Marquette Golf Club (Greywalls)
MI, USA pg. III

12th hole, 490 yards: After his senses were bombarded with bunkers from the 11th tee, the golfer now almost feels lost on the 12th tee, as the gently rolling fairway is a full 50 yards wide, with no bunkersorrock to be found from the tee. Yet, this first look of a “normal” golf hole and the length of the hole can often fool the player into swinging from his heels. (Confession: In six rounds the author has three times driven into a clump of trees on the left.) This hole begins a stretch that was built entirely on sand and whose parallel fairways (12, 13, 14 and 16) offer a welcomed intimacy after the more isoltaed holes of the first nine.

The relatively open 12th green encourages a bold swing with the long approach. The bunker in front is very much in play after a missed tee shot (or into a strong wind).

13th hole, 560 yards: Perhaps the favorite hole of DeVries, the 13th demands three good shots to make five. The hole iscapped with the wild green, which offers a near-horizon target for the approach and a wide variety of recovery shots and putts. The front-left bunker rewards a second shot down the right side, close to the drop-off to the 14th hole, and the expanse to the left of the green fools players into missing the green there, leaving an extremely difficult recovery.

The long 13th, with bunkers to be avoided with every stroke.

14th hole, 450 yards: With the green angled from right to left and starting off at fairway level but then dropping off left, right and behind, the approach to the fourteenth is the author’s favorite shot on the course. While the green itself is fairly straightforward, its edges slope off just enough to make finding this green with the second shot quite an accomplishment. On the short list of best bunkerless holes.

The approach to the 14th features the wetlands on the left and the elusive, angled green.

As seen from short and right, the 14th green is set at an angle, falling away on all sides beyond the front.

15th hole, 240 yards: After four holes away from the rocks, the 15th brings back the feature in a big way, with the hillside of rock just paces to the right of and beyond the green.

With punishment for a miss long or to either side, the 15th fortunately offers plenty of room short of the green.

16th hole, 370 yards: On this dog-leg to the right, the player is tempted to cut off some of the rocky hillside to the right with a driver to leave a pitch to this firm green, but the wetland on the left and the left to right angle of the fairway beyond the 240-yard mark require the player who selects driver to remain committed to the bold line, as a last-minute bail out to the left will result in trouble. The green appears to be an homage to a Donald Ross one: square in shape with raised side and back and a trough up the spine.

The square, Ross-like 16th green with its central swale as seen from the back-right.

17th hole, 135 yards: This should be simple enough: a short-iron over level ground to the largest green (almost 10,000 square feet)on the course. The catch, of course, is the green, which is angled and features some of the fiercest undulations on the course. From the nearby 11th tee the wise player will survey the hole location on the seventeenth and start thinking about his play there.

From the tee it seems unimaginable to miss the huge 17th green . . .

. . . but this view from behind shows how making a 3 is not merely a case of finding the green off the tee. DeVries was thrilled to find this swale left and behind the green in the trees and made it a key feature in the hole.

18th hole, 535 yards: An intriguing hole that has surprisingly become the most criticized (or perhaps least understood) hole at Marquette, the eighteenth has the elements of a memorable finishing hole: A view of Lake Superior from the tee, strategy with the tee shot, an interesting green and the opportunity to walk away feeling good about golf and life in general. What’s there not to like? The downhill tee shot to a cascading fairway does narrow at the 310 yard mark to 22 yards (similar to a fairway at the U.S. Open), but the fairway plays much wider as the slopes on either side funnel the ball toward the center. From there the player has a long-or middle-iron to a green that is, gasp, wide open. The huge green, though, is far from defenseless, as there is a knob smack in its center that makes it important to leave the second shot on the same side as that day’s hole location (e.g., if the hole is on the left, then it is better to miss the green left than to find the right side of the green). The hole is labeled a par 5, and players will often leave with a 4; is it such a bad thing for players to finish their round on an upbeat note? There are certainly other top courses (e.g., the Old Course at St. Andrews, North Berwick, Kapalua (Plantation)) that finish on “easy” holes, yet they are never criticized. This hole also provides a good example of why “par” is meaningless; if the hole were labeled a par 4, people would praise the open green that invites a bold second.

From the 18th tee, the green is just visible through the saddle straight ahead; that is also the line for the fairway neck.

The 18th faiwary, from 280 yards out from the green. Both sides of the fairway and rough help funnel a slightly misdirected tee shot toward the center. The narrowest part of the fairway (at the bottom of the hill) is 220 yards from the green.

From behind the 18th: The green seems like a pool of water at the base of a cascading waterfall.

Greywalls is a throwback to the days of courses such as Cape Breton Highlands that take the player on a tour of a dramatic property, with an occasional hike thrown in, and hammer home the notion that golf is an outdoor sport.

From behind the 6th green: A typical view of Marquette, with its rugged setting and a natural hole featuring a thoughtful green.

The End