There are some expected norms in sports. A football game has four quarters, a baseball game has nine innings and golf courses are laid out in 9 hole increments; 9, 18, 27, 36 and so on. Well... not always. Sometimes when the hood is up for a season as the course gets a major overhaul, you get a season where you have 9 holes on the back nine and just 6 holes on the front. Yes, it’s a little goofy, but be patient. These are necessary growing pains as one of the best municipal golf courses in the state gets some much needed, and highly anticipated, upgrades.
The course under construction is nestled right in the heart of the city, and in the heart of many of the locals that play it. Groesbeck Golf Course is "Classic Lansing". What brought about the need for this major construction? A lot of things.
"“This project will stand as a way to mitigate flooding in a way that also protects our drinking water, enhances fragile ecosystems, while allowing economic development to flourish,” said a January 2016 report published by Ingham County Drain Commissioner, Pat Lindemann. Simply put, the reconstruction of holes 6 and 7 is due to a drainage project that will prevent flooding in the community and also result in beautiful new ponds on the course. “The new ponds and wetlands will enhance the existing flora and fauna on the golf course and in Bancroft Park,” said former Golf Maintenance Supervisor, John Johnson, who retired in 2005. “I only see good things for Groesbeck if everything works out the way it has been promised. The proposed plans look great and I will be excited to see the finished project.”
The reconstruction has caused Groesbeck Golf Course to be a 16 hole course for the 2016 golf season, which could be cause for concern in terms of business, but patrons of the course seem to be unaffected. “I love Groesbeck because it was the first course where I learned to golf and I think it is a very beautiful course. It is my favorite in the Lansing area,” said Leslie resident, Julie Rosier. “I only golf 9 holes, so the fact there are only 16 open this summer doesn't bother me at all. Also, I know there are other courses in the area who don't have a standard number of holes.”
Groesbeck manager, Jason Crocker, said, “A few years ago, the back 9 actually went through the same type of reconstruction. As a result, the back 9 is now a customer favorite. I’m looking forward to a similar reaction next year when we open the new front 9.” Rosier agreed. “I’m sure the improvements will be well worth it for the following year,” she said. For those who want to golf all 16 holes walking, it will only be $1 a hole, or 16 holes for $16. Those who desire a cart can add one for $8.
Along with the reconstruction, additional tees are being added to each hole on the front nine to encompass senior, women's, men's and championship skill levels. “I was also glad to see that a very reputable golf course design company, Albanese and Lutzke, was involved in the process,” said Johnson. “I think it is going to be a very nice improvement to Groesbeck.”
While these changes will mix things up at Groesbeck for the 2016 golf season, it opens the door for a whole new experience for a long-standing and well-loved Greater Lansing community golf course for generations to come. Golf in Greater Lansing this summer and come play this great local course with its shortened front nine and take a peek at the construction in progress. It'll whet your appetite for a trip back soon.