By Kathy DeMott
South County is home to four golf courses open to the public, sharing similarities but each unique. All provide an escape, 18 holes to master a skill and an invitation to experience the outdoors alone or with friends.
In 2020, with COVID-19 in full swing, golf was one of the few sporting activities people could still enjoy with mandated regulations. Golf season is open, the courses and clubhouses have updates and are ready for patrons.
The States Golf Course at 20 East W. Avenue in Vicksburg is the oldest public golf course in Kalamazoo County still in operation. It opened in 1927 but has been privately owned by the Jasiak family for 39 years. It is a family-friendly course with its easy-to-medium course and large greens which are easy to walk with minimal hills. It has added additional outdoor seating and a new pergola to provide shade.
Co-owner Eric Jasiak said it is geared toward the local community and offers open play – no scheduled tee times. It is a first-come first-serve course, except for scheduled league play. States Golf also hosts the Schoolcraft and Vicksburg JV men’s and women’s golf teams. It is hoping to have more golf outings as permitted. Those will be posted on its Facebook page.
Angel’s Crossing Golf Club is set on 350 acres of rolling greens and is owned by the Village of Vicksburg. General manager and golf pro Dave Mocini said there have been improvements on the course, including some of the bunkers. The course offers some of the largest greens in the area and offers a challenge to average golfers and pros alike. He hopes that people will say that for the price Angel’s Crossing is a good value and will draw golfers locally and outside the Kalamazoo area.
A new fleet of electric golf carts with GPS and instant read on distances on the greens will enhance the golfer experience. The technology can show a picture of the hole, post the number of yards to the green and update the break points. There is a driving range and the Pro Shop is stocked with golf essentials. Golf lessons are available as well. The restaurant will open once there is adequate staffing.
The Olde Mill Golf Course at 6101 W. XY Avenue in Schoolcraft was built in 1958 by the Stiver family. The course’s new owner, Dean Marks, has invested in improving the course over the past year. According to Bob Bales, general manager, golf pro and president of the Michigan PGA, “Our goal is to make Olde Mill Golf a premier local golf course.”
The clubhouse has had some recent renovations to accommodate three new state-of-the-art golf simulators with settings such as a driving range and putting, and able to provide a report of progress while using them. They also feature other games for family fun. They can be scheduled in one-hour blocks. The old dance floor was repurposed as walls and part of the bar which is now open seven days a week. The Grille @ Olde Mill is known for its pizza which is the recipe from the Old Crooked Lake Market in Texas Corners. “The Grille offers one of the only options in Schoolcraft for a sit-down meal with an adult beverage,” Bales said. “We are open year-round to serve the community.” The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Olde Mill supports Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association and the PGA Jr. Leagues as well as hosting Schoolcraft’s varsity golf teams.
Indian Run Golf Club, located five minutes off Sprinkle Road in Scotts was established in 1967 near Indian Lake. Managing Partner Matt Van Acker said the course is fun for golfers of all abilities. “Our goal is to provide quality conditions while keeping prices affordable for our customers.” The recently upgraded practice facility includes a driving range with 10 targets, practice sand trap, a short game area and practice green.
The golf course blends well with the vibe of the community and complements the camaraderie of the clubhouse as a whole. General Manager Mark Bush, Bar Manager Gina Kusz along with Chef Michael Hill have created a menu and special atmosphere in the bar and restaurant. Diners enjoy scratch soups, homemade bread, tortillas, pizza dough, and chef specials Monday through Saturday, with a limited menu on Sundays. Wednesdays With Reza and Gina is a tribute to The Beacon Club with signature cocktails and Sinatra music.
Recent renovations in the clubhouse bar, restaurant and banquet hall make it a great spot for outings and dining both inside and out.
With golf season in full swing, there are plenty of local options for courses, dining, recreation, and family fun. Each course has a website but the Facebook pages list regular updates and activities.
By Kathy DeMott