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Geoffrey_Walsh

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Lake Huron
« on: September 09, 2023, 03:27:33 PM »
Was looking at a map of Michigan and the thought hit me why arent there any well known courses overlooking Lake Huron on the eastern shore of the state?

Brett Meyer

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2023, 04:45:58 PM »
For the most part, neither the coastline nor the land on the east side of the state is that interesting. The coastline is fairly straight without any high cliffs. The land is flatter and the soil is heavier.

This isn't true everywhere though--if you happen to be traveling up the east side of the state, Red Hawk in East Tawas is on a very nice piece of land and worth a play. So is the original faux links, the Gailes in Oscoda. But the latter kind of drives home the point. It's very flat and all the land around it is dull. But it's made by good shaping on and around the greens.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2023, 11:05:52 PM »
Another question is why are there so few golf courses in Ontario along the Great Lakes.  The province has hundreds of miles of coastline on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior and there are only a handful of courses along the lakes.  Which is surprising as you would think that the Scots building courses in the late 19th century or so would have been familiar with courses close to the shore, albeit the linksland of Scotland is different than the land along freshwater lakes.
A few that are include Toronto Hunt (9 holes), Burlington and Cobble Beach.

Kyle Harris

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2023, 01:41:06 PM »
Thankfully, not everyone sees miles and miles of natural pristine coastal dunes and thinks to make it only useful and enjoyable for a small subset of the population.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Anthony Gholz

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2023, 04:31:01 PM »
Geoffrey:


Thanks for bringing up the topic.  As one who grew up in Port Huron, I'd like to take a shot at this.


Many people have missed the "Lake Huron Cove."  Yes it's a real geological thing.  It's an ancient cove, or bay of Lake Huron.  It starts approximately the bottom of the lake where it enters the St Clair river on its way to Lake St Clair, the Detroit Rive, and Lake Erie.  It moves from there northwest thru Lakeside Cemetery and on until it curves back to Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park.  It's the actual reason for the park as the former lake bottom sand ridges become exposed and create a wonderful beach and picnic area for summer campers.


Ahhh golf you say ...


One hundred and thirteen years ago the founders of Port Huron Golf Club, doubling as the city fathers, were looking for a site for their club which was being developed for in town housing.  The lake front beaches of the day attracted summer visitors from St Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and of course Detroit.  Several hotels and cottages lined the beachfront.  As the west edge of the Lake Huron Cove traveled north of Lakeside and Mt Hope Cemeteries it created a rolling expanse of sand ridges just a block west away from the lake and the visitors.  The club bought approximately 150 acres and retained the midwest Spalding representative from Chicago, Tom Bendelow, to design a 9-hole course over the ridges.  It was pretty much an around the perimeter and then back and forth layout.  It opened in 1912.  eight years later the club need an 18-0hole course. 


One of the beach front cottage owners was John Sweeney.  Besides being active in many Detroit area sports clubs and a member of the Country Club of Detroit, John later became a member of the USGA's Executive Committee.  He was a founder of the CCD and in 1911 retained Harry Colt o design their course.  After WWI Colt didn't travel overseas and sent his new partner Charles Hugh Alison to America to set up the North American headquarters in Detroit.  Before Alison came ov er Sweeney had made a deal for him to revise several holes at the CCD.  In 1920 Sweeney got together with the local club leaders and suggest that they hire C&A (Alison) to lay out their new course.  Sweeney was a member of the local club and could get then a "deal."


When Alison got off the boat (or train, in Detroit Sweeney sent him up to PH to layout the new course.  On his was to Port Huron, viewing the flat featureless farm land out his train window, Alison must have wondered what he had gotten himself into.  However, when he transferred to the local trolley in Port Huron to make the final couple miles up the beach the lake bottom sand ridges must have brightened his outlook.  Alison laid out the course on that trip, the land was cleared over the winter, and he came back in March of 1921 to layout the course features and design the greens.  The club still has eight original Alison drawings from that March trip.  In 1922 fourteen new Alison holes joined four of Bendelow's remains holes for the new 18-hole course.   One the 1920s Alison and his American partner L E lavish made several improvements and relocated three of Bendelow's remains four greens.  Their last effort was in October 1928.


Anthony

« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 04:38:55 PM by Anthony Gholz »

JLahrman

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2023, 04:49:42 PM »
If we're talking specifically Michigan, in addition to the land not being as interesting, the other fact of the matter is that the eastern part of the state is not as heavily populated as West Michigan once you get north of Detroit:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Michigan#/media/File:Michigan-2020-population-density.png

Flint/Saginaw/Bay City (at the fleshy part of the thumb where it meets the index finger, yes Michigan is a mitten) is well populated but the Thumb itself as well as the eastern part of Northern Michigan are not as well populated as the western side of the state along Lake Michigan. There are a decent number of courses - my father-in-law and his wife live in the (windy and flat) Thumb and play tons of golf at a couple of courses nearby - but between the less interesting land and the rural population there certainly aren't as many noteworthy courses.

