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By Randy Prichard / Photography by Michael Buck

Have You Hearn?

Golf course architect Raymond Hearn isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet.

The Hemlock Golf Club in Ludington, one of only two 18-hole public courses in Mason County, has been grabbing headlines since its 2002 debut.

The hemlocks, from which the course derives its name, “are the biggest I’ve seen in Michigan,” said Hearn. They are but one accent to this peerless parcel of land.

The entire development sits on a bygone sand dune now carved into18 incomparable golf holes. The northern half of the property is gently undulating with intermittent wetlands. The southern portion accentuates the natural dunes.

Hemlock’s essence is aptly captured at the “Rolling Dunes.” The distance from tee to green on No. 3 is an almost drivable 306 yards over a forced carry of 225 yards from the tips. The hallmark is the surrounding dunes, which make for a no-apologies waste bunker that’s nearly half the length of the hole.

Unique? Holes 11 and 12 are back-to-back par 5s and par is to be prized on both.

No. 12 may well be Hemlock’s most memorable hole for any number of reasons: the demanding tee-shot, the dune that splits the fairway, the mammoth sand box that blocks a left-side approach to the green — and need we warn you of the natural dunes that surround a putting surface that slopes from front to back?

Hearn has been busy the past couple of years. His Grande Golf Club in Jackson, which opened for play in late 2001, was just named sixth “Best New Affordable Public Course” by Golf Digest. Moose Ridge near South Lyon also opened in the past year.

For reservations call (231) 845-1300 or visit The Hemlock on the Web at www.hemlockgolfclub.com.

   
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