By Mike Jamison
Golfers who leave the game often site three main reasons for giving it up – money, time and the general difficulty of the game.
One golf course in Centreville, Michigan, is doing something about those issues.
Island Hills Golf Club recently introduced “Quik Courses” to its customers in southern Michigan.
It offers seven different layouts within an 18-hole “footprint.” Because of that unique concept, Island Hills Golf Club, headed by its President and COO Andy Mears, is the ING Featured Member of the Week.
Designed by Raymond Hearn, ASGCA, and owned by Bob Griffioen, a local industrialist and fanatical lover of golf, Island Hills has a loop consisting of 12 holes, two loops of seven holes each, one of five holes, and a mini-18 playing about 3,000 yards, all within its’ traditional full 18-hole and two nine-hole iterations.
All holes have six sets of tees. The resulting flexibility is appreciated by patrons of disparate golfing abilities and helps fill non-peak tee times.
While it’s a site-specific approach, the concept is adaptable to other parcels of land. Other user-friendly amenities include free use of high-quality clubs (from Adams) to juniors and, later, to anyone who needs them.
“The Quik Course concept has been well received by our golfers,” said Mears. “We’ve seen an increase in families playing golf together utilizing the short courses. And our regular 18-holers have also used the quik courses to get in a few extra holes.”
Each of the quik course layouts has its own scorecard, and there is special signage around the golf course to direct golfers on the quik courses to their next tee, often on special, nature-laden paths.
Pricing for the short courses is based on the number of holes, but is considerably below the 18-hole price, which is still a bargain.
The Island Hills layout is a masterpiece by Hearn. There is ample landing area on most holes. The large, rolling greens provide the course’s main defense.
Just off the 18th green at Island Hills are three beautiful cottages – a pair of four bedrooms and a five-bedroom. They are perfect for small groups or families who would like to make a weekend of the great golf and dining at Island Hills.
For more information, visit www.islandhillsgolf.com.