Mike Schott

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2023, 09:10:50 PM »
Yep. The east side of the state is far more rural and less interesting that the Lake Michigan coast. In fact, once you exit to US-23 from I-75 it's flat and boring with few towns and not much of interest to tourists. When your major cities are Tawas, Oscoda and Alpena, there's not much reason to invest in golf courses. The Sunrise side is best thought of as sleepy and more affordable.

Ian Andrew

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2023, 10:49:56 PM »
Another question is why are there so few golf courses in Ontario along the Great Lakes.  The province has hundreds of miles of coastline on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior and there are only a handful of courses along the lakes.  Which is surprising as you would think that the Scots building courses in the late 19th century or so would have been familiar with courses close to the shore, albeit the linksland of Scotland is different than the land along freshwater lakes.
A few that are include Toronto Hunt (9 holes), Burlington and Cobble Beach.
There were at least four on Lake Ontario in the Toronto area and two of those were on the Scarborough bluffs. I have pictures of those at home. There were a number on Lake Erie too and there still is a few. Most of the missing courses became housing.

But not many ever on Lake Huron because its a very cold lake late in the spring. The prevailing wind is across the lake. Would be a tough environment to produce a turf. I can think of a couple, but they're small clubs squeezed by development. Lack of people is another reason.

Most of our lakeside golf is on the major lakes in cottage country. That was more our thing.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 10:58:03 PM by Ian Andrew »
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Brett Hochstein

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2023, 10:04:13 AM »
Geoffrey:


Thanks for bringing up the topic.  As one who grew up in Port Huron, I'd like to take a shot at this.


Many people have missed the "Lake Huron Cove."  Yes it's a real geological thing.  It's an ancient cove, or bay of Lake Huron.  It starts approximately the bottom of the lake where it enters the St Clair river on its way to Lake St Clair, the Detroit Rive, and Lake Erie.  It moves from there northwest thru Lakeside Cemetery and on until it curves back to Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park.  It's the actual reason for the park as the former lake bottom sand ridges become exposed and create a wonderful beach and picnic area for summer campers.


Ahhh golf you say ...


One hundred and thirteen years ago the founders of Port Huron Golf Club, doubling as the city fathers, were looking for a site for their club which was being developed for in town housing.  The lake front beaches of the day attracted summer visitors from St Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and of course Detroit.  Several hotels and cottages lined the beachfront.  As the west edge of the Lake Huron Cove traveled north of Lakeside and Mt Hope Cemeteries it created a rolling expanse of sand ridges just a block west away from the lake and the visitors.  The club bought approximately 150 acres and retained the midwest Spalding representative from Chicago, Tom Bendelow, to design a 9-hole course over the ridges.  It was pretty much an around the perimeter and then back and forth layout.  It opened in 1912.  eight years later the club need an 18-0hole course. 


One of the beach front cottage owners was John Sweeney.  Besides being active in many Detroit area sports clubs and a member of the Country Club of Detroit, John later became a member of the USGA's Executive Committee.  He was a founder of the CCD and in 1911 retained Harry Colt o design their course.  After WWI Colt didn't travel overseas and sent his new partner Charles Hugh Alison to America to set up the North American headquarters in Detroit.  Before Alison came ov er Sweeney had made a deal for him to revise several holes at the CCD.  In 1920 Sweeney got together with the local club leaders and suggest that they hire C&A (Alison) to lay out their new course.  Sweeney was a member of the local club and could get then a "deal."


When Alison got off the boat (or train, in Detroit Sweeney sent him up to PH to layout the new course.  On his was to Port Huron, viewing the flat featureless farm land out his train window, Alison must have wondered what he had gotten himself into.  However, when he transferred to the local trolley in Port Huron to make the final couple miles up the beach the lake bottom sand ridges must have brightened his outlook.  Alison laid out the course on that trip, the land was cleared over the winter, and he came back in March of 1921 to layout the course features and design the greens.  The club still has eight original Alison drawings from that March trip.  In 1922 fourteen new Alison holes joined four of Bendelow's remains holes for the new 18-hole course.   One the 1920s Alison and his American partner L E lavish made several improvements and relocated three of Bendelow's remains four greens.  Their last effort was in October 1928.


Anthony


Fascinating tidbit of geology here, and makes me want to see Port Huron GC now. 


I've always noticed these coastal phenomena around the lower, eastern Great Lakes, both from flights and getting lost looking at Google Maps/Earth.  Some day I will make time to get back and explore them closer up.
"From now on, ask yourself, after every round, if you have more energy than before you began.  'Tis much more important than the score, Michael, much more important than the score."     --John Stark - 'To the Linksland'

http://www.hochsteindesign.com

Paul Stephenson

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Re: Lake Huron
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2023, 02:04:38 PM »
Another question is why are there so few golf courses in Ontario along the Great Lakes.  The province has hundreds of miles of coastline on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior and there are only a handful of courses along the lakes.  Which is surprising as you would think that the Scots building courses in the late 19th century or so would have been familiar with courses close to the shore, albeit the linksland of Scotland is different than the land along freshwater lakes.
A few that are include Toronto Hunt (9 holes), Burlington and Cobble Beach.


Port Hope just completed building some holes along Lake Ontario.

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