Wilderness Golf Course
10500 Cecil Bay Rd
Carp Lake, MI
The aptly named Wilderness Golf Course seems to be in the middle of nowhere, reached by a two-lane road that winds through the woods west of Makinaw City. The trees give way to what seems to be a converted farmer's field with nine holes shaved into it. The two owners -- Greg and Kathy, in a bona fide Mom and Pop setup -- live in the house behind the ninth green. The clubhouse is a
converted barn. The setting is thoroughly charming, distinctive, and nearly
silent. You can play several holes without hearing anything--a car, a four-legged animal, or, if no one's on the course, as was the case when I played, a human voice.
The dry summer seemed to be taking its toll on the fairways the evening I visited. The fairways were speckled with brown patches and crabgrass. Bald spots marred some of the greens, which were otherwise impressively lush and soft (but deceptively fast). Despite an online description that calls the nine holes "challenging," it's actually mostly plain and straight. After a few holes that wrap around patches of dense woods, the closing holes run straight back and forth, back and forth. Of course, this is the kind of course I hate, since I can't actually hit the ball straight.
Tales of these and other misfortunes follow.