Detroit's Metro Airport is well served by some of the area's best golf courses
Business travelers are certain to have a layover at Detroit's Metro Airport eventually. There are numerous golf courses and driving ranges close enough that you can squeeze in a round without missing your connection, including Fox Hills, Eagle Crest and Taylor Meadows.
The Motor City's economy has seen more fruitful days. But, despite Detroit's weakening force in the auto industry, Metro Airport in Wayne County remains the country's 10th-busiest, and the world's 19th.
Along with Minneapolis, Metro serves as a major hub for Northwest Airlines, which serves many cities in North America, Europe and Asia. Once regarded by frequent fliers as one of the nation's worst airports, Metro's reputation has improved since the addition of the sleek new McNamara terminal in 2002. Interstate 94 is also riding smooth after the county rebuilt most of the stretch around the airport for the 2006 Super Bowl.
Detroit is a sprawling metropolis with not much of a city center anymore. As a result, just because a golf course is listed in the Detroit area doesn't mean it's close by. Oakland County's plentiful upscale courses north of the city are up to an hour away from the airport.
Rest assured, there are plenty of courses nearby ranging from bargain to upscale that will suit your golf itch if you have a quick layover. Here are the best options about 15-20 minutes away from Metro.
Fox Hills Golf Club - Fox Hills is a perfect fit for the air traveler who is on a tight schedule. You can spend as much or as little time and money here as you want. It is the Detroit area's "buffet of golf" - and just keeps getting better.
Pick your poison here: The signature Golden Fox, a modern Arthur Hills course, or the classic 27-hole course, which is shorter with small tricky greens but an imaginative course with great hole variety playing through woods, wetlands and hills.
An 18-hole executive course, the Strategic Fox, was most recently added by architect Ray Hearn. There is also a golf shop and practice facility.
Fox Hills is northwest of Metro. Take I-275 to M-14 West.
Eagle Crest Golf Club and Resort - Eagle Crest and the Marriott hotel are the closest thing to a "golf resort" you'll find around Metro Airport. The course plays around Ford Lake and is very scenic, especially on the signature 16th hole, which plays to an island green on the lake. The vista from the clubhouse and the course's higher holes is a beautiful one, and you'd never think the airport was just a few miles away. Despite its shorter length of 6,411 yards, the course can play very tricky, and water is in play on most holes.
The course received new management a few years back and is now playing in fine shape, especially after the addition of a dog to scare off the flocks of Canada geese. Another bonus: Greens fees have been slashed ($49-59).
The Marriott hotel is onsite and offers stay-and-play packages. Eagle Crest is also home to Eastern Michigan University's golf teams. It is about 10 miles west of I-94.
Taylor Meadows - You'll see this Arthur Hills design right off I-94. It's mostly flat but has vintage Hills moguls at every turn. It's an easier course and a good bargain that is wide open and plays just over 6,000 yards from the blue tees.
Taylor Meadows is about three miles east off I-94 on the Ecorse Road exit.
St. John's Golf Course - One of the area's classic clubs, St. John's recently got a makeover that included an extra nine holes and Carl's Golfland golf shop and practice facility. Carl's is the big-name golf superstore in Detroit, and if you are not looking to play a full round but would rather browse and test clubs, this is your place. A hotel and conference center opened prior to the Super Bowl, as well.
The golf course winds around the old St. John's Seminary and is short but has some of the best greens in the area, which is good considering its great value.
St. John's is located just west of the M-14/I-275 intersection at the Sheldon Road exit.
Northville Hills Golf Club - No need to drive to Oakland County for upscale golf. Northville Hills is a modern Arnold Palmer design that's been ranked among the state's top 20 in numerous publications.
Northville Hills is located across the street from St. John's on Sheldon Road.
May 29, 2007