YPSILANTI – Eagle Crest Golf Course, the home course of the Eastern Michigan University women’s and men’s golf teams, has been named one of the top 25 best college golf courses in the country in the annual Golf Advisor list compiled from ratings by golfers who’ve played the respective courses.
Golf Advisor bills itself as the ultimate destination for traveling golfers who love to play, travel and learn more about how the sport of golf can be experienced around the world.
The website features more than 825,000 reviews of 14,000-plus golf courses. Golf Advisor seeks to be a one-stop, customized experience for golfers of all levels to find honest recommendations from their peers – and to offer feedback of their own – about any golf course they play.
Course has undergone extensive improvements
The Golf Advisor list is determined analyzing the ratings and reviews submitted by members of our its reviewing community throughout the year. Reviews from trusted and active reviewers are weighted heavier than inactive members. The college courses must offer public access and have received at least one review in 2019 to be eligible for this year's list.
Eagle Crest was designed by international golf architect Karl Litten and opened in 1989. It is the home course for the EMU men’s and women’s golf teams and features four different sets of tees for various skill levels.
The course has undergone considerable improvement since the implementation of a master plan in 2012 that laid out the goal of becoming one of the premier resort golf courses in Michigan, said Wes Blevins, director of golf at Eagle Crest.
“For us to be recognized in this way says a lot,” Blevins said. “This is a great way to get noticed, and there are some terrific university courses on that list.”
The Eagle Crest clubhouse, named after former EMU Regent and longtime administrator Roy Wilbanks, sits on a bluff overlooking Ford Lake in Ypsilanti Township. The course features fast greens, striking lake vistas and a plenty of undulation.
Recent improvements at Eagle Crest have included tree removal for improved playability and visibility, new tee box complexes to lengthen holes, renovation of bunkers, and additions to greens along with improved customer service, Blevins said.
‘The hard work is really starting to pay off’
For the last three years, EMU has hosted Division I college women’s golf teams during the fall at the Shirley Spork Invitational, and plans are in the works to host a Division 1 men’s college invitational as well, Blevins said.
“(It’s rare) to have a university golf course like this on a body of water, with no homes (on the shore or bordering the course),” Blevins said. “That’s really what makes us special. This is a great thing for the University and the community. The planning and hard work is really starting to pay off.”
Reviewers cited a variety of factors in ranking Eagle Crest highly, including the lake views, fast and playable greens and the pro shop and grille.
“This is an underrated course in metro Detroit,” one review said. “It’s a great layout, with lots of water, stunning views, challenging greens, and it’s always in great shape. One thing I often overlook is the staff. Course workers, rangers, the pro shop and bar staff – everybody is really friendly and keeps things moving along.”
Some serious undulations and very playable greens
Another reviewer noted that if you plan to walk, you’ll get some good exercise.
“Overall, (it’s a) very fun and challenging layout,” the reviewer said. “Be prepared for some rigorous terrain. You'll have several hills to climb, and some decent space between green and tee. The greens are in particularly excellent shape … some of the truest greens I've played in recent memory. There is also a fantastic driving range, practice putting greens, and practice chipping area. I spent a good amount of time chipping/putting around after my round because the facility was just outstanding.”
One reviewer offered a particularly honest personal assessment while praising the course: “Nice fairways (when I hit them),” the reviewer wrote.
For more information on the course and clubhouse, see the Eagle Crest Golf Course website.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.