Wheatfield Valley Golf Course Review
Wheatfield Valley Golf Course
Teachers’ Comments: Short, flat and open
Wheatfield Valley falls into the category of “pleasant small town courses,” the likes of which you can find in literally hundreds of hamlets across the Mitten State. In this case, the town is Williamston (population 3, 800), located about twenty miles from Lansing.
The course is aptly named, for it was built on former farmers’ fields. In fact, I’ll coin a term here: Along with linksland, parklands, and woodlands courses, there is a distinct species called “farmlands.” There are a lot of those in Michigan. It’s not a derogatory term, though, any more than it is to note that The Old Course was once a sheep pasture.
As a farmlands course, Wheatfield Valley is mostly open, and mostly flat, with light woods on its perimeter that in its agricultural heyday might have served as windbreaks or boundary lines.
The “Valley” is a low area on the back left (southeast) end of the property, abutting I-96. Half the course’s holes are routed through those lowlands, with four (two, eight, thirteen and sixteen) taking advantage of the one-to-one-and-a-half club elevation change.
Wheatfield Valley is a relatively short par 70. From the tips, it measures just 5, 726 yards, with a slope of 117 and a rating of 67. In truth, it’s more like a par 69, because the par 4 eighteenth tips out at just 201 yards. The longest hole is the 506 yard par 5 seventeenth.
Struggling putters will love Wheatfield Valley’s greens, because they are mostly flat. Short hitters will also love this courses. If you’re a long hitter, think of Wheatfield Valley as an opportunity to practice hybrids and irons off the tee.
My favorite hole at Wheatfield Valley was the downhill, dogleg right par 4 thirteenth. Measuring 360 from the back tees, the thirteenth starts from an elevated tee. A good shot is straight out to the left side of the fairway, playing wide of the trees on the right. There’s a bunker out there to threaten a shot that carries too far, so pick your distance carefully. The second shot is into a relatively deep and flat green. Land your shot on the front and let it carry to the hole.
Conditions on the day I played were decent. No one will ever mistake Wheatfield Valley for a country club, but for a neighborhood course it was adequate.
Michiganders are lucky to have so many course operators bringing golf to every corner of the Mitten State.
A photo tour of Wheatfield Valley follows: