Stoatin Brae: Augusta, MI

 kalamazoo ·  
kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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There's been some chatter about this course in the Yarrow thread but i though since its partially open now it probably deserves its own thread.



I played 12 holes there today as part of their "soft opening" and had a good time. Holes 1-3, and 10-18 were open for play. A few notes about the course:



- The views really are pretty cool (minus all the power lines). There's several holes where you can see the Federal Center in Battle Creek, so needless to say the course lives up to its name as a "grand hill." Think Arcadia, but instead of endless blue water there's endless tree tops.



- The course is short, with the occasional long par 4. I primarily hit long irons and 3 wood off the tee and it was plenty.



- The greens are large, but super slow. I'm sure they will firm up next season after they aerate.



- For being advertised as "links" style it's not very links-ish. The fairway was pretty shaggy and approach shots required no real creativity. Just aim and shoot golf.



- The halfway house looks awesome. It's called The Bunker and it's exactly that...a tricked out bunker in the side of a hill.



- The heather is more grown in than I expected, so if you hit a ball in there it's as good as gone. And with the price of EpiPens its best to stay out if you're allergic to bee stings.



- Many of the tee shots are blind, so course knowledge will probably be key. If the starter tells you to aim at the Power Tower on #12 please ignore him. You're better off aiming 50yrds to the right of the tower (I learned that the hard way after a beautiful drive into the heather).



- The 18th is a somewhat lackluster finishing hole, but it's a fairly long +530yrd par 5 with a tiered green. Make sure you hit to the right of the green on your approach, no matter where the pin is. If it's up top you're fine, if it's down low you'll likely funnel down the hill.



- The clubhouse is almost finished, no food or beverages yet but they do have their liquor license so I'm sure it's coming soon.



- Bring money to tip because they insist on bag service and club cleaning, unlike the other GLV courses.



In summary, if you're wondering whether or not the 12 hole preview is worth it....its tough to say because they haven't decided on the regular rate price. So the 12 hole preview might be a great deal, or it might not be. It's definitely still in rough shape, so if you like seeing the progression of building a new course then I'd check it out, but if you're looking to play a serious round of golf then you might want to wait. Although I bet the views will be gorgeous in a few more weeks when the leaves start to turn.



I did hear that they will make it an option to add on for members, which has me excited because I live right around the corner by Gull Lake. I'm not posting pics out of respect for the course, but hopefully this short review is useful to someone. Cheers!
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  • scrody17scrody17 Members  360WRX Points: 95Posts: 360 Greens
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    Is it $25 on GolfNow yet? image/rofl.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rofl:' />



    Thanks for the solid review!!
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  • FrohlichFrohlich Members  599WRX Points: 106Posts: 599 Golden Tee
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    Thanks for the early review. We skipped Gull lake trip this year because we really stayed at Yarrow and played 50% Yarrow and 50% the Stonehedge courses. Since Yarrow was our favorite of the rotation we didn't come this year but maybe try it next year to try Stoatin Brae. Will keep an eye out for further reviews as the course matures a bit.
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  • BEND OF THE RIVER GCBEND OF THE RIVER GC Charter Members  6562WRX Points: 66Posts: 6,562 Titanium Tees
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    I always wanted to play Yarrow, now I wish I would have!
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Update:



    Played Stoatin Brae a couple more times since my initial post, and things are coming along nicely out there. It's getting more and more "links-ish" as time passes. I was able to play more bump and run type shots since the fairways are being mowed a little shorter. Really looking forward to all 18 in the spring.
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  • autronicdsmautronicdsm Members  805WRX Points: 99Handicap: 999Posts: 805 Golden Tee
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    I played there once. It's a very nice course but it's definitely not for all skill levels as their site advertised it. Bring your A-game!
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  • scrody17scrody17 Members  360WRX Points: 95Posts: 360 Greens
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Update:



    Played Stoatin Brae a couple more times since my initial post, and things are coming along nicely out there. It's getting more and more "links-ish" as time passes. I was able to play more bump and run type shots since the fairways are being mowed a little shorter. Really looking forward to all 18 in the spring.




