I’ve played Lake Forest thousands of times and it’s been a real thrill to watch the course mature over the years from the early days. Much of the course is built on land, used for many years as a dairy farm. Dairy farming is very hard on the environment. It involves massive amounts of cow manure spread on the land, which then runs off, unfiltered, into surrounding drainage courses. The land was used to farm “cow corn”, with the soil being turned over constantly and eroding.
We built substantial ponds and wetlands and preserved all those that already existed, to make both cool hazards for golf but also to provide water and habitat for fish and animals. It’s amazing how many fish we have in our ponds and all the variety of nature and animals which have developed at the golf course. We greatly improved the area-wide drainage system with permanent turf and fescue and other grasses in place of constantly eroding topsoil and animal waste.
We did take some trees for fairways on the backside of the golf course, but we’ve planted many as well and for the most part preserved the entire large wetland and drainage courses which existed before the course was built.
It has been a decades’ long labor of love and we are terribly pleased and proud of how things have turned out. Among other things, Lake Forest is a member of the National Audubon Society bird environment preservation program, hosts all kinds of local charity events as well as serving as home course for Ann Arbor Pioneer & Skyline High School golf teams.
The back and front sides of the golf course are quite different, with the front having a more open links-style feel and the back, quite heavily wooded with tighter fairways. Players who have just seen the course from the road, are surprised about how much topographic variation there is. The course has five sets of tees, which bring the hazards into play for players of different skills levels. If you haven’t done so, it’s quite a different experience playing some of the holes from the back tees and we encourage you to give it a try.
Generally speaking, average handicap players are better off aiming left and away from the hazards on most holes at Lake Forest. Also, probably like most courses, most often there is somewhere to land the ball in front of the greens and conversely being long and/or wide invites trouble. Upon arrival, players will see the large pond which separates holes 9 and 18. A creek runs from a decent-sized pond in front of 15 tee all the way through 16, 17 and 18 fairways, to another pond which separates 9 and 18 a second creek runs from the wetlands adjacent to number 12 and 13, into the main pond. Another wetland comes into play on number 5.