Vanderveen / Photography by Umlex
has become a casino-based oasis where big
money can be made or lost at the flip of
a card. But when it comes to great golf
in the area, the Bucks stop here.
Run, a Jerry Matthews’ designed golf
course, has joined The PohlCat on the banks
of the Chippewa River to provide the Mt.
Pleasant area with another
outstanding championship golf course.
The golf course is a sprawling 290 acres of woodlands
and wetlands built around a 35-acre lake, creating
a scenic, peaceful country club setting. The
18,000 square foot clubhouse resembles a large,
upscale hunting lodge offering views of the lake
and several holes on the course.
We did what the land dictated,” Matthews
said. “The finished product is one of
my favorites, without a question.
From a design standpoint, it’s the third
course we’ve done around a gravel pit
mining operation. I find them extremely challenging.
I always say that nature is the best designer,
and our chore is to find golf holes nature
created. Working with a man-made mining operation
on man-made landscape presents a lot of interesting
Five holes at Bucks Run play around Fisher
Lake, the centerpiece of the layout.
The lake ties the whole thing together, because
you start and finish there, and you get different
looks going around the course,” Matthews
said. “I really enjoy the eighth hole,
because we did nothing but build a green
and four tees and it worked out exceptionally
Three more holes play along the Chippewa
River, which borders the north end of the
Several tee shots near the quarry can be
hit from the
top of a cliff to the greens. One is a
195-yard shot that is all carry, creating
free fall down to the receptive green.
There’s trouble out there, but it’s
fair,” head professional Jim Zeh says. “You
can see what you’re going after. There
are some all-carry shots — and some shots
you have to drive over water or wetlands to get
to the fairway — but there are no hidden
The former land mining site had been
dormant until it was brought to life
by the Fisher
brothers — Bill,
Jim and Bud — and the architectural
skills of Matthews. Continuous asphalt cart
throughout golf course.
They had the advantage of owning the property
and the money they saved by being in the construction
and concrete business, they put back into the
course,” Zeh said. “The results
speak for themselves.
Jerry Matthews brought a world of experience,” Zeh
added. “He’s built so
many courses in Michigan that he
is used to natural surroundings
and working with water, trees and
wetlands. All the work was done in
the gravel pit. It was a big hole
in the ground and the water naturally
filled it up. They took down as few
as possible and saved as many as they could.”
With at least four sets of tees located on
every hole, Bucks Run is accommodating
to most handicaps.
It plays 6,756 yards from the black
tees, 6,291 from the white, 5,920 from the
gold and 5,090
from the red.
Several golf packages are available
to play and stay at Mt. Pleasant’s two championship
courses — Bucks Run and The Pohlcat — and
then try dealing with “Lady Luck” at
the nearby Soaring Eagle Casino. Less than
an hour to the west is St. Ives, and the
In addition to the championship course
at Bucks Run, there is a small island
Grass Putting Course offering a fun
natural round of miniature golf.
There’s a lot of golf up here,” Zeh
said. “We have great golf, a great clubhouse
and great service. When it’s all blended
together it makes a great package.”