Text: Greg Johnson
A visit late last week near Lansing, Michigan revealed tree colors are starting to turn on the Eagle Eye and Hawk Hollow golf courses, which are the cornerstones of the Eagle Eye Golf & Banquet Center’s collection of championship golf and banquet centers.
Throughout the next few weeks it should peak and add a stunning backdrop to what is already one of Mid-Michigan’s top golf experiences. The purchase last fall of the nearby Timber Ridge golf course further strengthened the expansive offerings of the group to exploring golfers in Lansing, across the state and beyond its borders.
It added a tree-lined gem to the lineup that already included the original 27-hole Hawk Hollow; the 18-hole and highly regarded Eagle Eye; the unique 12-hole Woodside; the links-style, 9-hole layout called The Falcon; and The Little Hawk, a par-54 Bentgrass putting course that works for competitive, fun, or practice putting.
Terry Kildea, director of marketing for the properties, said stay-and-play has increased in the last year in part due to the addition of Timber Ridge.
“We have three hotels we work with that are within seven-minute drives and we even help groups get taken care of for meals at our properties or in local restaurants. It’s added a lot of great options for golfers and groups,” Kildea said.
“We’ve found some groups, who instead of maybe playing an extra nine after playing 18 with us during the day, will go over to Woodside and play our 12-hole course in a scramble or something. In effect, we really have multiple golf courses that are very, very nice places to play golf, and we’ve added a price point for leagues, outings with a great venue like Timber Ridge,” Kildea added.
Timber Ridge is located at 16339 Park Lake Road in East Lansing and is an original Jerry Matthews-design like Hawk Hollow’s layout, and yet significantly different. It is carved through a mature tree nursery that was planted in the 1940s and includes some dramatic, hilly terrain and natural marshland to navigate. It explodes with color in the fall and transports golfers to a scene more likely found in northern Michigan.
Hawk Hollow also includes some of those things as well, but is more parkland-style golf with less elevation changes. It offers a beautiful fall tour combined with playable great golf.
The properties offer an expansive amount of golf, including the highly regarded Jason Guss Golf Academy, multiple practice facilities, as well as dining options, and significant banquet and meeting venues.
The award-winning Eagle Eye features a replica of the famed “island green” at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Eagle Eye has been ranked as the No. 5 public course in Michigan and No. 53 in America by Golf Digest magazine. Hawk Hollow and Eagle Eye hosted the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for five years. Eagle Eye has hosted numerous U.S. Open Championship sectional qualifying tournaments and Hawk Hollow has been the venue for many competitive events, such as the qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Eagle Eye was also the host of the 105th Michigan Amateur Championship in 2016 and the Michigan State Junior Amateur Championship in 2017.
In January 2018, TripAdvisor named the collection of courses and destination as the 5th best, non-private facility in the country for stay-and-play golf getaways.
“We have offered exceptional value and unique golf for several years now,” Kildea said. “Timber Ridge has fit perfectly with that and really adds to that.”
The fall golf season lasts just a little longer in the middle of the Lower Peninsula, with rates for fall play and stay-and-play options beginning as of late September.
Photos courtesy Timber Ridge Golf Course