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Go 'Back to School' at the University of Michigan Golf Course

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It's become a point of pride for colleges and universities all over the country.

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I'm not talking about where they rank in the annual listing of "Best Business Schools" or how many research grants their chemistry or zoology departments have earned in the past year.

I'm talking here about golf courses and the investments our institutes of higher learning have made in their on campus golf courses.

I haven't played all or even that many of these "on campus" courses, but it's hard to imagine there is a better tract than the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor.

I didn't know what to expect when arriving for an afternoon round at the Alister MacKenzie design on a warm summer afternoon.

Located in the shadow of "The Big House," the University of Michigan's massive football stadium, the U of M Golf Course brings to mind, dare I say it, Augusta National?

Well they are both MacKenzie designs, but the similarities don't stop there.

What I did find was a course in immaculate shape.

The greens were fast and true, the fairways were beautiful and fair.

The holes were tough for this 18+-handicapper, but I still found the day enjoyable.

The two holes that still stand out to me are the 6th, a short par-4 and of course, 18.

If you like roller coasters, you will love No. 6. You go from high when teeing off, to low for your second shot, and then up again to the green. A cool hole that you will want to play over and over again.

The 18th is a 436-yard par-4 that feels longer because it is tricked up a little. That's ok, it's a fun way to finish a round. You have to be at your best to par this one.

You can take a cart of walk this course. In fact, the day I was there, I saw more than a few golfers walking and experiencing this masterpiece.

A fun course and I'd love to go back.

The University also owns the Radrick Farms Golf Course in Ann Arbor, and while I didn't play this Pete Dye design, I hear good things about it.

The University of Michigan Golf Course is limited to play by students, alumni and University employees. If you know someone in Ann Arbor, chances are they have some affiliation with the university- so you can get on. The course also holds outings (there was one going on the day I was there) and the clubhouse is available for rent.

The course remains open as long as possible in the fall. Maybe late October or early November.

Something else to make note of, the course is used as a parking lot on football Saturdays, so no play on those days.

Particulars:

University of Michigan Golf Course

500 E. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 615-GOLF
umgolfcourse,umich,edu

Recent Awards:

2014 Golf Week's Best Courses You Can Play
2013 Golf Week's Best Campus Courses
2012 Golf Digest's Most Fun Courses to Play

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