holes that open Thornapple Creek, the next five holes rise to a ridge at the back of the property. The teebox for the par five ninth is at the highest point, and plunges back down to the clubhouse. The back nine at Thornapple Creek plays up and down that ridge, and around a lake.

The seventeenth a Thornapple Creek is a 164 yard par 3.
The seventeenth a Thornapple Creek is a 164 yard par 3.

The lake creates two very interesting holes. The sixteenth, a long par five that begins at the top of the ridge, ends on a peninsula green. The next hole, a 164 yard par three, requires a shot over a cove of that same lake.

From the tips, Thornapple Creek stretches to 6, 538 yards and plays to a 71.7/132. A little further up, the white tees are at 6,030 and play 69.1/126.

Conditions on the day I played Thornapple Creek were good. The greens were in good shape. There were some soggy, damaged spots in low lying areas, and some of the fairways were unevenly mowed in the same areas. But overall, it gave the impression of a well-cared for, nicely landscaped course.

The Thornapple Creek Golf Course Review was published July 12, 2016 from notes taken on a visit in May 2016.

More photos of Thornapple Creek are below:

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