Stoatin Brae: Augusta, MI

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  • FrohlichFrohlich Members  599WRX Points: 106Posts: 599 Golden Tee
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    Thanks for sharing the pictures and review. Looks like you had a perfect golf day weather wise. I will be playing there in late June on the way home from playing northern Michigan. Looking forward to it!!!!
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  • chickenpotpiechickenpotpie #TeamJetSpeed Members  8538WRX Points: 151Handicap: 5.5Posts: 8,538 Titanium Tees
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    Just booked tee times for my fall golf group. Looking forward to it!
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  • HackerDaveHackerDave Members  1440WRX Points: 139Handicap: 13.5Posts: 1,440 Platinum Tees
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    Happy to hear good things. Our crew will be there in late July.
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Played this course again today in the wind from the tips...totally different experience. The first few times I played it there was barely any wind, but today it was gusting hard and made the course a lot more challenging.



    I learned today that they aren't planning on finishing the cart paths. They might pave Hole 1 and 2, but that's it. Kinda disappointed to hear that the course is basically in it's finally form. It's still really rough out there. I had to take a couple drops in the middle of the fairway due to washed out areas. Doesn't seem like the course drains well in certain places. Many of the fairways are lacking grass, hopefully it grows in soon.



    The greens are what saves the course. They are great and quite challenging. I've said it before, but I'm still surprised they didn't make this course longer. Seems a little short to attract serious tournament play.
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  • cassel191919cassel191919 Members  208WRX Points: 64Posts: 208 Fairways
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Played this course again today in the wind from the tips...totally different experience. The first few times I played it there was barely any wind, but today it was gusting hard and made the course a lot more challenging.



    I learned today that they aren't planning on finishing the cart paths. They might pave Hole 1 and 2, but that's it. Kinda disappointed to hear that the course is basically in it's finally form. It's still really rough out there. I had to take a couple drops in the middle of the fairway due to washed out areas. Doesn't seem like the course drains well in certain places. Many of the fairways are lacking grass, hopefully it grows in soon.



    The greens are what saves the course. They are great and quite challenging. I've said it before, but I'm still surprised they didn't make this course longer. Seems a little short to attract serious tournament play.




    It is a resort course, why would they want tournament play?
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Played this course again today in the wind from the tips...totally different experience. The first few times I played it there was barely any wind, but today it was gusting hard and made the course a lot more challenging.



    I learned today that they aren't planning on finishing the cart paths. They might pave Hole 1 and 2, but that's it. Kinda disappointed to hear that the course is basically in it's finally form. It's still really rough out there. I had to take a couple drops in the middle of the fairway due to washed out areas. Doesn't seem like the course drains well in certain places. Many of the fairways are lacking grass, hopefully it grows in soon.



    The greens are what saves the course. They are great and quite challenging. I've said it before, but I'm still surprised they didn't make this course longer. Seems a little short to attract serious tournament play.




    It is a resort course, why would they want tournament play?




    You tell me...Bedford Valley is part of their resort and hosted tons of tournaments, including the Michigan Open. Stonehedge gets regular collegiate play as well. Kinda seems like they enjoy being a resort that's occasionally hosts tournaments, doesn't it?
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  • FrohlichFrohlich Members  599WRX Points: 106Posts: 599 Golden Tee
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    kalamazoo wrote:


    Played this course again today in the wind from the tips...totally different experience. The first few times I played it there was barely any wind, but today it was gusting hard and made the course a lot more challenging.



    I learned today that they aren't planning on finishing the cart paths. They might pave Hole 1 and 2, but that's it. Kinda disappointed to hear that the course is basically in it's finally form. It's still really rough out there. I had to take a couple drops in the middle of the fairway due to washed out areas. Doesn't seem like the course drains well in certain places. Many of the fairways are lacking grass, hopefully it grows in soon.



    The greens are what saves the course. They are great and quite challenging. I've said it before, but I'm still surprised they didn't make this course longer. Seems a little short to attract serious tournament play.




