Grand Rapids, Mich. – In preparation for its 90th birthday next year, Indian Trails Golf Course has been invigorated by Michigan golf course architect Chris Wilczynski. The City of Grand Rapids course, which opened in 1928, now features five new holes, two existing holes that have been renovated, and a new state-of-the-art practice facility.
“Facilities like this are important to the game of golf,” Wilczynski said. “Indian Trails is a classic, entry-level course in a great location, and now it will have a practice facility worthy of elite players.”
Ninety-acre Indian Trails, located at 2776 Kalamazoo Ave., the northeast corner of Kalamazoo and 28th Street S.E., now features a 25-acre practice space that includes 30 hitting stations and multiple target greens as well as a short-game area with three greens and several practice bunkers.
“This is a great piece of real estate and it has a rich history in the community,” said Indian Trails General Manager Lance Climie. “This is the best golf value in West Michigan and our greens are as good as anyone’s including the clubs.”
The course improvements also include an overhauled irrigation system. “It is like night and day from the past,” said Indian Trails Golf Course Superintendent Craig Kooienga. “The course is now more user-friendly and environmentally-friendly, but the biggest difference that the people who play here are going to notice is the increased level of enjoyment they’ll receive from playing Indian Trails.”
Seventy-year-old Ernie Silverthorn, who coached golf at Alma High School for 35 seasons, has averaged five rounds per week at Indian Trails for the past four years. “This golf course has character,” he said. “It is in great shape and I expect that people are going to really like it. It has an excellent variety of par-3 holes and excellent risk-reward par-4s.”
Jim Davis, a member of the Michigan Hickory Golf Tour, also plays Indian Trails regularly. “The golf course architect did a nice job designing the holes,” Davis said. “The layout suits the eye well and it is going to add more excitement to the place. A wide variety of people play this course and they are going to like it.”
The transformation of Indian Trails will be unveiled Saturday, June 10 with a charity golf tournament to benefit Grand Rapids Youth Recreation. A two-person scramble event, the tournament will feature flights scheduled for 8:30 a.m. And 1:30 p.m.
“I am truly excited for the City of Grand Rapids and it’s residents. The benefits of this facility are endless,” said Wilczynski. “I am hopeful that Indian Trails will be a facility where beginning golfers can learn the game and that golfers of all skill levels can have fun. The new practice facility will certainly allow this as well as the new and renovated holes.”
Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA