Vanderveen / Photography by Dave Richards
of the outstanding courses in Southeastern
Michigan compare themselves favorable to
their Northern Michigan Counterparts, The
Grande is drawing its comparisons from
a little further south.
“ There’s nothing anywhere around here like this,” general
manager Steve Southard says. “When you’re out here, if feels like
you’re in South Carolina.”
The Grande features a lot of elevation changes
for a golf course being located in the “flatlands” of
Southeastern Michigan. The fairways are large,
It rolls just beautifully,” Southard said.
The Ray Hearn design is laid out among 297
acres of a 650-acre development.
He had his pick of the land and divided the course
among it,” Southard said.
Wetlands covering up to 60 acres surround
many fairways and greens. Despite the watery
only one stretch of wetlands requires a carry.
The big thing is that you get the wetlands features,
but it’s not one of those target golf tests
like a lot of wetlands courses are,” Southard
said. “And they don’t constrict the
hole like wetlands often do.
Sometimes it seems like courses are squeezed
into areas. People often envision wetlands as
forced carries and narrow landing areas, but
here they are more aesthetic than hazardous.”
The finishing holes at The Grande are
awesome. The final seven holes on the
feature elevated tees with 50- to 70-foot
Most of the wide fairways are tree-lined
with indigenous hardwoods. Southard contends
there are 62 acres of fairway landing
area, about twice the size of many courses.
offer risk-and-reward decisions.
We have twice as much bent grass as you might
normally have,” Southard said. “There
is some cross bunkering, but there are some choices
out there as well.”
The Grande, which features five sets
of tees, plays 7,156 yards from the
holes are being lengthened. Wall-to-wall
run continuously around the course.
It’s big,” Southard said. “It’s
not just the holes, but the land, the hills and
the wetlands are just big in scale.”