Donald Ross-designed course in Michigan sold, likely to be developed

Another Donald Ross-designed golf course appears to be on the brink of closing for good after being sold to a development company, reports Matt Vande Bundte of MLive.

The Highlands Golf Course, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., was sold to developers Third Coast Development, who according to MLive is one of the most active developers in west Michigan, an area that has experienced a healthy boom in recent years. It doesn't help matters that golf in Michigan remains very saturated, and this part of the state is chock full of courses, and area real estate is doing quite well.

From the article:

The Highlands for eight years in the late 1980s and early 1990s hosted a Senior PGA Tour event in which some of the sport's biggest stars participated. Originally known as the Greater Grand Rapids Open, the tournament later moved to Egypt Valley Country Club and continued through 2004. The 108-year-old course designed by architect Donald Ross, who also designed Muskegon Country Club locally and nationally-renowned courses including Oakland Hills and Pinehurst, was owned by The Elks until 2011 when it was sold to Steve Scheuerman. Scheuerman was not immediately available to comment on the sale Monday.

The course hasn't fared particularly well ratings-wise on Golf Advisor. In 2016, there have been a handful of one-star reviews. This 3-star review from back in May appears to most fairly sum up the state of the course in 2016:

I'm a fan of Donald Ross courses in general. The first time i played the course it was private and in phenominal condition from top to bottom. The course had hosted several PGA Tour events and was fun to attend. It has drastically deteriorated over the last several years. Not well maintained by any stretch of the imagination. It's sad to see perfection turned to unkept and weeds taking over. Even the old hole markers have been downgraded to the cheaply done. All I can do these days when I play is shake my head and think Donald Ross would be disappointed with the place. The underlying former great course is still there but needs some SERIOUS attention to detail. I would start with the greens and get them back to nice shape and work my way back from there. With a good location there is no doubt it will get plenty of play. But gone are the days i first remember of a nice Elks Lodge golf course and social hangout.

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From March of 2005 until January of 2017, Mark Nessmith directed the TravelGolf Network's team from the company's European office in the Czech capital of Prague. Prior to taking the reins as editor, he was a communications program manager with The PGA of America in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He also has served as managing editor for The Prague Post, the leading English-language newspaper of the Czech Republic. Follow Mark on Twitter at @marknessmith.
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Donald Ross-designed course in Michigan sold, likely to be developed