Whiffletree Hill Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: This course has seen better days
I’m of two minds about Whiffletree Hill. On the one hand, I found it to be a friendly and at times enjoyable course. On the other hand, from the dank and mildewed clubhouse to the roughly cut and weedy fairways, it is badly in need of some TLC.
All that said, the price was terrific. With their fall rates, I paid just $10 to walk 18.
From the back tees, Whiffletree Hill stretches to 6,218 yards and plays to a 69.8/116. The white tees measure 5,917 and play to a 67.9/114. In either case, it’s an easier course than most, and even bogey golfers may want to play the blues.
Most of the course consists of wide open, but densely packed and parallel fairways. There’s a certain sameness to the layout and once I thought I had lost my way and was replaying a previous hole. The back nine is a little more interesting than the front. There’s a very nice four hole stretch from ten through thirteen that runs through a wooded area with some interesting doglegs and elevation changes (as below).
At the front center of the course is a small hill (Whiffletree Hill?) that comes into play on three holes. The first is a part three that plays off the hill, the par 4 ninth plays back up to the left of the first tee; the par 4 eighteenth concludes to the right of the first tee. There is also a low ridge at the far end of the course that comes into play on either the tee or green end of ten of the holes. The ridge is somewhere between a half and a full club’s worth of adjustment.
My favorite hole was the 438 yard par 5 twelfth (above). It is a dogleg right with about a 120 degree turn. A couple of bunkers are on the outside of the bend near the likely tee landing area. A good tee shot could avoid those by skirting the trees that line the right side of the fairway. If you get caught short, however, you’ll have no shot around the bend. A nice conundrum. From there, it plays slightly uphill through a tunnel of trees to a nicely framed, and slightly elevated green.
Conditions on the day I visited were just adequate. The greens were in fairly good shape, but fairways were weedy and not well mown. I don’t mind weeds in the fairways—or even fairways that are mostly weeds—but I do like the weeds to be evenly mown. At the level I play (14 handicapper), grass or weeds makes no difference so long as it covers the hard ground and provides a consistent surface.
Although I had a good time on that day, I can’t really recommend Whiffletree Hill as a golf destination. There are just too many other really good courses in the Jackson/Concord, Michigan area.