West at Whiteford Valley Golf Club
|White (W)||72||5734 yards||71.8||117|
|Red (W)||72||5098 yards||68.3||108|
|Blue M: 69.7/120||364||389||360||347||185||413||496||337||354||3245||415||482||334||207||332||342||338||351||330||3131||6376|
|White M: 67.0/115 W: 72.0/121||349||332||312||331||166||344||479||321||338||2972||402||467||320||167||319||330||327||342||281||2955||5927|
|Gold M: 66.1/111||292||315||304||285||139||330||393||274||268||2600||320||380||284||156||284||304||308||331||243||2610||5210|
|Red W: 68.4/113||287||271||269||275||119||298||385||268||262||2434||307||372||278||143||278||292||267||290||228||2455||4889|
Food & BeverageBar, Snacks
Members cut in front of us on first tee- some country billhillies were lost out there- literally on wrong holes
What I expected
Whiteford Valley was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be, which was nice. I booked the first tee time of the day and was the first in the massive parking lot. Yes, it's not perfect and could use some work, but it's not horrible like others make it out to be... much like the course itself. The course reminds me a little of my old home course I played in Indiana. Middle of farm country, gently rolling terrain. A creek running throughout along with some ponds. Enough trees to offer shape and definition. There's a lot to unpack here, so bear with.
As I always do when I play a course the first time, I read the reviews on Golfnow, knowing the actual experience will likely be down the middle. My goal in doing my own review is always to be fair and balanced from the perspective of a 9.5 index golfer that has been playing for 50 years... started when I was 8, and I'm 60 now.
First, to dispel some of the obvious biases in reviews I read. For one, if you don't know the difference between Southwest Michigan, where the course is located, and Northwest Ohio, you probably shouldn't be playing golf here. Your sense of direction isn't going to be able to handle three separate intertwined courses that Whiteford Valley offers. I played the West Red 18 layout, which is the first thing I'll mention about the course itself.
The three courses do intermix. However, I was really really impressed by the way it's marked. The signs directing you are clear and correct. You just have to pay attention. I noted early on that they designated the courses as Red, Yellow and Blue. To correspond, the ball washers and pin flags match the color of the course you're playing. That is a subtle but ingenuous indicator key. The signage is also color coordinated. I had no trouble navigating my way around the layout. The other thing I was impressed with was the distance markers embedded in the fairways. They were not only easily visible down the middle, they have more than a normal course, marking every 25 yards instead of 50. While I use a laser, it was nice to have that extra visual so readily available.
The West Red course is unusual. A par 72, it has only 1 par 3 and par 5 per nine. I played the back blue tees, as the course is not long by any means, coming in at just under 6400 yards. The par 3s are both long at over 180 playing from there, but the par 5s are both under 500. It made for a different round, but didn't distract from the experience. Unlike a few reviewers mention, there are not severe elevation changes. There are gentle slopes, and a couple of hills. Nothing dramatic.
The greens are on the small to medium sized range. A bit spongy, the receive approach shots very well. Ball marks will be left, so for goodness sake be a courteous golfer and have your divot repair tool in your pocket. They putted fantastic. Smooth, with readable breaks. I knew I was in for a fun round when I made a fifteen foot birdie putt on the first hole. The fairways are plenty wide, green, and well maintained. This isn't a country club or resort course. They aren't lush and pristine. There's clover in them in places, but you can hit and take a divot, and feel the ball at impact. My approaches from the fairways were predictable... I had no trouble judging distance based on the lie. I look for consistency in that regard, and got it.
The tees were okay. Not the best, but far from the worst. What I did like was there were several holes where you have to negotiate trees on your drive. The landing areas are more than fair, but you have to start the ball on the right path or you'll find trouble. 4, 7, 9, 11 and 18 come to mind. It wasn't a difficult course for me because of it being short. I shot 81, and had 4 penalty strokes. Didn't see the pond on 2, pulled a drive into the woods on 17, and had unplayable lies under trees on 4 and 11. But the greens were so good I avoided 3 putting.
I read a review about doglegs, and not being able to see the green on shots. That's s silly comment point. Hit it where you're supposed to, and any course is to be managed accordingly. If you don't you'll have to hit recovery shots or take an unplayable like I did.
Pace of play wasn't a factor being first off and playing alone. I finished in 2 hours and 15 minutes. But I noticed 4 groups lined up on to go off the first tee when I putted out on 18. That's a recipe for a slow day. Hard to say for sure.
Lastly, the staff. The gentleman in the clubhouse was great. Told me I'd been paired with another single through Golfnow, but said I could head off on my own. He had no problem at all with me booking a time through the service, unlike several reviews I read. Truth be told, I never would have played here if it wasn't for Golfnow. I would hope they understand they'll gain traffic by using it. I'll go back knowing if I have a weekend morning free and can get a early tee time. Otherwise I'll play closer to home. The 4 grounds crew staff I encountered on the course were friendly and polite. The only negative was the older cart guy at the end of the round. He was mad I didn't drive the cart to him. I stated there were no signs pointing me in that direction, and I'd asked the man inside at the start if I needed to return the key. He was miffed about that... and very rude about it. I won't let him distract from what was an overall positive experience, but if he were the first person I met instead of the last, I might not have that same feeling.
For the money, it was a fun course and worth another go. But I'll probably play a different course next time to see the difference.
Course in great shape
Course in great shape and greens were good. Rough had a lot of dandelions but that’s the only thing negative.
Staff was friendly and excellent and cart girl Maddie was fabulous
Fun in the rain
After being ruined twice during this holiday weekend, (9 hole for 3 hours, ouch!) I finally found a course gave me a chance to play a complete round with good pace.
Tee time at 9:20 AM, and finished hole 18 at 12:30 PM, I couldn’t be more happy, especially the course is maintained in a very good shape.
The temperature is great from playing golf, and a little bit of rain on and off made the game a little bit more challenging, since I don’t normally get a chance to play in the rain, and finally could bring out my raining gloves to play golf!
If it’s gonna rain again tomorrow, I probably will book a tee time again.
Course conditions had to do with the heavy rain, lots of flooded areas, greens were very nice.
Front desk guy doesn't like Golf Now, and if he finds out you used it will treat you like stole from them.
Cart guy was a nice dude.
Course was difficult to navigate. Not too detailed on how to move from hole to hole, especially since courses run up against each other.
Couldn't finish the 2nd hole, the ground crew wouldn't quit mowing, or move far enough away to hit a ball, I'm not on the tour, I wouldn't be anywhere near the green.
Left some to be desired.
Much improved as season progressed.
I played early in spring and the course is in much better shape now
Greens in best shape I've ever seen here
We played the North course and it was in excellent shape. From tee to green.