Fieldstone Golf Club Restoration is Complete - All 18 Are Open for Play

Hole No. 10 564-yeard, par 5 – Tight landing area, hazard down the right, 190-yard carry to clear the creek.For PGA professional Gordon Marmion who also doubles as the genial general manager of the Fieldstone Golf Club, the start of the 2010 season brought a combination of good and bad news.

The bad news is that play was affected during an unusually warm April and May as nine holes of the course remained closed while other area courses were filling their tee sheets with eager golfers getting out and shaking off the winter rust.

The good news, however, at the Arthur Hills designed Fieldstone course owned by the City of Auburn Hills, is that the closing allowed major remedial repairs on three holes that should solve chronic problems with flooding that would often close the course after heavy rains.

“If we had heavy rains like we’ve had recently I would be shut down for a week,” Marmion said during a tour of the flood plain property often bedeviled by overflow from the Galloway Creek which runs though it. The creek is part of the Clinton River Watershed.

The changes to the three holes will not only make course conditions playable in the wet, they will also affect strategy as seven new retention ponds were created and 70 trees were taken out to make room for them. Fairways were raised an average of three to four feet with some elevated areas elevated as high as six to eight feet. Bent grass sod was used to cover repaired areas and to speed up recovery to normal play.

As part of the improvements the creek was widened to tolerate a heavier flow of water. The other changes, all on the back nine, were made to the two long Par 5’s, the 564-yard 10th, the 563-yard 14th and the shortest hole on the course, the 326-yard par 4 16th.

Hole No. 7 – 582 yeard par 5 – Longest hole on the course. An accurate aproach shot is crucial here.

On the 10th hole two new retention ponds to collect waste water were installed and the section of fairway in front of the tees was raised. To make room for the ponds four large cotton wood trees were taken out opening up the landing area. “The ponds make the tee shot more demanding but does not affect the second shot,” Marmion said.

On the 14th a 180-yard section of fairway leading up to the green that would flood constantly was raised and two holding ponds, one on either side of the fairway were installed. The cart path that ran down the left side of the fairway was moved to the right side with a new bridge built over the creek. Another pond provides a new hazard left of the green.

The makeover on the 16th was widening the creek and raising the fairway.

Fieldstone which opened in 1998 is one of the tougher challenges in Metro Detroit as the championship course measures 7,002 yards from the tips and a slope rating of 147. Even from the mid-level 5,891 yards on the white tees, the slope rating is a healthy 133.

The club has hosted the qualifying for the now defunct Buick Open for the past decade, and has staged an average of 10 tournaments each year including six junior events.

Hole No. 9 414-yard par 4 – Requires accuracy and a draw to clear the long bunker on the right.“The pros love the course and now we are in position to have even bigger events since we couldn’t do three-day tournaments with the flooding problems,” Marmion said.

Fieldstone resembles a big northern Michigan resort course as it wanders over a flood plain of rolling meadow land covered with tall mature trees. There is enough elevation for uphill shots and elevated, undulated greens. The Galloway Creek and wetlands add variety to the landscape.

In the 12 years since it opened the course has matured beautifully and the maintenance and conditioning is as impeccable as that of a private club. Golfers also appreciate the large practice area that features 40 hitting stations, target greens, and a practice bunker and putting green.

An addition this season that is bound to be a hit with golfers is the Bob Krause Academy. Krause, the highly commended director of golf instruction runs his Academy at Fieldstone during the golf season and in the winters at the nearby Great Lakes Golf Center.

Fieldstone’s popularity is reflected in the 36,000 rounds recorded last year. The club accommodates leagues and outings as the comfortable circular bar in the airy Vista Grille and 2,000-square-foot patio are ideal venues for those events. 

The course is visible from northbound I-75 and is accessible at Exit 81.

Visit fieldstonegolfclub.com or call 248.370.9354


 

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