1081 Indianwood Road,
Michigan (MI) 48362,
- +1 248 693 8049
1 mile W of Lake Orion
Members and their guests only
Wilfred Reid and William Connellan
Indianwood Golf and Country Club dates back to the Roaring Twenties and the Old course was fashioned by English golf professional turned architect, Wilfred Reid and William Connellan. Indianwood (Old) is without doubt team Reid and Connellan’s finest design and it has more than a hint of Reid’s homeland. The club hosted the 1930 Western Open, which was won by Gene Sarazen and Indianwood also played host to the Michigan PGA Championship in 1948 and 1949.
The Indianwood clubhouse emanates baronial splendour with its tower entrance and ancient tapestries adorning the interior walls. You expect Lancelot to emerge from Indianwood in hot pursuit of a dragon. But despite its history, Indianwood fell into near terminal decline during the 1960s and was resurrected, like a phoenix from the ashes, by businessman and Anglophile Stan Aldridge.
Both the Old and New courses at Indianwood are links-like in style but the Old course is the most authentic of the two designs with numerous, deep pot bunkers and waving fescue grasses. Recent home to the Michigan PGA Championship and host to the 1989 and 1994 US Women’s Open, Indianwood is used to big tournaments but the club’s highest profile tournament is yet to come.
Indianwood was selected to host the 2012 US Senior Open, which naturally pleased owner Stan Aldridge. "Indianwood is thrilled to host the Senior Open, it's our intent to make it one of the top Senior Opens in history." A top event it was too, with England's Roger Chapman winning by two shots from Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer.
Indianwood is an underrated championship course in SE Michigan. I know that the greens have come under some architectural criticism for being monotonous but I found them to be extremely unique, thought provoking, and challenging. I wanted to tee it back up on #1 right after finishing just to get another crack at them. With that being said, I do believe that a few greens (3, 6, 9, 10) could benefit from expansion. The course is littered with top notch strategic holes. The 2nd and 4th stand out on the front as it relates to strategy but the 5-7th holes offer a terrific execution challenge with 3 difficult par 4s in a row. I thought the 9th and 10th felt a little out-of-place compared to the rest of the course but the rest of the back 9 was very fun. The 16th-18th holes provide a wonderful finish to the course (the massive 18th green is an adventure onto itself). All-in-all, this is certainly a top 10 course in the state.
A beautiful course with a lot of open vistas, and native grasses lining most of the holes. I played it in the fall, when the native grasses were pretty thick making it tough in certain sports to find and play your ball. I have heard they are much more playable earlier in the season. The course is a difficult ball striking test as in addition to the native grass, there are some doglegs and fairway undulations that shrink landing zones and most of the greens are fairly small. The greens tend to kick balls towards the center which helps on the approaches, but can make for some brutal short side pitches when you miss them. I really enjoyed the course and the ball striking test it provided.
One of the best layouts I have played in Michigan. Excellent variety and you can actually hit out of the fescues. Unfortunately, lack of maintenance is starting to show since their last big event (Senior Championship).
This is a really fun course located about an hour north of Detroit. The club was founded in 1925 with the Old course hosting numerous USGA events. The opening five holes throw you head first into the rolling nature of the land. Large dips and rises are plentiful. I really enjoyed the approach shots into the 2nd and 4th holes, where the greens sat below the level of the fairway. The 4th hole is a 100-degree dogleg right with a raised fairway. It was a thrilling hole all the way through, where you hit up to the elevated corner of the dogleg and then are faced with a downhill approach which is really fun. The greens on the Old course are mostly perfect circles and small in size. A course this old has bundles of charm and no shortage of quirky green-sites. It begins to show its teeth from the 6th hole onwards. In addition to the rolling terrain, there is a stretch of long par 4s that lead you to the fabulous short par 4 9th. The back nine is much tougher than the front, especially with the par 3 13th and 17th holes playing 200+ yards each. I was really impressed with the green-site locations and how exciting it must have been to find them all those years ago. There is an amphitheater feel to most of the approach shots and I highly recommend this old classic.