Hemlock Golf Club
Exposed sandy soil gives the Hemlock a unique look and feel
The Hemlock gets lost in the crowded northern Michigan golf landscape, simply because there's such limited nearby hotel options in the summer and the clubhouse is still temporary. The golf course, though, stands out as one of the best examples of architect Ray Hearn's creativity. He used the sandy dunes in one section of the property to build its most interesting holes - the par-4 third and the controversial par-5 12th. The third green can be driven, but only by a great shot that avoids a massive sand hazard. No. 12 needs some tweaks to make it better, but I'm a fan of the approach shot over a shapely sand dune. If you chose the right side of the fairway on your second shot, it leaves a blind approach to find the hidden green. It's not any easier even if you can see the green from the left side of the fairway. Tall trees and a few elevation drops (like the par-3 13th hole) provide the traditional northern Michigan ambiance golfers love.
July 6, 2015
Fantastic Course, A Hidden Gem!
Fantastic golf course, conditions were exceptional. The golfing experience and uniqueness of the course immediately vaulted it into my top 5 in the state. The course definitely has the "up north" feel, but with a distinctly "southern coast" influence. There are quite a few holes that, if you dropped someone off that didn't know where they were, would immediately think they were playing a course in the coastal Carolinas or Georgia. Tall pines and hardwoods, large waste areas and wetlands, and dunes and bunkering that are unlike any other course in the state, with maybe the exception of The Grande in Jackson being close behind. The course feels very natural in the sense that I didn't feel any holes were shoehorned in or contrived, each one is different and many are very memorable. Because of it's location, the course is relatively flat, with subtle undulations. Greens are large and receptive, and were in beautiful shape. The fairways were also in great shape, and are well proportioned - landing areas are generous but not huge.
January 4, 2015
Very challenging, monstrous sand traps, huge waste areas. Beautiful and fun, if you're hitting well. If not, bring lots of balls.
September 23, 2012