Pilgrim’s Run welcomes players from dawn to dusk

Pilgrim’s Run welcomes players from dawn to dusk

Text: Greg Johnson

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club in Pierson, which is located about 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is now in its 21st season and for most of those years, the club has offered Couples Twilight and Parent-Junior Twilight golf specials. 

The rate begins after 6:00 p.m. for couples or a parent and their junior golfer, and allows them to play nine holes with a cart for $27, or for $13.50 each. 

“Through the years it has been a great offer, and it just keeps building,” said Jeff O’Malley, head golf professional at Pilgrim’s Run. “We’ve had the Couples Twilight since day one here and the Parent-Junior Twilight for about 15 years as a way to get some younger players out. It works.”

O’Malley also said the great thing about Michigan summers is the extra daylight.

“You can play until 10:00 [p.m.], so it is easy for people to work in dinner either before or after playing,” O’Malley said. “It’s popular on Friday and Saturday nights, and people use them every night. We’ve noticed some couples come out where one is a beginner and they love it, because they are not rushed and it is so peaceful here.”

The award-winning course, designed by Traverse-City-Architect Mike DeVries with Kris Shumaker, is kept in great playing shape by Superintendent Kenneth Hunt. It’s a modern design with traditional looks and classic green settings.

“The course has matured, the trees are taller and we keep things trimmed back so the course can be played the way it was designed,” O’Malley said. 

“Pilgrim’s Run has become something bigger and better than I think any of us thought it would be. It’s a great design and people who golf here tell me all the time they really enjoy the peacefulness they find. Each hole is different; there are no homes; no traffic. All you here is a few wild turkeys gobbling and you get away from the hustle and bustle,” O’Malley added. 

Online tee times are available around the clock and one of their recent awards from an online vote was being selected as the golf facility in Michigan with the friendliest staff.

“We were honored by that,” O’Malley said. “I love it here. We have good people, great people to work for, a great facility. I’ve been able to take my hobby and make it my job, so come out and join us, even at Twilight.”

O’Malley said the spring has been wet, but the course has weathered well because of its sand base.

“We’re ready for you,” O’Malley said. “It has rained a lot. Like somebody said the other day, it has only rained twice: The first one lasted 70 days, and the second one 20 days.”

Photography by Nile Young Photography