    Kalamazoo how are you getting out there that frequently? Or are you just paying to play it each time?
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    scrody17 wrote:

    kalamazoo wrote:


    Update:



    Played Stoatin Brae a couple more times since my initial post, and things are coming along nicely out there. It's getting more and more "links-ish" as time passes. I was able to play more bump and run type shots since the fairways are being mowed a little shorter. Really looking forward to all 18 in the spring.




    Kalamazoo how are you getting out there that frequently? Or are you just paying to play it each time?




    Well I live right down the road and hunt the land directly across the street, so needless to say it's been a popular and convenient choice for the locals. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
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  • scrody17scrody17 Members  360WRX Points: 95Posts: 360 Greens
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    kalamazoo wrote:

    scrody17 wrote:

    kalamazoo wrote:


    Update:



    Played Stoatin Brae a couple more times since my initial post, and things are coming along nicely out there. It's getting more and more "links-ish" as time passes. I was able to play more bump and run type shots since the fairways are being mowed a little shorter. Really looking forward to all 18 in the spring.




    Kalamazoo how are you getting out there that frequently? Or are you just paying to play it each time?




    Well I live right down the road and hunt the land directly across the street, so needless to say it's been a popular and convenient choice for the locals. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />




    And here I thought you had the hook up or something... image/superman.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':superman:' />
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  • knickerbockerknickerbocker Pipe Dreamer Members  3412WRX Points: 179Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,412 Titanium Tees
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    I finally got out to Statin Brae yesterday. If they can keep it firm and fast like it was yesterday, it is a very different style of golf.



    I like the mix of holes, even with a strange Par 5, Par 3, Par 5 finish. Some solid short par 4s on the back. Tough to make birdies because you can't throw darts. I really liked playing some different shots with imagination, but I found some of the approach shots needed to be flow in to the green with false fronts and such. The views are solid.



    I definitely will play there quite a bit in the future if the price is right. I see it as being a good $70 track. I think the going rate will be higher than that - so hopefully Golfnow and Holiday specials will be available like the other GLV courses.
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  • FrohlichFrohlich Members  599WRX Points: 106Posts: 599 Golden Tee
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    I finally got out to Statin Brae yesterday. If they can keep it firm and fast like it was yesterday, it is a very different style of golf.



    I like the mix of holes, even with a strange Par 5, Par 3, Par 5 finish. Some solid short par 4s on the back. Tough to make birdies because you can't throw darts. I really liked playing some different shots with imagination, but I found some of the approach shots needed to be flow in to the green with false fronts and such. The views are solid.



    I definitely will play there quite a bit in the future if the price is right. I see it as being a good $70 track. I think the going rate will be higher than that - so hopefully Golfnow and Holiday specials will be available like the other GLV courses.




    Thanks for the update. Really thinking I might have to make the drive up next year to spend a weekend there and also play the Stonehedge courses (I am not too crazy about the other courses at Gull lake but do enjoy both Stonehedge courses).
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  • EntourageLifeEntourageLife EntourageLife Members  1016WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,016 ClubWRX
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    Hey guys, how's Bedford Valley last few years? Have they renovated it? I played it years ago and liked it. Thanks
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  • smith851smith851 Members  375WRX Points: 37Handicap: 1Posts: 375 Greens
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    have a tee time Monday at Stoatin Brae... assuming as a Renaissance Design it is very walkable, confirmed?



    any idea on a walking rate?
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    smith851 wrote:


    have a tee time Monday at Stoatin Brae... assuming as a Renaissance Design it is very walkable, confirmed?



    any idea on a walking rate?




    I've only played 12 of the holes but I'd say it's very walkable. Not sure if there's a walking rate though.
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  • PuttCurseRepeatPuttCurseRepeat It's a ball mark repair tool. Use it! Members  913WRX Points: 148Posts: 913 Golden Tee
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    I'd really like to play there this summer, but at $100 a round, peak rate, it had better be outstanding.
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  • BG5BG5 Members  1164WRX Points: 132Posts: 1,164 Platinum Tees
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    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places
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  • smith851smith851 Members  375WRX Points: 37Handicap: 1Posts: 375 Greens
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    BG5 wrote:


    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places




    i booked online for $60... thats real disappointing, Renaissance always designs with walking in mind haha
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    smith851 wrote:

    BG5 wrote:


