Text: Greg Johnson
The busy summer has turned into a busy fall at The Mines Golf Course in Grand Rapids, as special rates for shorter days have already begun, such as the twilight rate starting mid-afternoon.
Golfers can play 18 holes with a cart for only $34, while nine holes is about $21 after 2:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday this fall.
“It has been a very busy summer; it’s been very good,” said Brad Steffen, PGA head golf professional and general manager at The Mines. “The weather had been kind to us, and right now I think people realize the season is short, so they are still coming out.”
The Mines is an 18-hole award-winning Mike DeVries design just five minutes from downtown. It plays to par-70 at 6,590 yards with four tee positions up to 4,730 yards. The fairways are bluegrass and the greens bent. Kris Schumaker serves as the superintendent for the course.
Steffen, who is in his fourth year at The Mines and third as head golf professional, said the course has matured in its 13th season and plays as DeVries designed it.
“Everything has filled in and the greens are even better than last year,” Steffen said.
The challenge comes in the green settings, due to angles, undulations, elevation changes and bunkering.
“Chipping is really important to the elevated greens,” Steffen said. “You don’t want to miss the hole on the wrong side. It can be difficult then.”
The course is built 150 feet above gypsum mines that were utilized as early as the 1860s, and thus the name. Features of the mines and the mining process were used in the construction of the course, and the water used to irrigate the course is pumped directly from the mines. The Mines also partners with local hotels and other courses for stay-and-play packages.