Water’s Edge Golf Course – sounds like a winner, even though the water is the Detroit River. After a drive through downtown Detroit; a walk along the waterfront; and a stop at Hitsville, USA, we made our way to Grosse Ile (pronounced Growz Eel) to give this course the Always Time for 9 test.
Hole #1 is at the water’s edge but you would need a big, crazy hook to reach the Detroit River. However, that big, crazy hook could find a car driving down River Road. My advice at this opening par 3 is to hit it straight and hope to land in the middle of this small, crowned green. Any shot finding the edge will roll off the putting surface. Three is a good score here.
There are trees to the left and out-of-bounds to the right at Hole #2. The OB is way right, but the best course of action is to follow the fairway at this dogleg right par 5. A large, spongy (today) green awaits you at the conclusion of this hole. Hole #3 (pictured above) is a short, straight par 4. There is tree trouble to the left with two large trees that will restrict your view/shot if your drive lands over there. Water is cleverly hidden on the right at the 100 yard stake and for good measure a penal, deep-faced bunker guards the right of this crowned green. Only 271 yards but trouble awaits all the way down the fairway!
Once again there is tree-trouble down the left side at Hole #4. Work that slice at this number one handicap hole. Standing at the tee box, Hole #5 gives the impression of a wide-open fairway. However, there are sizable trees on both sides of the fairway that are evenly spaced and start to squeeze the landing area the farther your drive travels. Luckily, we didn’t experience this problem! The best approach to another crowned green is from the left side.
Hole #6 is as The Four Tops would sing, It’s the same old song but with a different…tiny, small, miniscule, crowned green. We both carded 6’s as we continually had difficulty holding this petite, undersized, dwarfish, devilish green. Your tee shot at the par 3 seventh hole requires finding the opening between two scraggly trees, then find the (see adjectives for #6) green. This is supposed to be an easy hole, but these greens are giving us fits.
The drive at Hole #8 is tight because of the trees lining the fairway. Pulling the correct club will take some thought as the fairway ends past the trees and proceeds to the left. Even if you guessed correctly, you are still not “out of the woods” as your second shot needs to weave its way around two big trees that guard the green. Don’t you just love risk/reward shots at the finishing hole? The ninth hole is a dogleg left with a water hazard to clear as the fairway starts to bend. I decided to play it safe to the right but found OB as I drifted just a little too far right. Even though Ed and I both carded double bogey, it was my favorite hole. Hazards are well placed and you must chart your way around this hole…you can’t just whack away.
Birdie: The AT49 team disagreed about the rating of this course but I get the final vote. The course design (hole routing) is rather bland but the mature tree placement and small-crowned greens make the course play more difficult than at first glance. My 43 can attest to how hard this par 35 course played for me this day. After the round, we enjoyed a burger and beer on the outside patio with a view of the water. Footgolf is also an option at the course, so please pay attention (Ed) to the red flags (footgolf) and the yellow flags (golf).
As I mentioned above, we paired our day with a walk along the Detroit River in the morning which included a visit to the new GM headquarters. But for a couple of geezers who were teens in the ’60’s, a trip down memory lane to Hitsville, USA was a treat. Visiting the original Motown studio and those days of The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Barry Gordy was an enlightening experience. Time to go find my Four Tops Greatest Hits album and kick back to the sounds of Motown.
25215 W River Rd, Grosse Ile, MI 48138; 734-675-0777; www.golfwatersedge.com