Mike DeVries assured his place in Michigan golf lore when he helmed the Kingsley Club, however there are certainly intriguing options available for much less than the former club’s initiation fee. Diamond Springs Golf Course is one example, and according to Andy Johnson (known for his golf course commentary on The Fried Egg), it is “one of the best values and public golf courses in the country.”
Perhaps the most striking element of the course is its take on mowing: The club employs a single-height mowing system, which means there’s no traditional rough. This helps out the higher handicappers (although there’s fescue to be had if you get too far out of line).
As for natural features, the property has a ravine that DeVries waited until the final five holes to fully utilize, crafting a short par four that brings danger into play for those who decide to flirt with it for a possible green-in-one, and No. 18, which plays more like a Pete Dye closing Cape hole (albeit with a steep fall-off, and not a lake).
This is my favorite course in the Grand Rapids area. I am a huge fan of all of Mike DeVries' work, but of the area, this one shines above both for $ and shot values. I have played the course multiple times but still find myself pausing on tees and fairways contemplating shots and asking questions that the architect intended. The final 6 holes connect your soul to the game.
13 is a great two shot hole. The tee shot has great Dr. Alistair MacKenzie vibes with the bunkering peeled up just right to intimidate the preferred line. Layup short and less than perfect, you are asking an awful lot from your second to a challenging green. The green is like someone sticking their tongue out at you with all sorts of shelf space to the back and left to tuck sucker pins. The magic of the routing continues as the course just spills from green to 14 tee.
14 is a great par 3 and the first of time you have to traverse the ravine. EVERY hole coming in uses the ravine. 15 has been well documented for being a great hole and it will not disappoint in person. 16 is a great par 5 that plays different every time and the ravine at 17 has Rae's Creek yardage mystery going on. 18 has a great stadium course setting to it. The extreme yet natural land feature running down the left of the hole and wraps around the green, slowly squeezing in the finishing the hole with the ravine for one last time.