Review: St. Ives Golf Course, MI

A Name that Truly Fits the Course
Sometimes golf course names have no real meaning other than the town or location of the course, others are meant to describe it but rarely capture the true essence of the layout.  St. Ives’ name had me thinking of a hilly “Bavarian” course.  It was almost exactly what I expected.  The constant elevation changes made for a fun rolling round.
Arriving at the “Bavarian” chalet clubhouse had me expecting an interesting round.  From hole 1 -18 it was up and down and around the terrain.  There was barely a flat hole on the whole property.  Everything was up or down a hill.  There were plenty of trees, a number of water features and significant challenge on every hole.  It is a sister course to Tullymore.  It was a little more “traditional” in terms of design, but still a really fun layout.

After leaving the staging area, you start with a down hill hole that gets you prepared for the next 17 holes.  As you weave through the front 9 holes you will need a cart to traverse the terrain.  There were a number of memorable holes like the 2nd hole which is a midrange par 3 that requires a forced carry over a wetlands.  In the middle of the front you you weave back and forth up and down the hills through the woods and finish with a solid par 4 that will test you confidence with your tee shot.  You don’t really need to hit driver, but you must hit the fairway with hazards left and right.

The back 9 starts with more hilly, tree-lined holes that feel very similar to some front 9 holes until you reach the 13th holes and then you meander around the wetlands and lakes in play on holes 14-17.  The most picturesque is hole 16 which is a par 3 with an almost island green.  The 17th is also great as the lake borders the entire left side of a long par 5.  As you return to the clubhouse we really feel like the name is as fitting as any course has been named.

The conditions were excellent from start to finish.  The greens were very smooth and rolled at a moderate speed and the fairways were extremely lush almost too green/wet.  The hills created plenty of challenges and at times carts were restricted from getting close to your golf ball.

Overall it is a great compliment to Tullymore, and offers much of what you would expect from a course named St. Ives.  I enjoyed the “Bavarian” hills in central MI.

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Quick Hits
+Rolling hilly terrain
+Beautiful natural setting
+Excellent conditions
+Challenging layout

–Some golfers might find it too difficult