    Suppose to play Stoatin Brae next Thursday on our way home from a northern Michigan golf trip. Your comment on fairways needing grass concerns me. Wonder if it makes more sense to play Pilgrims Run or something else on the drive home?
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Frohlich wrote:

    kalamazoo wrote:


    Played this course again today in the wind from the tips...totally different experience. The first few times I played it there was barely any wind, but today it was gusting hard and made the course a lot more challenging.



    I learned today that they aren't planning on finishing the cart paths. They might pave Hole 1 and 2, but that's it. Kinda disappointed to hear that the course is basically in it's finally form. It's still really rough out there. I had to take a couple drops in the middle of the fairway due to washed out areas. Doesn't seem like the course drains well in certain places. Many of the fairways are lacking grass, hopefully it grows in soon.



    The greens are what saves the course. They are great and quite challenging. I've said it before, but I'm still surprised they didn't make this course longer. Seems a little short to attract serious tournament play.




    Suppose to play Stoatin Brae next Thursday on our way home from a northern Michigan golf trip. Your comment on fairways needing grass concerns me. Wonder if it makes more sense to play Pilgrims Run or something else on the drive home?




    Don't want to give you the wrong impression, the fairways definitely have grass...there are just some holes that are in worse shape than others, where the dirt-to-grass ratio is questionable. You can definitely play the golf course. Wasn't trying to scare anyone away, the course is a great new addition to the area...I was just surprised how rough it is considering they are charging $100 a round.
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  • snowdayzsnowdayz Members  109WRX Points: 3Handicap: 8Posts: 109 Bunkers
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    Great thread!



    I played Stoatin Brae during their 12 hole opening last year and really enjoyed it, sure it was a little rough around the edges but you could see what they were trying to do. Looking forward to going out there sometime soon and playing all 18



    As for Thornapple, yes they have been sold. The name I keep hearing from various people around the area is that Kevin Van Dam (sp) the famous fisherman bought the property. After the season is done he plans of building some houses around where the 16th hole is and letting the course just go, I mean just letting it all grow naturally from there.



    I liked the course and it will be very sad for the area to lose it but I can understand what was all involved in this decision. No doubt I'll make it a point to get out there a couple of more times this year just to soak in.



    Yes the Drug running stories are true about the course and how it came to be. My Aunt's brother was one of the guys heavily wrapped up in that whole ordeal and was in the big federal indictment that came out of it. The local story is, they had the best conditioned course in the area because the grounds crew worked 24 hours a day : P lol
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    snowdayz wrote:


    Great thread!



    I played Stoatin Brae during their 12 hole opening last year and really enjoyed it, sure it was a little rough around the edges but you could see what they were trying to do. Looking forward to going out there sometime soon and playing all 18



    As for Thornapple, yes they have been sold. The name I keep hearing from various people around the area is that Kevin Van Dam (sp) the famous fisherman bought the property. After the season is done he plans of building some houses around where the 16th hole is and letting the course just go, I mean just letting it all grow naturally from there.



    I liked the course and it will be very sad for the area to lose it but I can understand what was all involved in this decision. No doubt I'll make it a point to get out there a couple of more times this year just to soak in.



    Yes the Drug running stories are true about the course and how it came to be. My Aunt's brother was one of the guys heavily wrapped up in that whole ordeal and was in the big federal indictment that came out of it. The local story is, they had the best conditioned course in the area because the grounds crew worked 24 hours a day : P lol




    I believe it's the VanDam from VanDam & Krusinga purchasing Thornapple, not Kevin VanDam. I could be mistaken.
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  • snowdayzsnowdayz Members  109WRX Points: 3Handicap: 8Posts: 109 Bunkers
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    kalamazoo wrote:

    snowdayz wrote:


    Great thread!



    I played Stoatin Brae during their 12 hole opening last year and really enjoyed it, sure it was a little rough around the edges but you could see what they were trying to do. Looking forward to going out there sometime soon and playing all 18



    As for Thornapple, yes they have been sold. The name I keep hearing from various people around the area is that Kevin Van Dam (sp) the famous fisherman bought the property. After the season is done he plans of building some houses around where the 16th hole is and letting the course just go, I mean just letting it all grow naturally from there.



    I liked the course and it will be very sad for the area to lose it but I can understand what was all involved in this decision. No doubt I'll make it a point to get out there a couple of more times this year just to soak in.



