TPC Michigan Golf Course Review

TPC Michigan Golf Course Review
The thirteenth at TPC Michigan is a 519 yard par 5.

TPC Michigan Golf Course Review

TPC Michigan
Grade: A
Teacher’s Comments: A true championship course.

TPC Michigan was for sixteen years the host of The Ford Senior Players Championship, one of five majors on the Champions Tour.  I have fond memories of attending the Championship, and was happy to finally be able to play. Although the course is private, I found that there are ample opportunities for the public to play. I got my opportunity by filling out a survey at a local golf show that entitled me to a round. Just keep your eyes and ears open.

A Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, TPC Michigan is in the shadow of Ford Headquarters in Dearborn, and is built on land originally owned by Henry Ford. The terrain is typical southeastern Michigan: gently rolling, with lots of marsh and wetlands. In spite of being located in a heavily populated and industrialized area, TPC Michigan is an environmental oasis. It was the first golf course ever to receive the James Audubon Environmental Steward Award for ecological restoration, and was Michigan’s first Audubon Certified Golf Course.

Water and marsh are the most prominent feature of this course. Open water appears on eleven of the holes, and marsh is ever present. The front nine plays through wooded areas, while the back is more open. Both sides feature a lot of mounding which define the holes and offer some interest in elevations.

A view from the upper fork at TPC Michigan’s par 4 eleventh.

My favorite hole was the 410 yard par 4 eleventh. This hole has a very clever fairway that is split by a pond and marsh. Both sides have their risks and rewards. The left side requires a long tee shot over wetlands, but then rewards a player with a relatively short and open shot at the green. The right side offers a fairly safe tee shot to a fairway that runs from the teeing grounds to some 100 yards short of the green. The approach shot from this side will, however, require a lob over the bisecting marsh to the green. With the eleventh, players pick their poison.

I could say something similarly positive about every hole on the course. Each one offered interesting decisions and challenges. This is one of those courses where the oft-used phrase “not a bad hole on the course” could be applied.

TPC Michigan has three sets of men’s tees. From the tips, TPC Michigan stretches to 7, 056 yards and plays to a 74.7/147. That is as difficult a course as I have encountered. The blue tees come in at 6, 586 and play at 72.4/140. The white tees measure 6, 150 and play 70/134.

Conditions on the day I played were very good — exactly what you would expect from a private, TPC, Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.

My only real complaint with TPC Michigan is that a cart was required. There really is no reason for this, as the course is eminently walkable. I watched Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Peter Jacobson and others walk. If they can do it, any reasonably fit human being can.

I’m looking for my next opportunity to play TPC Michigan.

The TPC Michigan Golf Course Review was first published October 29, 2016, from a round played August 10, 2016.

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