Black Lake Golf Club – Played May 2017
- Rankings: Golf Digest Public #69
- Location: 2800 Maxon Road, Onaway, Michigan
- Year: 1999
- Architect: Rees Jones
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Gold: 7,035 yards, Par 72, 74.8 Rating/143 Slope
- Blue: 6,736 yards, Par 72, 73.4 Rating/140 Slope
- White: 6,391 yards, Par 72, 71.9 Rating/137 Slope
- Silver: 5,823 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/126 Slope
- Green: 5,049 yards, Par 72, 70.2 Rating/131 Slope
I couldn’t find much on this course’s website, but it did make clear that the course is owned by the UAW. That makes sense since Michigan is the home of American auto manufacturing. The Black Lake Conference Center is also nearby and I think I accidentally drove up to the gate. I asked for the golf course and was told I was in the wrong spot. They were very nice, but I was wondering what they were keeping back there! It is a little eerie because the site is in the middle of nowhere and it is very quiet.
The course was about an hour from Bay Harbor. I was able to get out first and I played super fast. You can’t ask for better than a Top 100 course and no one in front of you.
The sign below is your welcome committee. It is easy to miss in the early morning light, trust me!
Hole 1 – 483 yards – Par 5
Below is a look at the tee markers.
The first hole is definitely a birdie opportunity. The drive is straightforward and the only trouble is the pond in front of the green. If you can maneuver a draw around it you should be in good shape. The green has some mild undulation, but offers plenty of chances to make a putt.
The tee shot on this one is pretty low stress, but you must avoid the bunker on the left to have a good shot into the green.
This one bends to the left and is a little tight. Due to the length you don’t have to take driver. It is hard to play a fade on this hole with the trees lining the right side.
The distance cranks up a notch on this hole. Consequently, the fairway widens to give a little break. The fairway angles uphill a bit so a long drive will need to have a lot of carry.
It’s pretty obvious that the danger here is the sand all down the right side. There is a small bailout to the left. If you can block out the sand it is not too difficult of a hole.
They tried to get me wet! Honest mistake as I was flying around at a quicker pace than they were expecting. This is a short hole, but with my length it didn’t make sense to go for it. For me the best play is a 3-iron to the fairway.
This one doesn’t fit my eye that always sees a draw, but that doesn’t mean it’s an ugly hole. The slight bend to the right is evident. Additionally, the bunkers are lurking for anyone who tries to cut off too much.
This is a fun hole with this pin position. When the flag is to the right of the bunker it takes a bit of the excitement out of the shot. It looks downhill, but I found that it played closer to the actual yardage.
Just a long, straightaway hole here. Let her rip.
The back nine starts out with a mid-length par 4. Due to the trees you can’t get too wayward here. The bunker up the right is in play.
A hazard makes this a forced carry, but it’s a short one. I took 3-iron here to set up a wedge to the green. Aim right at the bunker.
This hole plays slightly uphill. The bunkers sit well below the green that doesn’t have much room behind. Distance control is key.
Bending to the left, this hole calls for a draw. At this yardage you can hit one through the fairway so be sure to keep it up the left side.
I liked the look of this hole because of the bunkering. It reminded me slightly of the Pinehurst area bunkering just on a smaller scale. Other than that there isn’t much strategy, just get it on the green.
This is an interesting hole that doesn’t seem to play as short as the yardage would suggest. It does slope downhill, but you need to have the ball working left to get the most out of your tee shot. As you round the corner to the left there is a large hazard all the way to the green.
Judging by the sign below the nines were flipped at some point. I liked the sentiment and recognition of the hard work it took to make the course.
This a pretty hole, but danger lurks to the left. There is a hazard all along the right side that will grab anything leaked right.
No doubt about this one, it will most likely take you three shots to get home. It is long in yardage, but also uphill the whole way back to the clubhouse.
I will say this for Black Lake, the value is really good. I paid $50 plus tax and got a really solid golf course. That being said I’m not sure of a Top 100 ranking. It was a good track for sure, but it didn’t wow me that much. If you’re in the area give it a play because I guarantee you will get your money’s worth.