Text: R. Collins
An annual event celebrating the region’s true colors returns to a Michigan golf course.
West Michigan has much to offer in the way of dining and drinking experiences, as well as art scenes; but for many, the area’s fundamental quality lies in its natural beauty. The LYNX Golf Club in Otsego, Mich. takes full advantage of this feature during its annual Fall Color Tour. It is an October event providing an opportunity for guests to have the ideal golf outing with the chance to get closer to Michigan’s autumn scenery and a scenic dining experience.
For almost 10 years, Fall Color Tours at The LYNX—previously a Christmas tree farm property—have marked the introduction of the fall season and the changes is carries. Participants have the opportunity to meander through the rolling hills of the 18-hole course and a variety of Oak, Sugar Maple, and Blue Spruce trees blooming with fall hues. With six holes cozied up to the Kalamazoo River, guests are provided with a striking display of fall tranquility which Jim Szilagyi, owner at The LYNX, said can affect the mood of players year-round.
“Moving water has a calming effect on people, and you can see the water here flowing out toward Lake Michigan,” Szilagyi said.
Szilagyi, who assumed ownership of The LYNX in 2012, noted the course’s elevated “signature” 10th hole may be the most unique on the tour since it allows golfers to capture a panoramic view of the fall’s colors from the tees, atop the second highest altitude point in Allegan County. His personal favorite on the course lies in the 16th hole, flanked almost fully by lush pine trees that continue on toward the clubhouse.
The course measures more than 6,400 yards and features a variety of holes that do not run parallel to one another which, combined with the Kalamazoo River winding through the course, gives each a secluded feeling. The natural beauty of the course also holds its biggest obstacles since some fairways are only 20 yards from the river and are often buffered against it with bunkers and putting greens.
“From a playability standpoint, you want to avoid it, but from a scenic standpoint, the river is pretty powerful,” Szilagyi said.
Along with access to classic west Michigan beauty, the Color Tour provides guests with a complimentary golf cart to better enjoy the views, food samplings, access to fire pit warming stations, brew and wine tastings, and a voucher to the club’s grill which changes its menu seasonally to take advantage of Michigan’s best flavors. Like the 10th hole, the grill takes full advantage of its setting and overlooks the course’s rolling greens and foliage, straight into West Michigan’s colorful sunsets.
In 2018, Szilagyi and LYNX partners will work toward completing the Chapel in the Pines project, designed for hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions among the pine-surrounded 18th hole. New cart paths and tree maintenance will also play a part in keeping The LYNX a well-conditioned course with much to offer.
“I think we have one of the nicest pieces of property in southwest Michigan—certainly for a golf course. We have elevation changes; we have many woods . . . and we have the Kalamazoo River,” Szilagyi said. “If you add all those things up, there are not many golf courses that have that kind of serenity and scenery.”