    Yes the Drug running stories are true about the course and how it came to be. My Aunt's brother was one of the guys heavily wrapped up in that whole ordeal and was in the big federal indictment that came out of it. The local story is, they had the best conditioned course in the area because the grounds crew worked 24 hours a day : P lol




    I believe it's the VanDam from VanDam & Krusinga purchasing Thornapple, not Kevin VanDam. I could be mistaken.




    Hey Bro,



    I thought the same thing too about VanDam and Krusinga but I keep hearing the thing about the fish guy : P from various people over and over, guess he owns several of the properties around and bordering it already. So this was a natural fit as you could say.
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  • mattsammattsam New Orleans/Benton HarborMembers  1713WRX Points: 126Handicap: 3.2Posts: 1,713 Platinum Tees
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    Looking to play over 4th of July vacation with a buddy, anyone else want to play with us? Probably a Monday mid morning round
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  • knickerbockerknickerbocker Pipe Dreamer Members  3411WRX Points: 179Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,411 Titanium Tees
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    mattsam wrote:


    Looking to play over 4th of July vacation with a buddy, anyone else want to play with us? Probably a Monday mid morning round




    We will be up north or else I would join.
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  • mattsammattsam New Orleans/Benton HarborMembers  1713WRX Points: 126Handicap: 3.2Posts: 1,713 Platinum Tees
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    mattsam wrote:


    Looking to play over 4th of July vacation with a buddy, anyone else want to play with us? Probably a Monday mid morning round




    We will be up north or else I would join.




    One day we will get together. Got two open spots at 9:50 am on Monday July 3rd $76 a man.
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  • knickerbockerknickerbocker Pipe Dreamer Members  3411WRX Points: 179Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,411 Titanium Tees
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    I am playing there next Wednesday. I will provide an update.
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    mattsam wrote:

    mattsam wrote:


    Looking to play over 4th of July vacation with a buddy, anyone else want to play with us? Probably a Monday mid morning round




    We will be up north or else I would join.




    One day we will get together. Got two open spots at 9:50 am on Monday July 3rd $76 a man.




    Maaaay take one of those spots. I'll PM you soon if I can.
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  • mattsammattsam New Orleans/Benton HarborMembers  1713WRX Points: 126Handicap: 3.2Posts: 1,713 Platinum Tees
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    kalamazoo wrote:
    mattsam wrote:

    mattsam wrote:


    Looking to play over 4th of July vacation with a buddy, anyone else want to play with us? Probably a Monday mid morning round




    We will be up north or else I would join.




    One day we will get together. Got two open spots at 9:50 am on Monday July 3rd $76 a man.




    Maaaay take one of those spots. I'll PM you soon if I can.




    I just booked two at that time from their website. Feel free to book on that same time.
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  • knickerbockerknickerbocker Pipe Dreamer Members  3411WRX Points: 179Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,411 Titanium Tees
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    I played Stoatin Brae yesterday, so I thought I would provide my thoughts.



    I had the chance to play the 12 hole preview last year in the fall and I was excited about the course. It felt different and the holes that I played (1-3 and 10 -18) felt varied and had some really good Par 3s. At the same time, when I first played it, there was something about the course that bothered me, but I wasn't sure how to describe it. After playing it yesterday and seeing how the course has changed, I have a pretty strong opinion on Stoatin Brae.



    I can put aside the lack of driving range and putting green and the fact the cart paths are complete crap at this point. I can even put aside a few areas of no/patchy grass. But there is a much bigger issue with the course in my opinion and it can be summed up in one word: "schizophrenic"



    The course designers and owners are not really sure what they want this course to be. They have set it up to look and feel like a Links style course - first and fast. But the subtle nature of the course designs do not allow for it to be played that way.



    You start on a short Par 4 where you can't see the green as it is down the hill. I hit a nice drive 30 yards off the front of the green. I approached my second shot like a Links style course and landed the ball 10 yard short and it bounded on and rolled 10 feet away. That is the way the course should play. However, that style of play is only available on a couple holes.



