British Landing Rd, Mackinac Island
One of Michigan’s oldest active courses, Wawashkamo celebrated its Centennial in 1998. On that occasion, Wawashkamo could claim the distinction of being one of very few American courses laid out in a links style that remains substantially unaltered. Named one of America’s Historic Golf Landmarks by Golf Digest in 1996, Wawashkamo is the only nine-hole course among the dozen in the United States to have been so designated. The development of Wawashkamo Golf Club and the survival of its unique brand of traditional golf parallels the uncommon history of Mackinac Island, a place where much of the flavor of the nineteenth century survives, insulated from the modern world by the blue moat of Lake Huron, a ban on motorized vehicles and public ownership of eighty percent of the land.
The links-style layout utilized natural hazards as opposed to artificial ones. The fairways were designed to magnify the effects of slicing the ball. Bunkers were few but strategically placed. As with the St. Andrews links, the fairways were defined not by trees but by mowed grassy areas. Narrow strips of ground were smoothed with a horse-drawn road roller driven in a line between each tee and green, and the fairway areas to the side of each strip were allowed to retain their natural rolling topography. The holes were designed with straight fairways, with no doglegs and the green directly visible from the tee. The goal of this design, at a time when the gutta-percha golf ball was played more on the ground than a modern ball is, was to deceive the golfer into thinking that it could be effortlessly rolled right up to the green. Semi-visible challenges lay in wait for anyone adopting this attitude, such as the grassy ridge of earth known as the “circus ring” which loops around the 3rd green. This feature was in place before 1921 although it was originally much higher and encircled the green without a gap.
Number of Holes: 9