I was in the area and looking to play a round of golf and my friends and I decided on Hemlock Golf Club since it was given pretty decent ratings. While I won't disagree on it being one of the more affordable public golf courses around, somehow I did not feel like my experience was worth the green fees I paid.
When I played there, the fairways and greens definitely did not appear well maintained. There were divots everywhere and way too many waterlogged areas. Waterlogged areas were large and in abundance, such that they were as good as water hazards. Just imagine, you hit a nice ball which lands in the middle of a massive puddle on a waterlogged fairway. Also, as others have mentioned, there are no rakes in the bunkers.
If not for these major issues, the course would've been pretty enjoyable.
I would give it 3.5 stars, but 4 will suffice. The quality of the golf course is not in question at all. It's a wonderful course, difficult holes, fast greens, tight fairways, the works.
1. There are no rakes for the sand traps. Wtf? If you aren't the first person in that bunker you could end up with some seriously interesting lies for a trap shot.
2. The worst rental clubs I've ever had at a golf course. Generally you get last years' demo models from a major brand or similar. These were Wal-Mart level clubs. They provided me with a driver, 3-wood, hybrid, and 6-sw and putter. Seriously? No 4 or 5 iron?
Other than that, the service was great, pace was good, and the scores were high. This place could be a premier golfing destination in Michigan if a couple of small things changed for the better. It really is a wonderfully difficult course.
If you're in the area, definitely stop at Hemlock. Not that expensive, greens are well kept, and it's a very scenic, interesting design. Easily one of my favorites in the Ludington - Manistee area.
Here's a full review, with pictures: danperry.com/wordpress/h…