    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places




    i booked online for $60... thats real disappointing, Renaissance always designs with walking in mind haha




    I'm guessing the "no walking" thing is temporary, probably will end after the hype is over. All the GLV courses are walker friendly so I'm guessing Brae will be eventually too.
    Posted:
  • EntourageLifeEntourageLife EntourageLife Members  1016WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,016 ClubWRX
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    kalamazoo wrote:
    smith851 wrote:

    BG5 wrote:


    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places




    i booked online for $60... thats real disappointing, Renaissance always designs with walking in mind haha




    I'm guessing the "no walking" thing is temporary, probably will end after the hype is over. All the GLV courses are walker friendly so I'm guessing Brae will be eventually too.




    Hey Kalamazoo, is it true Thornapple is closing? Wow that's sad news...
    Posted:
  • scrody17scrody17 Members  360WRX Points: 95Posts: 360 Greens
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    kalamazoo wrote:
    smith851 wrote:

    BG5 wrote:


    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places




    i booked online for $60... thats real disappointing, Renaissance always designs with walking in mind haha




    I'm guessing the "no walking" thing is temporary, probably will end after the hype is over. All the GLV courses are walker friendly so I'm guessing Brae will be eventually too.




    Hey Kalamazoo, is it true Thornapple is closing? Wow that's sad news...




    It is. They will be open to November and then it will cease to be a golf course. Bummer for sure as who likes to lose another good golf course in the area!
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  • smith851smith851 Members  375WRX Points: 37Handicap: 1Posts: 375 Greens
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    wanted to take a minute to add some thoughts to my round today at Stoatin Brae



    Thought the piece of property and land was very impressive, highest point in battle creek area it seemed and you can see clear from one end of the course to the other. very impressive how the holes are shaped to the land and not vice versa.



    The green complexes were absolutely fantastic (#2 from behind below), all the greens i thought were pretty small in size. which became even smaller when you take into effect the complexes. even in early growth thou they played rather firm today but rolled so true.



    Posted:
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Go_Blue!Go_Blue! HAIL! Members  1641WRX Points: 170Posts: 1,641 Platinum Tees
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    smith851 wrote:


    wanted to take a minute to add some thoughts to my round today at Stroatin Brae



    Thought the piece of property and land was very impressive, highest point in battle creek area it seemed and you can see clear from one end of the course to the other. very impressive how the holes are shaped to the land and not vice versa.



    The green complexes were absolutely fantastic (#2 from behind below), all the greens i thought were pretty small in size. which became even smaller when you take into effect the complexes. even in early growth thou they played rather firm today but rolled so true.







    Great pics! I just got back from Gull Lake this wknd, but didn't play SB. Really looking forward to playing it soon. It sounds and looks like a fun round of golf.
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  • FrohlichFrohlich Members  599WRX Points: 106Posts: 599 Golden Tee
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    ^Thanks for the great review. I visited Gull Lake a couple of times but Yarrow was our favorite...shame it closed so we stopped going. Might have to hit this one up on the way back from Arcadia next month. Looks pretty nice and the reviews overall seem very favorable. We would play it on a Thursday so I am guessing the course would be wide open.
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Playing Stoatin Brae on Friday. Excited to finally see all 18 holes. Hoping the weather holds, but even if it doesn't, playing a links-style course in the cold rain seems fitting image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Will report back after the round.
    Posted:
  • autronicdsmautronicdsm Members  805WRX Points: 99Handicap: 999Posts: 805 Golden Tee
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    scrody17 wrote:


    kalamazoo wrote:
    smith851 wrote:

    BG5 wrote:


    Guys,



    Just checked the website but their online rates are pretty cheap. Weekday rates around $50 if you book online. I also called and asked about walking and was told they do not allow walkers image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Sometimes I wonder who trains the workers at these places




    i booked online for $60... thats real disappointing, Renaissance always designs with walking in mind haha




    I'm guessing the "no walking" thing is temporary, probably will end after the hype is over. All the GLV courses are walker friendly so I'm guessing Brae will be eventually too.




    Hey Kalamazoo, is it true Thornapple is closing? Wow that's sad news...




    It is. They will be open to November and then it will cease to be a golf course. Bummer for sure as who likes to lose another good golf course in the area!




