So much character and golf-worthiness in this gem of a course!
There's something about this course where you almost learn something about how the legends of the game saw and felt things when you play here. I'm sure it comes down to the MacKenzie/Maxwell influence because it is the exact same feeling you get at Crystal Downs, though not quite as poignant.
Without overhyping it too much, playing here is like doing a little archaeological research on the history of golf. You get to see how one of the greatest designers and thinkers in the history of game laid out a course on a beautiful rolling hilltops. It's both a study in golf as well as a study in aesthetics. It offers some very strategic decision making points and - besides a few blind tee shots on the front nine - is very clear with the golfer as far as what it expects off the tee.
Fortunately or unfortunately, modern equipment outpaced this golf course a bit, shortening the course both horizontally (several fairways are nested fairly closely to one another making several holes quite narrow) and vertically (the course is only 6700-ish from the tips) in a way that makes me day dream about what it was like to play when the course was brand new.
That thought intrigued me so I actually looked up in the University's library what the earliest scores on the course were that I could find. Without spending too much time looking, I found a combined team score from the 1942 Big Ten Team Championship of 1255 (ie. 78.44 scoring average for four players over four rounds). The winning team averaged 7 strokes over par per player per round! Sounds about how I thought it would be to play a course this tough if it was properly built to the distances of the equipment of the time!!
Even though the conditions here are only a little better than "good" and the course it a little on the small side - it still offers a high quality golfing experience.
Date: August 31, 2021