Bob Doerr, co-owner of St. Ives in Stanwood, was getting ready to leave for a well-deserved vacation in Las Vegas last fall, but still took time to offer a tour of his gem, Tullymore. Tullymore is located approximately five miles from the St. Ives course, and an hour from Grand Rapids.
Doerr's excitement was contagious as he wheeled his SUV around the course, stopping here and there to make a point. As each new hole opened up before us he described how it came to be. Doerr was a great guide, as it was his labor and supervision that brought this Jim Engh course to life. Engh, based in Colorado, is another architect who will leave his mark in Michigan this year. Engh has designed courses on five continents and his vision for the land captured the attention of the folks from Stanwood. Engh has built the Sanctuary in Sedalia, Colorado; Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland, Washington; Dragon Hill Country Club in Ratchaburi, Thailand; and Dongguan Hillview Golf Club in Guangdong, China.
While it is sometimes difficult to determine a signature ingredient of an architect, golfers will no doubt leave Tullymore with an appreciation of being caught in a fingerlike Jim Engh bunker. Doerr indicated that Engh gives greenscapes an entirely different look. (You can view Bob Doerr and a look at Tullymore on our website michigangolfer.tv under the golf shorts section. You might also want to view http://www.stivesgolf.com to find out more about Tullymore. They have a great course map.)
The course is scheduled to open in early summer, but the rounds will be limited, Doerr does not want to rush the course. The next few years Tullymore will host its share of golf writers to have them determine the greatness of the course and then and only then will it be able to be compared with the pedigree of St. Ives.
Tullymore will indeed have a formidable task reaching the level of acclaim that St. Ives has, but Kevin O'Brien, the director of golf, feels it has a great shot. "Tullymore is an exciting course. It does not have quite the amount of dramatic land that St. Ives has, but it is still a spectacular course."
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