    One the second hole, a long par 3, I again tried to land a 5 iron just short and let it roll on. It landed short and landed soft and stayed in the fringe. My playing partner's ball hit the front of the green and went all the way to the back. When I got up to my ball, I saw why my ball had stayed short. The grass in front of the greens is green, lush and long and the ground is soft - most likely due to water runoff from the green. Then I started to see this on every hole - because most of the greens at SB are either slightly built up from the fairway or has significantly elevated approaches. This creates water run off that keeps the front of the greens soft and lush and the actual greens firm. On down-wind shots on some holes, you have very little chance to hit a green - Hit it short and it stays short. Hit it on the green and it's over.



    The overall design of the course offers solid par 3s, a couple fun short par 4s, one beast of a par 4. The par 5s are lackluster which is especially disappointing considering you end with Par 5s on 16 and 18. There is no signature hole that stands out in my mind.



    Overall condition of the course still remains rough except for the greens,



    I know GLV wanted to create a destination course. They gave it a good shot, but I won't be spending $100 to play there unless they can figure out how to condition the course to make it playable. I might spend $50 or $60.
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  • Bluefan75Bluefan75 Members  4089WRX Points: 358Posts: 4,089 Titanium Tees
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    It amazes me to no end how many people are desperate to put out a "links-style" course, yet never give any thought to that most basic of links golf attributes, which is playing along the ground.
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  • O.D.underparO.D.underpar Members  519WRX Points: 103Posts: 519 Golden Tee
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    Bluefan75 wrote:


    It amazes me to no end how many people are desperate to put out a "links-style" course, yet never give any thought to that most basic of links golf attributes, which is playing along the ground.




    First off, I haven't played Stoatin Brae yet so take this with a grain of salt. I think Tom Doak knows how to design a links course so I think that either the superintendent is messing up or there are other reasons to the way it is playing right now. Maybe they are overwatering the greens and fairways because they are new and want them to grow in before they try to firm things up.
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  • geochitowngeochitown Members  2138WRX Points: 299Handicap: 14Posts: 2,138 Platinum Tees
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    I agree with the above statement, even if Tom's associates at Renaissance Design designed the course.



    Hopefully, it will get sorted out.



    Did you ask the people at the course about it?
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  • knickerbockerknickerbocker Pipe Dreamer Members  3411WRX Points: 179Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,411 Titanium Tees
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    Maybe they are overwatering the greens and fairways because they are new and want them to grow in before they try to firm things up.




    That is my hope.
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    I played Stoatin Brae yesterday, so I thought I would provide my thoughts.



    I had the chance to play the 12 hole preview last year in the fall and I was excited about the course. It felt different and the holes that I played (1-3 and 10 -18) felt varied and had some really good Par 3s. At the same time, when I first played it, there was something about the course that bothered me, but I wasn't sure how to describe it. After playing it yesterday and seeing how the course has changed, I have a pretty strong opinion on Stoatin Brae.



    I can put aside the lack of driving range and putting green and the fact the cart paths are complete crap at this point. I can even put aside a few areas of no/patchy grass. But there is a much bigger issue with the course in my opinion and it can be summed up in one word: "schizophrenic"



    The course designers and owners are not really sure what they want this course to be. They have set it up to look and feel like a Links style course - first and fast. But the subtle nature of the course designs do not allow for it to be played that way.



    You start on a short Par 4 where you can't see the green as it is down the hill. I hit a nice drive 30 yards off the front of the green. I approached my second shot like a Links style course and landed the ball 10 yard short and it bounded on and rolled 10 feet away. That is the way the course should play. However, that style of play is only available on a couple holes.



    One the second hole, a long par 3, I again tried to land a 5 iron just short and let it roll on. It landed short and landed soft and stayed in the fringe. My playing partner's ball hit the front of the green and went all the way to the back. When I got up to my ball, I saw why my ball had stayed short. The grass in front of the greens is green, lush and long and the ground is soft - most likely due to water runoff from the green. Then I started to see this on every hole - because most of the greens at SB are either slightly built up from the fairway or has significantly elevated approaches. This creates water run off that keeps the front of the greens soft and lush and the actual greens firm. On down-wind shots on some holes, you have very little chance to hit a green - Hit it short and it stays short. Hit it on the green and it's over.



