Golf News

Detroit Golf Club to get first major renovation since opening in 1914

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

DETROIT — A year from now, the excavators, bulldozers and dump trucks will be standing at the ready to begin the first major transformation of Detroit Golf Club’s North Course since it opened more than a century ago.

If all goes according to plan, the course could be unrecognizable to most golf fans when the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the annual PGA Tour stop in Detroit, tees off in 2026.

“It will look like a completely different course,” club president Michael Pricer said matter-of-factly.

Under architect Tyler Rae’s direction, right after next year’s tournament ends more than 100 trees will be removed, native grasses and ditches will be added, greens will be moved and enlarged and bunkers will be added.

For television viewers, the 14th and 18th holes will receive dramatically noticeable changes. The signature pond in front of the 14th green that features sponsor signage during the tournament will be removed and replaced by two large bunkers. The oval-shaped 18th green will be refashioned as a rectangle and moved forward and away from the clubhouse.

About the only people who might recognize Detroit Golf Club in 2026 will be the most astute Donald Ross scholars, or members who have spent significant time in the club’s archives studying Ross’ original 1914 design plans and grainy 1950s-era black-and-white photos.

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

The 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. (Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press)

“We’re trying to get it back to the original Ross design,” Pricer said. “So keeping with the legacy and the history of the club, and really honoring the heritage, that you know Donald Ross has created.

“And we believe that this will be a top-100 course when we’re done.”

That’s certainly possible because pedigree goes a long way with golf’s cognoscenti who judge those sorts of things.

But if you aren’t an annoying golf nerd who drops obscure terms like “redan green” in casual conversation, Pricer has a more accessible comparison to what DGC might look like when Rae’s renovation is completed in November 2025.

“I think it’s gonna look a lot like Pinehurst, to be honest with you,” he said, invoking this year’s U.S. Open site. “We’re really bringing back the original green complexes that Ross intended to design. They’re going to be a lot more open, they’re going to be a lot bigger.

“So you’re going to get a much more expansive view of the entire golf course. Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be…


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