Reader agrees that Hessel Ridge Golf Course has big problems

I recently shared a Letter to the Editor that appeared on MichiganGolf.com concerning Hessel Ridge Golf Course in Mackinac, Mich., with a longtime friend from Toledo and Hessel property owner. Like the first letter writer, we found both the grounds staff and the clubhouse personnel to be, at best, abrupt and rude. They were, in fact, doing us a favor by letting us play or at the very least, not very interested in our satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the course is a diamond in the rough and I do mean rough since the grounds superintendent obviously doesn't have a clue about maintaining a suburban backyard, let alone a golf course.

The last time we played at Hessel, in mid-summer 2003, they had virtually lost the greens and didn't mention their condition to us either at check-in nor when we called in advance for a tee time. I don't know of any responsible golf-course manager who would not inform a guest, in advance, of the condition of the greens such as top dressing or recent aeration, let alone the fact that 50 percent of the greens were virtually "gone." Needless to say, we have not been back.

Patrick Westendorf
Toledo, Ohio

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • hessel condition

    Bill wrote on: Aug 5, 2014

    I also agree that it is beyond time to take down the '03 negative post concerning the condition of the course. For the past 5 years the course has been in pristine condition and arguably the best greens in the UP and Northern Ontario. The staff including the Mrs. are extremely polite and offer help with a smile. Check it out!!

    Reply

    • RE: hessel condition

      two canucks wrote on: Sep 4, 2014

      couldn't agree more with the recent observation regarding course conditions..superb..best greens of the entire summer also large manicured tee boxes. ...a corse like this for $36 is a great deal.
      we will be returning.

      Reply

  • Hessel Ridge

    Doug wrote on: Aug 6, 2012

    Just returned from the UP and my first trip to Hessel Ridge. It's time to take down the seven year old post about the condition and etiquette of the staff. Yes, the staff could be friendlier, but they did answer my questions professionally. I don't understand (and this was one of my questions) how you don't have a course rating or slope. How do you record the score for handicapping reasons. I will certainly go back for the layout, not the pro shop banter or the clubhouse grill (doesn't exist)

    Reply

  • Hessel

    Mary wrote on: Sep 15, 2010

    My husband and I have played this course at least twice a year for the last 4 years and we absolutely love it. We have always found the staff to be very accomodating. We live 5 hours from Hessel but it is well worth the drive to play there. We even have a trip planned in 2 weeks for golf and the fall colors.

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  • Hessel

    Cathy wrote on: Sep 14, 2009

    Just played in weekend of Sept. 13/09. It is immaculate and incredibly beautiful. Great job!

    Reply

    • RE: Hessel

      Russ wrote on: Jul 14, 2010

      I just played Hessel Ridge golf course 5 times July 4th, 2010 thru July 11th, 2010. I have played this course many times in the last 6 years and I have to say this is the best shape I have ever seen it in. The greens are in good shape, even though they are slow, the fairways are in good shape, however the rough could use some work ( I guess that why it's rough) the newly added aprons in front of the greens are a nice touch too.
      The flower gardens and natural beauty the course provides is enough to keep me coming back each year, plus the price is right.

      Reply

    • RE: Hessel

      Russ wrote on: Jul 14, 2010

      I just played Hessel Ridge golf course 5 times July 4th, 2010 thru July 11th, 2010. I have played this course many times in the last 6 years and I have to say this is the best shape I have ever seen it in. The greens are in good shape, even though they are slow, the fairways are in good shape, however the rough could use some work ( I guess that why it's rough) the newly added aprons in front of the greens are a nice touch too.
      The flower gardens and natural beauty the course provides is enough to keep me coming back each year, plus the price is right.

      Reply

  • Hessel Ridge Golf

    Bill Ceverha wrote on: Jun 4, 2009

    Since you are still posting comments about Hessel Ridge from four years ago, when the criticism might have been accurate, I wanted to point out that playing Hessel Ridge is a real highlight of my summer "Youper" experience. I probably play it 20+ times during our summer visit and am looking forward to my return next month. The fees are reasonable, owner and staff have gone out of the way to encourage repeat visits...are very accomodating with tee times and generally very friendly. The course is challenging; especially the last three holes. By the way, this course is not in Sault Ste Marie or Mackinac City as some have said..it is in Hessel!

    Reply

  • Friendly Staff

    ROBERT STOKES wrote on: Sep 13, 2005

    I read your article and am very concerned about the attitudes of some of the counter staff at the higher dollar golf courses. Example being Sunday at Quail Ridge in Ada, Michigan. We checked in paid our greens fees and at no time other than when handed our reciept were we communicated with. We gave him the name under which the tee time was reserved with no response other than the amount due. I guess we should be honored to be in his presents. There are many golf courses to play in the
    area and I do not believe our group will be back there. You know a "Good Morning", "Have you played here before", and "Hope you enjoy your round", go a long way.

    Reply

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