Press Release Summary = Make the short journey to Pilgrim\'s Run north of Grand Rapids. Michigan golf course reviews at MichiganGolf.com
Press Release Body = By Brandon Tucker, Staff Writer, Golf Publisher Syndications
PIERSON, Mich. (April 20, 2007) - In an unassuming location north of Grand Rapids, built by six unknown designers, lies an unlikely pick for the area\'s finest round of golf.
But Pilgrim\'s Run Golf Club, about 30 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids in Pierson may be just that, rivaling other upscale golf courses in the area: Thousand Oaks, Boulder Creek and Thornapple Point. But if you\'re talking strictly golf and value, this place trumps all three.
One of the more remarkable things about Pilgrim\'s Run\'s success is how it was built.
Owner\'s Robert and Judy Van Kampen entrusted six of their employees from their company in Grand Haven to build three holes each, under the supervision of Kris Shumaker, who helped route the course. Designer Mike Devries helped out with the green complexes. Numbers were pulled from a hat, and each worked with the design pros to on their three holes. But there were rules to the design.
\"We wanted to keep it \'traditional\' golf,\" O\'Malley said. \"The design from each was kept within certain parameters and decisions were made by committee.\"
The result is a golf course that\'s unique in design and flows well between holes. The original nine opened in 1997, while the back nine was delayed a year thanks to a powerful summer storm that wiped out more than 400 trees - 100 of them on the future 13th alone. The team, who claim head-butting amongst them was minimal also had the benefit of working with 400-plus acres dedicated solely to the golf course.
You never hear the word \'fore,\'\" O\'Malley said.
Par 3s must not have been popular with the six amateur designers since there\'s only three on Pilgrim\'s Run, making it a par 73. The course starts out with a par 5, something done intentionally to help the course\'s pace of play.
The second hole, named \"Difficulty\" looks tougher than it is. A pond lies left, but any shot hit right will kick down towards onto the green. There\'s a good mix of short and long par 4s, and the back nine has three par 4s longer than 430 yards.
The most talked about hole at Pilgrim\'s Run is the 18th, which is easily the most memorable hole on the course. It\'s the epitome of a risk-reward finisher: an elevated tee down to a fairway doglegging right around a pond to an elevated green. There\'s a huge bailout zone left, so water only comes into play if you want it to. Most want it to.
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April 20, 2007 Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.