SPRING LAKE, MICHIGAN
Program for Improvements - currently active
The golf course at Spring Lake Country Club was established in 1911, originally designed by Scottish architect, Tom Bendelow, and was hired over unknown architect (local?) David Wilson. Bendelow was nicknamed the “Johnny Appleseed of Golf”… as his primary business was to grow the game of golf and spread its seed afar while employed by the Spalding Company, out of Chicago. He also earned the title of “Eighteen Stakes on a Sunday” because of the rate and efficiency at which he could lay out a course. In fact, Bendelow laid out over 700 courses in his career… over 50 in Michigan alone. For comparison, consider Donald Ross (one of Bendelow’s most successful contemporaries) who designed over 400 courses – and is considered one of the more productive architects of that era. While many of Bendelow’s courses were indeed of the ‘quick hit and run’ variety, history suggests that his involvement at Spring Lake extended into multiple visits, starting with the layout of six holes, then expanding to nine and eventually evolving to eighteen holes by 1922. This alone makes Spring Lake unique in the sense that the original architect… one who typically never stayed long and rarely if ever returned, actually spent an extended amount of time here to help guide the Club in its evolution.
JDR is working closely with the club on a Program for Improvements that is intended to help reinstate the identity of the design while making practical refinements that are sensitive to today's most impacting influences. SLCC is located adjacent to connecting waters to nearby Lake Michigan, along Michigan's western shore.
Designed by Tom Bendelow, 1921.