Barton Hills - Michigan - USA

Barton Hills Country Club,
730 Country Club Road,
Ann Arbor,
Michigan (MI) 48105,
USA


  • +1 734 663 8511

  • Corey S. Gerhart

  • Donald Ross, Ron Prichard

  • Patrick Markley

Founded in 1917, Barton Hills Country Club had its Donald Ross-designed course in play within five years of its formation. William Diddel, Bill Newcomb and Arthur Hills have all remodelled the layout down the years but it took until 2012 before Ron Pritchard restored the layout to its dazzling best.

The main thrust of the restoration was to encourage the propagation of native grasses around the layout, promote firm and fast playing conditions on and around the greens, and add new tees to both shorten and lengthen the course for the benefit of players of different playing abilities.

Highlight holes include the 493-yard 3rd, a long and very tough par four rated stroke index 1 on the scorecard, back-to-back par fives (one long and one short) around the turn at the 9th and 10th, and the 428-yard 18th, where three deep cross bunkers provide plenty of visual intimidation for players standing on the tee.

Barton Hills has hosted a couple of prestigious ladies’ tournaments in recent years: the 98th edition of the US Women’s Amateur in 1998, when Grace Park won the event with a 7&6 victory over Jenny Chuasiriporn, and the 22nd edition of the US Women’s Mid-Amateur in 2008, which was won by Joan Higgins, defeating Lynn Simmons 1 up.

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Description: After remodelling work down the years, there wasn’t much left of the original Donald Ross course at Barton Hills Country Club until Ron Prichard restored the layout to its former glory in 2012. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 1

In 2011, Barton Hills members took a trip to Franklin Hills to view Ron Pritchard’s restoration work there and immediately hired Pritchard to restore their course to its original Donald Ross dimensions. Hundreds of trees were removed, fairways were widened, 48 bunkers were put back and greens that had become circular over the years were returned to their original irregular shape. The result is a lovely piece of work, taking its place alongside Pine Needles, Pinehurst #2, Rhode Island Country Club and Brookside in the canon of recent Ross restorations.The most striking aspect at Barton Hills is its greens. Time and again, Ross attempts to bamboozle the golfer with contours. Three beauties (3, 8 and 9) have features Ross rarely used. At the former two holes, he channeled Seth Raynor with Biarritz and punchbowl configurations, respectively. (The Biarritz is known locally as the halfpipe; its valley is not nearly as deep as most of Raynor’s.) The crown jewel is the “top hat” on #9: a 10 foot by 10 foot square raised about 6 inches above the rest of the green surface. The day I played, superintendent Colin Seaborg provided the full experience by cutting the hole in the middle of the top hat. Naturally I three putted. The greens at 5 and 14 are also notable as Ross built a tiny peninsula into the back corner of each. Measuring about 15 by 20, these provide a more challenging flagstick locations on each greenRoss’s routing provides great variety, with 11 holes running in a north-south direction and the remaining 7 east-west. In only two instances do consecutive holes run in the same direction. But with different pars in both cases, there’s no sense of repetition. Recent tough winters had left their mark on some of the greens in June of 2015, but this was the only fault I found with the course, and most likely an ephemeral one.After you finish your round, stop by the pro shop and pick up a copy of Neil McQuarrie’s (no relation) little book. It’s full of fun golf observations and proceeds support the club’s excellent caddie program.
5 / 6
Barton Hills
June 28, 2015


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