    What's going on with Thornapple? Are they turning it into an expensive subdivision?
    Posted:
  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Nope, I heard it's going to be hunting ground for a local business man. And based on the deer I've seen out there over the years, it was a good purchase image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Sad to see it go, but business is business.
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  • Go_Blue!Go_Blue! HAIL! Members  1641WRX Points: 170Posts: 1,641 Platinum Tees
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Playing Stoatin Brae on Friday. Excited to finally see all 18 holes. Hoping the weather holds, but even if it doesn't, playing a links-style course in the cold rain seems fitting image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Will report back after the round.




    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Can't wait to get back out there to play it.
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  • EntourageLifeEntourageLife EntourageLife Members  1016WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,016 ClubWRX
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Nope, I heard it's going to be hunting ground for a local business man. And based on the deer I've seen out there over the years, it was a good purchase image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Sad to see it go, but business is business.




    So sad. So much history. Did you know the back-story on Thornapple? Was a massive drug front for owners during the cocaine cowboy 80's era. Back side of maintenance building was their operation. In/out, nobody was the wiser...
    Posted:
  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Played Stoatin Brae today, and my one word review is: Wait.



    Longer review:



    The course needs a LOT of work if they're going to continue charging $85-$120 per round. I was honesty a little surprised they are "officially" open. The course was a sloppy mess, and even had a backhoe parked in a fairway. The greens were in great shape, but the rest of the course needs some time to grow in.



    My favorite part was the par 3s. Really enjoyed all of them. The par 5s were quite unimpressive...straight, boring, and bunkers weren't really in play if you're decently long off the tee. For all the par 4s and 5s you had to hit the fairway because there's virtually no rough. It's either heather or fairway for most of the course, which is true for most "links" style courses. I say "links" in quotes because the course doesn't play like a true links course: there's a distinct difference between the greens and fairways, and no real opportunities for lengthy "Texas wedge" shots, which was kind of a bummer. They only thing "links-ish" about it was the false fronts and lack of trees. Regardless, it's a decent course...just needs time to mature.



    I'll definitely play it again, but will probably wait until the fall or next year.
    Posted:
  • Go_Blue!Go_Blue! HAIL! Members  1641WRX Points: 170Posts: 1,641 Platinum Tees
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Played Stoatin Brae today, and my one word review is: Wait.



    Longer review:



    The course needs a LOT of work if they're going to continue charging $85-$120 per round. I was honesty a little surprised they are "officially" open. The course was a sloppy mess, and even had a backhoe parked in a fairway. The greens were in great shape, but the rest of the course needs some time to grow in.



    My favorite part was the par 3s. Really enjoyed all of them. The par 5s were quite unimpressive...straight, boring, and bunkers weren't really in play if you're decently long off the tee. For all the par 4s and 5s you had to hit the fairway because there's virtually no rough. It's either heather or fairway for most of the course, which is true for most "links" style courses. I say "links" in quotes because the course doesn't play like a true links course: there's a distinct difference between the greens and fairways, and no real opportunities for lengthy "Texas wedge" shots, which was kind of a bummer. They only thing "links-ish" about it was the false fronts and lack of trees. Regardless, it's a decent course...just needs time to mature.



    I'll definitely play it again, but will probably wait until the fall or next year.




    Thanks! Extremely helpful. I will definitely be waiting to play. Will be interesting to see if that price tag sticks; seems pretty steep for that area.
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  • Timbo SliceTimbo Slice Members  84WRX Points: 26Handicap: 20Posts: 84 Fairways
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    I played Stoatin Brae today and was blown away. Yes the course needs to grow in, cart paths are still being formed, but when it does I feel this will be a top 5 Michigan course. When I took my cart around up to the first hole, I pretty much was in awe. I have not played anything huge up north, but I like Stoatin Brae better than Tullymore, Eagle Eye, and Angels Crossing, all top 25 courses. The greens are all ready in perfect condition in my opinion. Par 3's are so much fun, and nothing really bothered me that wasn't fully matured yet. I even saw a baby coyote on a green. Sweet halfway snack shop built right into ground called Bunkers. There is also a cooler and a ball washer attached to carts. Here's a couple pics that don't do justice. My pics are too big for so.e reason 😥
    Posted:
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