By Klouse, Expert Golf Analyst
No, Mid Michigan is obviously not going to host a U.S. Open anytime in the very distant future. (At least we have the Buick Ope… ohhhh wait about that..) However, I am going to throw out a few hypothetical golf courses around the Owosso, Lansing, and Flint regions that would be the coolest and most challenging courses for the pros. I think it goes without saying that these courses I’m about to list would be getting MAJOR renovations to make the course tough for a pro so they aren’t shooting a 59 on 18.
DISCLAIMER: I am limiting this list to courses only I have personally played.
- Owosso Country Club, Owosso, Mi– Imagine having the U.S. Open right up the road in Owosso. The pros would be dining at Greg and Lou’s and the Comstock Hotel would be SLAM PACKED. It would be like the Curwood Festival on Barry Bonds level steroids if this tourney was in our hometown. In order to make this a reality, Owosso CC would need an overhaul like no other. Making the rough triple the length, add more hazards and make the course a thousand or more yards longer. The course designer of Owosso CC (Tom Bendelow) has designed actual major championship courses like Medinah CC (1949, 1975, 1990 U.S. Open & 1999, 2006 PGA Championship// per wikipedia) and Olympia Fields (2003 U.S. Open//per wikipedia). So maybe a major in Owosso isn’t as far off as it may seem….
- The Emerald, St Johns, Mi- This is simply a no brainier. Everybody who is a Mid Mich Golfer knows that the Emerald has the fastest greens around. Possibly even fastest in the state. So much so, really the only changes you need are to lengthen the course. Some of the holes like the par 5 17th and par 5 7th could be made into par 4’s to spice up the difficulty. The bright side is that you wouldn’t even have to change the nightmarish 230 yard par 3 4th hole for the U.S. Open. Hole 4 is virtually a par 4 already for us mortal golfers. If you know you know. The Emerald would shape up to be a Bombers Paradise™ course for the likes of Bubba, Dustin, Bryson, etc.
- Briar Ridge, Montrose, Mi- Okay hear me out. If you have played this golf course, you know that it is an instant banger of a course in terms of scenery and difficulty. Briar Ridge is a very long course from the tips, and it is extremely narrow. Just what you need for a U.S. Open. A few of the par 4’s are like 465 yards already! There are hazards lurking at every corner so you have to be accurate off the tee and can’t miss every fairway like Phil.
- WINNER: Hawk Hollow, Bath, Mi- Okay, the last one is going to be the realist selection. If there really was to be a U.S. Open in Mid Michigan, it would be here (or Eagle Eye). Hawk Hollow is a pristine, scenic gem that has fast greens, narrow fairways, and tucked bunkers around greens. From the tips this course is nearly as long as most PGA Tour courses. The par 3’s are scary long being 200-250 yards for every one of them. The hypothetical finish would be storybook with the sweet looking clubhouse and the lake surrounding the 18th hole.