    The overall design of the course offers solid par 3s, a couple fun short par 4s, one beast of a par 4. The par 5s are lackluster which is especially disappointing considering you end with Par 5s on 16 and 18. There is no signature hole that stands out in my mind.



    Overall condition of the course still remains rough except for the greens,



    I know GLV wanted to create a destination course. They gave it a good shot, but I won't be spending $100 to play there unless they can figure out how to condition the course to make it playable. I might spend $50 or $60.




    Really glad I'm not the only one feeling that way about the course. Like I said before, the only thing "linksish" about it is the lack of trees and the heather. Other than that is plays like Bedford Valley.
    Posted:
  • PuttCurseRepeatPuttCurseRepeat It's a ball mark repair tool. Use it! Members  913WRX Points: 148Posts: 913 Golden Tee
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    "Links" conditions are rare to non-existent in the Midwest. That's why I was impressed with, and happy to have played, a small handful of courses this year which I believe come close to a links experience (though I have no experience playing a true links course). Earlier this month I played Lawsonia and Sand Valley, in WI. Both played firm and fast. It was difficult to find a ball mark on the greens, particularly at Lawsonia. There was a distinct lack of rain in the area for 2 weeks prior to playing, though.



    In April I played The Hermitage in Nashville and that course was crisp under foot and played firm and fast as well. I have no idea how it plays this time of year, but it was a nice change of pace from the usual spring conditions in Chicagoland.



    The closest I've played to links conditions around Chicago is Chicago Highlands.. With a higher maintainence budget they are able to keep the course lush but firm, and with greens stimping 13+, even balls which just trickle onto the green keep rolling as if influenced by demonic possession.



    I'm not sure what the soil is like at Stoatin Brae, but as I understand it, lack of a sandy turf base will make it difficult to create links-like playing conditions.
    Posted:
  • mattsammattsam New Orleans/Benton HarborMembers  1713WRX Points: 126Handicap: 3.2Posts: 1,713 Platinum Tees
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    Any good breakfast places nearby?
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  • chickenpotpiechickenpotpie #TeamJetSpeed Members  8538WRX Points: 151Handicap: 5.5Posts: 8,538 Titanium Tees
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    mattsam wrote:


    Any good breakfast places nearby?




    Second this question! We are playing it late Sunday AM on our fall trip and need a recommendation for a breakfast place between south haven and stoatin brae.
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  • chrisbellairechrisbellaire Members  394WRX Points: 60Posts: 394 Greens
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    Breakfast:

    Kare's, as you drive into Richland.

    Liz's Parkview Cafe, right in downtown Richland.



    Neither one is much on decor or atmosphere, but the food is excellent and service is fast and efficient.
    Posted:
  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    mattsam wrote:


    Any good breakfast places nearby?




    Second this question! We are playing it late Sunday AM on our fall trip and need a recommendation for a breakfast place between south haven and stoatin brae.




    East Egg in Richland. Nuff said. Best Reuben I've ever had...and yes I order it for breakfast.
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  • mattsammattsam New Orleans/Benton HarborMembers  1713WRX Points: 126Handicap: 3.2Posts: 1,713 Platinum Tees
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    kalamazoo wrote:

    mattsam wrote:


    Any good breakfast places nearby?




    Second this question! We are playing it late Sunday AM on our fall trip and need a recommendation for a breakfast place between south haven and stoatin brae.




    East Egg in Richland. Nuff said. Best Reuben I've ever had...and yes I order it for breakfast.




    Will hit it up, coming from the south west how would recommend going to East Egg, right through town on 43?
    Posted:
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  • kalamazookalamazoo Members  524WRX Points: 95Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    mattsam wrote:

    kalamazoo wrote:

    mattsam wrote:


    Any good breakfast places nearby?




    Second this question! We are playing it late Sunday AM on our fall trip and need a recommendation for a breakfast place between south haven and stoatin brae.




    East Egg in Richland. Nuff said. Best Reuben I've ever had...and yes I order it for breakfast.




    Will hit it up, coming from the south west how would recommend going to East Egg, right through town on 43?




    Yeah, it's not that far out of the way. Nothing in Richland is out of the way 😂
    Posted:
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