Sanctuary Lake Golf Course

Golfers are in high spirits as Sanctuary Lake Golf Course tees off its third full season of play on Troy’s Scottish Links-style course that’s proving a terrific use for an old landfill at 1450 E. South Boulevard.

You start your journey at the top of the highest peak that provides a stellar view of beautiful rolling hills, bent grass fairways and heather designed by Douglas Treadwell. Troy Golf LLC moved over a million cubic yards of dirt that didn’t just cover the 200-acre landfill, it created an interesting shot-maker’s layout with rolling fairways and small but undulating greens that put the accent on a good short game.

Area golfers used to tackling Troy’s wonderful, more traditional Sylvan Glen Golf Course on Rochester Road will notice an incredible contrast between the two layouts. Sylvan Glen’s 1922 design is a more traditional, parkland-style course with narrow, tree-lined fairways and thicker rough. Sanctuary Lake is pretty wide open off the tees, but goes from fairway to “deep heather” in a hurry for those who miss the generous target areas.

The smartest decision one can make at Sanctuary Lake comes before taking the first driver out of the bag. The attentive, professional staff will be glad to recommend the best tees to play to fit your game. The par-71 layout only measures 6554-yards from the tips (though it can be lengthened for tournament play), but even the 6123-yard blue tees carry a stout rating and slope of 69.6/127. Five of the par-4s still measure over 400 yards from the blues, one of them the very first hole, which will provide the answer to your second question—is that the Troy skyline I see? And beyond that (on a clear day) the Renaissance Center? Yes. The first tee might indeed be the highest point in Troy, providing dramatic views of the entire course and much of the surrounding countryside and inspiration for a great day of play.

There is remarkable variety in the layout as well. Two of the four par-5s are reachable in two. The five par-3s are MUCH more challenging than you’d expect at a public course, and the two shortest par-4s might be the course’s most intriguing holes. Number 14 is just 338 yards from the blue tees, but with Sanctuary Lake running down the entire left side and trees right, it is considered the second toughest hole on the course. And
forget trying to drive the under-290-yard 17th. Why try to knock it over a sizeable ravine to a tiny green surrounded by heather when you can set up a birdie with a smart middle iron and a wedge?

Sanctuary Lake features an excellent practice and instructional facility including a putting green, short game area and driving range with target greens and room for 70 players at a time. Some of the smart ones are taking advantage of the teaching of Paul Toski and his staff of the Sanctuary Lake Golf Academy, who offer group and individual lessons and have the latest video swing analysis technology at their disposal, but still prefer the personal touch.

Within the clubhouse is the Grill at Sanctuary Lake. Adjacent to the clubhouse is a pavilion large enough to accommodate the full-fledged 144-player outings that are finding a friendly home at Sanctuary Lake. For more information on an inspiring experience for one, or 144, call (248) 619-7600 or visit www.ci.troy.mi.us/ParksRec/SanctuaryLake.

 

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