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Lake Forest golf course

By Randy Prichard

Southeastern Michigan found a new place to golf in 2000 and so did Golf Digest, nominating Lake Forest Golf Club, Ann Arbor, as one of the Top 100 Best New Public Golf Courses.

Brent Veenstra, 1993 Michigan Open Champion, has been involved in the building of Lake Forest to its present day 18-hole layout since day one. He serves as the Director of Golf Instruction at Lake Forest.

“ This is a very challenging course,” says the only person to ever score a 62 at the heralded Bear at Grand Traverse Resort. “The key here is to keep it straight,” said Veenstra. He has twice posted 67’s at Lake Forest, the lowest 18 hole total to date.

Five under par is liable to stand awhile at this 6,800-yard mix of links and northern Michigan style golf. The back nine, measuring 3,442 yards in length, opened July 2000. This is the northern Michigan side, which takes the golfer through the woods and natural wetlands. A couple of hundred more yards has been added to the front nine, lengthening it to a similar 3,400 yards. At first glance the links-type front invites visions of scores under par. But three-foot tall stands of laid-over native fescue will have you thinking your game and strategy a bit differently after the first tee.

“ Some holes were simply too short,” said General Manager Rudy Millward. “The 295-yard, par 4 No. 5 hole invited people to go for the green which tended to slow play.” This is one of the holes that was lengthened, as were numbers 2, 4 and 7. Management is eyeing adding some distance to hole 8, too.
Number 12 is Lake Forest’s signature hole, with three forced carries. It’s not overly long, only 364 yards from the championship tees, but accuracy is a premium. None of the wetlands that lie between you and the green should pose much of a problem; you can clear the second one with a 4 or 5 iron. From their you’ll have 150 yards to a green with water on the left and bunkers on the right. On this and every hole, reminds Millward, “shoot straight and take what the course gives you.”

While Lake Forest provides superb playing conditions, Veenstra is particularly proud of the growing Junior Golf Academy, which will have over 100 students this year. “Blame it on Tiger,” said Veenstra, “he’s definitely bringing kids to the game of golf.”

The Golf Academy at Lake Forest is part of their 15-acre practice facility with driving range, target greens, putting and chipping greens and bunkers.

You’ll love the 18-hole green fees at Lake Forest Golf Club: $47.00 with cart Saturday and Sunday and $37.00 with cart Monday-Friday and after 1:00pm weekends. Visit Lake Forest on the web at www.lakeforestgolfclub.com.

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